preparing for an iep meeting
It is important to always keep an open line of communication with your child’s IEP team, especially in the weeks leading up to your meeting. Be sure to touch base with your child’s teacher and each therapist to discuss areas of strength, concern, progress on goals, and their thoughts for new goals. Be sure to share your thoughts, as you are part of the team!
In this post, I have included a complimentary PDF document of “A Parent’s IEP Meeting Prep Sheet”.
Click here to access it: A Parent’s IEP Meeting Prep Sheet
Below is a list of things this document includes that will help you organize your thoughts on paper ahead of time, so you can easily refer to it in your meeting.
your child’s strengths
things that are going well this year
your biggest areas of concern for your child within the educational setting
strategies that work well at home
update from any services/therapies your child is receiving outside of school, if applicable
reminder for staff of food allergies, medical/health info & concerns, if any
any special transportation needs
any specific questions you want to remember to ask
Ensure your concerns are documented in the paperwork and meeting notes. If you would like, you can request to have your list of concerns be added to the IEP as a parent attachment.
In the world of IEPs and paperwork, if it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.
At the beginning of the meeting, after introductions, the facilitator of the meeting will ask you, the parents, to share your thoughts and concerns. This is a perfect time to share these things with the entire team. Stating these things during this time also helps to ensure they do not run out of time to discuss what is most important to you.
There are requirements that the school must share with you in an IEP meeting that determines the agenda, as you go through each part of the IEP paperwork. This can take a lot of time. With some meetings scheduled back to back, know you can always request to have your meeting finished at another time, rather than rushing through, if you do not feel comfortable concluding the meeting.
Bringing an IEP consultant/advocate with you to a meeting can help ensure your concerns are not only heard, but addressed utilizing negotiating strategies. Consulting before the meeting can also help calm some of the stress and anxieties you may have as the parent, leading up to your child’s IEP meeting.
If you have a request for an IEP blogging topic you would like to read about, feel free to comment in the comment section below!
Thank you again Carly for sharing your tips & knowledge with the Playhouse families.