Iep Meeting Tips For Parents – Raise your hand if you enjoy going to IEP meetings. (waiting) Nobody? Raise your hand if you drink a bottle of wine the night of the IEP meeting? A-ha! Here, now I see some hands. I often say, “You don’t know what you don’t know” and the IEP meeting process was one of the most challenging things I had to learn. I have attended hundreds of IEP meetings and demonstration hearings, attended and led many workshops and conferences, and I see patterns of mistakes from parents.
These tips will help you focus and take the stress out of the process. When you know the process better, you will be heard. You are starting to remove the barriers and you are starting to get Yes, in this NO culture.
Iep Meeting Tips For Parents
Treat the IEP meeting as a one-and-done thing. It is not. You don’t want your IEP team to only think about the IEP once a year, because neither do you. It’s continuous, you have to stay on it, read reports, keep in touch with the team.
Iep Meeting Process
Have you seen this post before? maybe! It is part of my ongoing process to update older posts with current information. This post was originally published in March 2012 and I have updated it now. I have written in recent posts about the IEP process and how to prepare and write goals and objectives and determine mastery levels. Today I want to talk about running a smooth and effective IEP meeting. We’ve all been in IEPs where everything went well and the school and family were on the same page. We (parents and educators) also attend IEP meetings where things aren’t so great and people aren’t necessarily on the same page. No matter what you expect in a meeting, these are tips that I have used in a variety of situations to help the IEP team prepare and help the meeting run smoothly. Going through the IEP process is a stressful and emotional process for families and educators. This is a strategy that can help the entire team manage the meeting successfully.
Many of us think that the IEP form itself is the agenda; however, most IEP forms are provided for ease of finding things, not the order in which the meeting is intended to proceed. For example, many IEP forms have a placement page on the front for easy reference, but placement is the last thing to be discussed in an IEP meeting. The agenda helps everyone to remember what needs to be addressed and make sure that things are not forgotten or left behind.
The advantages of the agenda are listed above. It is important to remember that the agenda follows the IEP process, but it must also begin with the opportunity for any member (especially the parent) to add something to the agenda. The points for the agenda can be as below.
We often don’t think about where people will sit. Usually, the school team is in the room first and sits where they feel comfortable. This may (or may not) result in families sitting on opposite sides of the table. The administrator I’ve worked with for a few years and I always joke about making place cards for the IEP table because we have certain places we like to sit. We like the teacher to sit next to the family because usually the teacher shares the documents that need to be reviewed (or given) that the parents need to see and sometimes need to sign. I like to sit in front of the parents so that I can see them when I transmit assessment information or consult observations. The administrator likes to sit next to the teacher and next to the parents because he is not the center of attention. Where you sit (and where others sit) is important, so think about what works for the group and try to avoid being on our side of the table and them. Instead, try to allow the family to sit together or with a lawyer or another person they bring with them. Separating parents from someone who comes to support them somewhat defeats the purpose and sends the wrong message.
These 5 Tips For Running An Effective Iep Meeting Are A Must Have
A while ago I did a post where I wrote a social story for the IEP team because it is important for everyone to understand the perspective of the other participants. You can find that post here. It is important to know who the LEA (Local Education Administrator) is because it is the person who is empowered to make decisions. Who is the person who can interpret the assessment material? General education teachers have many goals and we really need to do a good job of helping them understand the process and their role in it. Gen. ed. The teacher provides valuable information about what a typical student at that child’s age is doing in the curriculum, what their classroom looks like and what kind of activities their students are doing. She also, if she knows the child, can talk about the strengths and weaknesses she sees in the student and the types of support the student might need in a general education classroom. I strongly believe that we should try to have general educators in the meeting for the duration of the meeting rather than having them speak and then leave, unless the meeting is unusually long. We need to understand that it is an important part of the process and not an add-on, even for children who are mainly independent.
The IEP process is an old trick for most of us who have been doing it for a while. For families, even children who have been in special education for a long time, it is emotional and often heavy. It is easy for us, as educators, to get caught up in the process and forget its function. Slow down and take care of your family. Do they seem to understand clearly what is being said? If not, stop by and see if they have any questions. Give them a chance to rest. We throw a lot of information (and paper) at them during meetings and having them process everything at once is difficult. Sending drafts home before hand can help with this, but it is important to give them the opportunity to talk about the goals and objectives proposed, to discuss their services and what they look like for their child, and to ask the questions that come to them, even if “about something we discussed 15 minutes ago. Give someone a role in the meeting to monitor the parents and slow down the process if it seems that something is missing or overwhelmed.
Nothing gets in the way of a meeting faster than someone having to worry about forms. Do not close the form and ignore people, but even if you have all the forms in a booklet available, you can take them out and continue the meeting when you need the approval of the assessment or parental rights, or others that they could stop the process and leave empty time that no one can Think about having an IEP booklet that has all the forms in it. Or, in the electronic age, make sure you have access to a printer and you can go to the online program from the room you are in to make sure this is effective. Consider printing an IEP for the family, at least. Most school staff members have the option to print one, but parents often do not. Although many schools want to go paperless, the small print projectors from the IEP program are hard to read and can slow down the process. If we can make the process more efficient with paper copies, I’d say it’s worth it.
So, I’ll be back in the next post to continue talking about ways to help the process go smoothly once the meeting has started. In the meantime, what suggestions do you have to help the IEP process be positive for everyone involved?
Six Tips For Successful Iep Meetings
This is my daughter we’re talking about. The conversation about him determines his success or failure in school.
Will they have it? Will they see it? Will they figure out how to make it shine?
A sweet preschooler who is blind