IEPs are overwhelming, I get it. Even with my background, I sat in too many meetings feeling unsure and overwhelmed. I could read the IEP document no problem, but I didn’t know how I fit into it. I was an equal IEP team member, but the decisions were made before I got to the table, without my input in mind.
Sound familiar? Well you aren’t alone.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time you KNOW I’m going to tell you to ASK FOR A DRAFT COPY of the IEP. You need read it over, write down your questions and concerns so you can be prepared for the decisions that are made in the IEP.
But we ALL know the draft is important right?
What about the rest???
In 3 parts, let’s chat about how you can avoid IEP chaos in the fall.
- Present Levels.
- Make sure your child’s present levels reflect what they are currently able to do. Now if you have an IEP meeting soon after school starts, a lot of this data is on you! What have you seen at home? Where are they excelling? Where is the regression? These present levels HAVE to be accurate in order to write appropriate and effective IEP goals. If the school is taking data, make sure it is more than just observations. We need hard numbers also.
- Parent Input Statement.
- When you get to every meeting, they ask “what do you think mom? What are your concerns? What is he good at?” right? They write it allllll down, but when they get to the goals, they have already drafted everything…. Without knowing what your concerns are. Providing the parent input ahead of time, allows the team to take your input into consideration when drafting the IEP. Your priorities may be different from the school, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be worked on!
- What to include? I have a form for families that I work with that I will send out to use as a template. If you need it, let me know! But you want to include your goals, concerns, where your child struggles, what is hard for them, how the school can support them when things get hard and what their motivators are.
- Lastly, speak up. You are the only expert at the IEP table on your child. You are the only consistent IEP team member from start to finish of school. You know your child best. DO not feel intimidated by school professionals. If you don’t understand something, ask. Not sure what questions to ask? Let me know! I frequently review IEP’s for current clients, with their goals and concerns in mind to make sure the child is getting everything they need, not just what the school is offering. Even if it isn’t me, ask for a second opinion. Another set of eyes on the IEP is NEVER a bad idea.
For those of you who are ready for MORE in their child’s IEP, I am opening up 5 spots for IEP reviews for clients. My time is limited and I typically only offer this service for existing families. This school year will be busy as ever and I will not have time once the school doors open (even remotely!) You get a second opinion on your child’s health, education is just as important!
If you are ready to dive in head over HERE to grab your IEP second opinion and get ready to make PROGRESS this year!
Have a few questions before we get started? Head over HERE to chat. The last thing I want if for you to look back years later and say, I wish I would have asked for help sooner.