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IEP meeting

6 Tips to Make Sure Your Child’s IEP Is Implemented Properly

Blog Type:  Learning Disabilities Date Posted:  Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Byline:  By Kristin Stanberry

This resource originally appeared on Understood.org. Reprinted courtesy of Understood.org ©2018. Understood, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is one of four posts about navigating the IEP process. Read the other articles: Questions to Ask Before and During Your Child's IEP Meeting, 5 Important Things to Do After an IEP Meeting, and How to Organize Your Child's IEP Binder.

Your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) has been set in motion. How well is it working? Is the school delivering what it promised? Try these tips to monitor the situation throughout the year.

1. Check in with the teacher.

The parent-teacher conference is a good time to take the pulse of your child’s progress. But you can also check in regularly to make sure your child’s IEP is being followed. Share any concerns based on what you’re seeing at home. If your child spends most of his time in the general education classroom, his teacher will know if he’s being pulled out of class to work with special educators as promised in his IEP.

2. Contact the team leader if the IEP isn’t being honored.

If you think the school isn’t delivering all of the services and supports in your child’s IEP, don’t sit and stew. Be proactive and contact the IEP team leader. Give that person a chance to clear up misunderstandings and correct any problems. The leader may appreciate your alert. If corrective action is required, make sure it happens. Be friendly but firm.

3. If things don’t improve, request a special IEP team meeting.

If you take the steps above but aren’t satisfied with the results, you can request a special IEP meeting. You don’t have to wait until next year’s IEP meeting to iron out any problems. Getting the entire team together may be the only way to put your child’s IEP back on track as soon as possible.

4. Know your child’s special educators and their schedules.

The IEP should state what special education services your child will receive and for how many hours per week. You can ask the IEP team leader for the names of the special educators assigned to help your child. Find out what services they’ll provide and on which days. That way you can casually ask your child, “Did you spend time with Mrs. Smith today?” Your child may tell you a little—or a lot!

5. Read the progress reports.

Your child’s IEP includes measurable annual goals. It should also explain how his progress toward goals will be measured and when this will be reported to you. Many schools send IEP progress reports to parents when report cards are issued. Find out when you can expect progress reports and mark the dates on your calendar. Carve out time to compare the IEP with how well your child is progressing.

6. Watch, listen and read between the lines.

Keep an eye on your child’s homework and classroom test scores. Is the teacher adjusting assignments as noted in the IEP? If so, is your child making progress? Ask your child if he’s getting his accommodations, whether it’s extra time on tests or assistive technology. Talk to your child in a way that suits his age and personality. Listen carefully to what he says—or doesn’t say—about school and learning. Jot down your concerns.

About the Author

Kristin Stanberry is a writer and editor specializing in parenting, education and consumer health/wellness.

more learning disabilities posts

Tags:  IEP IEP meeting learning parents special education

5 Important Things to Do After an IEP Meeting

Blog Type:  Learning Disabilities Date Posted:  Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Byline:  By Kristin Stanberry

girl at computer with paper

This resource originally appeared on Understood.org. Reprinted courtesy of Understood.org ©2018. Understood, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is one of four posts about navigating the IEP process. Read the other articles: Questions to Ask Before and During Your Child's IEP Meeting, 6 Tips to Make Sure Your Child's IEP Is Implemented Properly, and How to Organize Your Child's IEP Binder.

After an IEP meeting, you need to take care of some details. These can vary from one meeting to the next. Here are five important things to do after an IEP meeting.

1. If you have objections.

After the IEP meeting, write an email or letter to the case manager summarizing what decisions and questions came out of the meeting. Did the school agree to set up another meeting? Do you plan to request a mediation session? By putting that in writing, you make sure everyone is on the same page and get those next steps on their calendars.

2. Review and sign the final IEP.

Review and sign the final IEP. The IEP you and your child’s IEP team discuss and develop in the meeting is a draft. The school or district will finalize the IEP after the meeting and will send you a copy to sign. Make sure you sign it and return it by the deadline they give you. (Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.) To be on the safe side, refer to Understood's checklist of things to double-check before signing an IEP.

3. Express appreciation to your allies.

Send a simple but sincere thank-you note to anyone who attended the meeting with you. Let them know specifically how they made a difference. If this person is a professional who works with your child—and there is follow-up work to do—try to make it convenient. For example, you might offer to stop by their office to pick up records or reports the school has requested.

4. Debrief your child.

If your child didn’t attend the IEP meeting, share how it went. Be sure to mention the positive things people said along with the challenges. Consider your child’s age and maturity as you explain any changes. Describe new supports and services in concrete terms. If your child joined you at the meeting, ask about how she’s feeling. Praise her for things done well. Start planting the seeds of self-advocacy.

5. Update your IEP files at home.

Organize all of the documents that result from the IEP meeting, including a copy of the new IEP. Note any important dates, such as when progress reports are sent out, on your calendar. Place the new IEP, as well as the notes and documentation you took to the meeting, in your files. This is also a good time to reorganize your filing system to make it easier to use in the future.

About the Author

Kristin Stanberry

Kristin Stanberry is a writer and editor specializing in parenting, education and consumer health/wellness.

more learning disabilities posts

Tags:  IEP IEP meeting learning parents

Questions to Ask Before and During Your Child’s IEP Meeting

Blog Type:  Learning Disabilities Date Posted:  Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Byline:  By Amanda Morin

men and women sitting at table meeting

This resource originally appeared on Understood.org. Reprinted courtesy of Understood.org ©2018. Understood, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is one of four posts about navigating the IEP process. Read the other articles: 5 Important Things to Do After the IEP Meeting, 6 Tips to Make Sure Your Child's IEP Is Implemented Properly, and How to Organize Your Child's IEP Binder.

Even if it’s not your first one, IEP meetings can still be confusing at times. Asking questions can help you be more informed, prepared, and confident as a member of the IEP team. Scroll down to see questions you can ask—both before and during an IEP meeting. Keep in mind that not all of the questions will apply to your child or situation. You can also print out these questions by clicking the view or download link below. You can then keep track of answers on the printout.

Questions to Ask Before and During the IEP Meeting (View / Download)

Questions to Ask Before the IEP Meeting

  • What is the goal of this IEP meeting?
  • Can we create an agenda for this meeting?
  • May I have a copy of my child’s most recent IEP document to follow along as we talk in the meeting?
  • Could you please provide me with prior access to copies of the notes/reports that we’ll be going over?
  • Who at the meeting will be qualified to interpret the results of my child’s independent educational evaluation?

Questions to Ask During the IEP Meeting

  • How does everyone at the meeting know or work with my child?
  • Could you tell me about my child’s day so I can understand what it looks like?
  • Can you explain how what you’re seeing from my child is different from other kids in the classroom?
  • Could we walk through the current program and IEP plan piece by piece?
  • How is my child doing in making progress toward his IEP goals?
  • What changes in goals would the team recommend?
  • Is this a SMART goal?
  • How is this goal measured and my child’s progress monitored?
  • How will my child be assessed according to grade level?
  • Who will work on that with my child? How? When? Where and how often?
  • What training does the staff have in this specific intervention?
  • What does that accommodation/instructional intervention look like in the classroom?
  • What support will the classroom teacher have in putting these accommodations/interventions into place?
  • What can I do at home to support the IEP goals?
  • I’d like to see the final IEP before agreeing to any changes suggested at this meeting. When can I see a copy?
  • When will the changes to his program begin?
  • How will we let my child know about any program changes?
  • Can we make a plan for keeping in touch about how everything is going?
  • May I have a copy of the notes the teacher referenced during this meeting?
  • If I have questions about the information I’ve been given about my child’s rights, who’s the person to talk to for answers?
  • Who’s the person to contact if I want to call another meeting?

Read about important things to do after your child’s IEP meeting. Get tips on how to make sure your child’s IEP is implemented properly. And learn how an IEP binder can help you stay up to date on your child’s progress.

About the Author

Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

more learning disabilities posts

Tags:  IEP IEP meeting parents special education
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