The IEP Meeting Is Not A Fight

Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting
3 Dec 2012

There is no doubt about it that parents are the best child’s advocates. The IEP (Individualized Education Program) team also has for mission to help the child get the best learning opportunities. The team can see the bigger picture, while the parents are focused on one single idea. The team is bound by a limited number of programs available within the district. Services like speech, or occupational therapy, or counseling are limited by the district’s budget too.

Some parents go to the IEP meetings ready for a fight. That is not going to help the child by any means. If parents adopt this attitude the team will become less cooperative. To get the best out of this meetings do the following:

Go prepared by gathering as much information as you can

Be realistic, accept and admit your child’s needs and weeknesses

Point out your child’s strengths

Tell the team about all the strategies and techniques that work for your child

Be a good listener and show your readiness to cooperate

If appropreate take your child to these meetings, she/he is the best to help the team reach the best agreement

Taking a lawyer with you in the first meeting might polarize the team against you. Keep it for a future occasion if things get really complicated.

Know that some people are genuinly willing to help your child -even if they are not agreeing with your point of you- but you are the decision maker. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.

To learn more about your rights:

The National Wrapraround Initiative

Also read this article:

Nadia Shanab

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