Special Services IEP Meeting
The IEP Team
Many people may be involved in your child's education. Some or all of them will be at your child's IEP meeting. The IEP Team will consist of you, a special education provider, a general education teacher, and an administrator or designee who will ensure that the District will provide appropriate special education services for your child. Specialists who may have evaluated your child may provide classroom and home recommendations.
Preparing For Your Child's IEP Meetings
Thorough preparation will enable you to participate knowledgeably in your child's IEP meeting. Here is a suggested "checklist" of things you may want to do before the meeting.
- Talk With Your Child. Try to find out how your child feels about school, discuss his/ her likes and dislikes. Ask your child if there is an area - academic, behavioral, social, vocational - in which he/she would like to improve.
- Visit your child's classroom. Make an appointment with your child's teacher, then, visit the class to observe how your child is progressing. Spend some time just sitting and watching.
- Prepare to share what you know about your child. When it comes to your child, you are an expert, and we need your help. Perhaps you might write a short version of your child's life story, including a brief description of his/her relationship with family members and friends, health history, behavior at home, hobbies and interests, the "rewards" which motivate your child, and progress you've seen your child make. Include a short list of tasks your child does well and those he/she finds interesting.
- Make a list of questions. It is easy to forget a question or concern during the "give and take" of an IEP meeting, so we suggest you write down every question you want to ask about your child and his/her educational program. Bring your list of questions to the meeting and we'll make sure you receive the answers.
- Be prepared to discuss your expectations for your child. Knowing what you want for your child may be the most important preparation you make. What do you think will benefit your child? What kind of progress would you like him/her to make during the year? What about the future - what are your child's prevocational needs? What do you think should be included in your child's program? Seek advice of people who know your child and talk to other parents of children in Special Education. Remember - your thoughts about your child's education are valuable. You are an expert on your child, and that makes you an important member of the education team.
During The Meeting
Do not forget your notes which may include questions, suggestions, ideas, regarding your child. What you have to say will help us design a program to meet those needs.
After The Meeting
Review your notes of the IEP meeting. Be sure you understand your role in your child's education and what the school plans to do. Discuss the meeting with your spouse and/or child if they were not present.
- Volunteer to help out in your child's school. As a volunteer, you may observe teaching methods you could use at home.
- Plan home activities which reinforce what you child is learning at school.
- Attend all parent/teacher conferences and annual reviews for your child. Keep the lines of communication open by sharing information about your child and by working with us to find ways to help your child.