5 Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Child's IEP Team

Oct 19, 2023
A teacher sitting around a table with children. The teacher is smiling and wearing a yellow shirt. The children are working at a table.

Trust me—I get it….


Navigating the world of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) can be challenging! “Who signed me up for this ride, and how do I get off?!”


However, building strong relationships with your child's IEP team can make all the difference. 


Most of these professionals have a heart of gold, with great intentions, and are here to support your child's educational journey!


But what happens when the communication between everyone isn’t effective or getting the results we want for our children?


Here are 5 ways you can improve your communication with the IEP team!


  1. Open the Lines of Communication


You’ve heard it a million times—communication is key! And it all starts with open and honest conversations. I encourage you to regularly contact your child's teachers, therapists, and administrators. Don’t wait until the house is fire to call the fire department! If you smell smoke, start asking questions about anything you're unsure about. A simple email or a quick chat before or after meetings can go a long way in fostering trust.


  1. Be an Active Participant in IEP Meetings

IEP meetings are where the magic happens, and your input is truly invaluable. You need to come prepared with your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions. Remember, you are an equal member of the team, so make your voice heard. Be respectful and collaborative so that together you can create the best plan for your child's success.


  1. Educate Yourself

You know it—knowledge is power! Take the time to learn about special education laws, your child's specific disability, and the services available. You can advocate more effectively for your child when you understand the system. Don't be afraid to seek resources (like you already are because you’re here!), attend workshops, or connect with a special education advocate (hey, that's me!).


  1. Express Appreciation

This one goes a long way, as many teachers and professionals on the IEP team get little praise for their hard work. When they are kicking butt—let them know you appreciate the hard work they are doing for your child. A simple "thank you" can brighten their day and strengthen your relationship. A little gratitude goes a long way in creating a positive atmosphere.


  1. Collaborate for Success

Everyone on the IEP team should share the same goal: helping your child thrive. Work with the team members to help them set achievable goals and track progress. But it’s also important to stay flexible and open to new ideas. When you work together, the journey becomes smoother for everyone involved.


Know this Mama:


Building and improving relationships with your child's IEP team is a journey that takes time and effort. I want to give you a virtual high five for even looking into this topic and understanding how important it is to create a supportive and collaborative environment, knowing that it will benefit your child's education and overall well-being. 


Your advocacy and dedication make a world of difference, so keep up the great work, and remember that you're not alone on this path—you can reach out to me anytime! 


And if you’re not already—be sure you’re following me on Instagram, as I always share tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

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