Seven Tips to Organize the Individual Education Program (IEP) ChaosSep 01, 2020
As a special needs mom, I am not only a mom but a case manager of my child’s medical needs and making sure I am on top of my daughter’s IEP. This can be overwhelming and feel very chaotic. There are seven IEP tips that I developed that can help you lower your stress level and decrease chaos around your child’s IEP. So grab a pin and paper and let’s get you actionable solutions!
Your role on the IEP team
Understanding your role on the team! You are an equal member of the IEP team. You! Yes, you, the parent or caregiver, are part of the IEP team! You bring valuable insight to the team and a unique perspective. Use that perspective to help the team understand your child in a whole new light.
Who is on your Child’s Team
At the beginning of each new school year, ask for the updated list of team members and e-mails. Introduce yourself and open the door for ongoing communication. Knowing the current staff members is super important.
It’s Okay To Ask Questions
It’s OK to ask questions before, during, and after the IEP meeting. Ask questions to understand your child’s IEP. For example, you may need to ask for a further explanation about the goals or services. You are opening the door to further conversation and collaboration.
Parent Input Statement
Creating a BIG vision statement or a parent input statement is super important. We want to see where our kids could go over the next year, five years, or more. Think-community, post-secondary education, independent living, and self-help skills.
Build IEP goals off of mastered skills. Take the skills your child has already mastered, develop new goals that build off of mastered skills. Utilizing this strategy allows the team to create big-picture goals that keep your child engaged and challenged!
Service providers must measure progress toward mastery of goals as specified in the IEP. Progress reports should be sent home to parents (Generally, quarterly). Do you know when your child’s next progress report is due? Go and look and see did you get them? Depending on when you started school will determine when you get your notes. Arizona starts super early so quarter 1 is October, quarter 2 would be sent home in December, quarter 3 in March and quarter 4 right before school gets out. Pro tip keep your child’s progress notes with your child’s IEP inside a notebook or file.
Draft Copy of the IEP
When the meeting notice is sent home for your child’s upcoming IEP, this is an excellent time to ask for a draft copy of the IEP. Having the draft will allow you to review the proposed goals and services. Also, you have time to think about your ideas for goals or your parent input statement.
To help families implement these tips I have created an ebook and workbook that takes you step by step through each of these tips and helps you develop your own advocacy action plan for your child.
Yes, I want the IEP Ebook!——> Seven IEP Tips Ebook and Workbook
Get your copy today!