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  • Donna J. Morris, Educational Advocate

Tips for Managing Your Child's IEP

  • Remember that YOU are the most important person on your child’s IEP team. No one else KNOWS your child like you do. No one else CARES ABOUT your child the way you do. No one else is MOTIVATED to help your child the way you are.

  • Develop a good relationship with members of your child’s IEP team. Don’t become one of those parents that teachers want to avoid. You can learn to disagree with someone and still treat that person with respect.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. You just may get it!

  • The law requires that there be at least one IEP meeting per year. However, you may ask for other meetings as the need arises or circumstances change.

  • Each goal on an IEP should be time restricted, intended to be met by a certain date. Be aware of the target dates for your child’s goals.

  • The IEP should describe how the progress for attaining each goal is to be measured, and how often that progress is to be reported to the parents.

  • Participate in SMART goals for your child.

  • Develop a systematic way of communicating with your child’s teachers and other service providers.

  • Do not rely upon school officials to inform you about what services and programs your child is entitled to receive under the law. You must learn for yourself.

  • Do not automatically accept statements from your school that they “cannot” provide a certain service for your child.

  • Remember that an IEP is an INDIVIDUALIZED Education Program. It is a unique document tailored to the needs of your child.

  • Do not accept that a particular service cannot be provided for your child just because it has never been done before in your district.

  • Do not assume that the requirements of your child’s IEP will be followed. YOU must be the watchdog for your child’s IEP

  • Ask for a draft of the IEP before the meeting so you have time to review it beforehand. Put your requested changes in writing.

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