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8 steps to a successful IEP meeting

Page 5 of 7

By Wayne Steedman

Step 6: final preparations 

Once you have reviewed the draft IEP the next step is to make necessary revisions to it or draft a whole new IEP. Your “experts,” the team you bring with you to the IEP meeting, can help you with the revisions. Follow the same rules in drafting your revisions as noted in Step 5. Create a pre-meeting checklist to include final organization of your file; written confirmation with your team of the date, time and location of the meeting; a letter to the school to inform them of your intention to bring outside individuals to the meeting; and verification that the meeting will include a review of the private evaluations you have sent by checking the notice letter. Send the IEP revisions you have made to the school as soon as you can.

The meeting will likely move far more efficiently if the school team knows in advance what changes you would like to make to the IEP. It is not always possible to get your revisions to the team in advance. It is a lot of work to do with limited time in which to do it. If you can not get your revisions to the school in advance, try to give them advance notice that you have concerns about their draft IEP and will bring suggested revisions with you.

Wayne Steedman is a co-founder and President of Callegary & Steedman, P.A., a law firm located in Baltimore, which primarily focuses on disability law. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland Law School and the School of Social Work, and has practiced law for 19 years with his primary focus on special education. Wayne has represented his clients in due process hearing, state and federal court, and the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He has presented nationwide on special education law and written numerous articles which have been published on-line and in print journals.

Comments from readers

"My wife and I were victims of an IEP system and a school system that cared more about covering their collective backsides than helping my child. Am I mad? YES! This system was run as a for profit prison that used my child to collect money but only cared about what was best for the school. Once my child reached middle school the "teaching" never materialized and the caretaking began. I eventually had to remove my Autistic child from the system due to lack of concern over my Childs welfare. These people (I won’t honor them with the title of teacher), should quit this line of work and go into something more commensurate with their skill level. Mopping floors and scrubbing toilets would probably be just about Wright. EFMP, what a joke. IEP and special Ed what a joke. "
"Shiela, our doctor's diagnosis trumped the school psychologist in our case. Our Primary Care doctor sent us to a Child Neurologist for a full neurological workup. She sent us to the Children's National Medical Center, Children's Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders for extensive evaluations. Fantastic Team. John's Hopkins also has a great team, I'm told. It's not all about what happens at school, as you know. The right team of doctors can help parents learn about their child. The advice we received at Children's has helped us as a family for over 8 years because we understand our son better with their help. School? Well, we're still working on that. Early intervention is key. "
"My nephew has not been diagnosed with autism but it is apparent that he has the symptoms. We would like to find out more to get him diagnosed. The school has tested him but we feel we need other testing entities. We have friend that have an autistic child 10 years old and the school tested him and their test was negative and eventually he was diagnosed with severe autism. If he doesn't have autism he has something. He is 5 and acts like he is 3. He talks ok but communication is not there. He has a 3 year old sister who treats him like he is a baby. His parents are going crazy and we need to get something started now. His favorite thing are spinning tops. Thanks for listening, Sheila "