Today we discuss what you need to ensure the best outcome for your child!
Before you even walk through the door, there are steps you can take to set you and your child up for success. In earlier blog posts we've talked about the IEP meeting process and given an overview of parent's rights. Today, we break down 5 things you can bring to an IEP meeting (and why they matter).
If you have any records relating to their diagnosis it can help to bring them with you. The school should have access to the school psychologist's evaluation, but it never hurts to bring what you have. This is especially important if there's been a change to your child's needs (e.g. a change to ADHD medicine, new results from a speech or audiology evaluation, etc.).
If you're moving to a new school district or a new state, you'll also want a copy of their previous IEP.
Before the meeting, ask for a copy of your child's evaluations and assessment data. This information is useful for determining where to focus your resources and where the school may recommend focusing their attention and resources.
An action plan
One of the best ways to ensure a positive outcome to an IEP meeting is to come prepared with an action plan. This should include any ideas you have for services or supports along with your desired outcomes and best case scenario.
Bringing an action plan helps to direct your focus in a meeting that can otherwise be stressful or overwhelming. It also helps to consider in advance what you're hoping to gain and what you're willing or unwilling to accept.
Remember- when it comes to your child's IEP, you have final say in their program.
Before meeting with the Special Education team, it helps to brainstorm a list of questions you have to make sure you have all the information you need. While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, it is very easy in these meetings to get lost in the details or overwhelmed by the process. You can also request a follow-up meeting if you need more information later.
*if needed or desired
Many parents choose to attend IEP meetings alone. However, you have the right to bring a family advocate. This can be especially helpful if you've experienced pushback from the school before or if this is one of your first IEP meetings.