HomeLearning DifficultiesLegal Rights & AdvocacyIndividuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Tips for a Successful IEP Meeting

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By GreatSchools Staff

After the Meeting:

  • If you have serious doubts or concerns about the IEP, put those concerns in writing and return them to school with the unsigned IEP as soon as you have made your decisions. You can then request another IEP meeting. If you have agreed to the IEP, review the agreed upon IEP to make sure you understand it. If not, talk to the trusted person you brought to the meeting, or contact one of the other IEP participants for clarification. Remember you can always change your mind and withdraw permission for any or all of the parts of the IEP you agreed to.
  • Talk to your child, in terms she'll understand, about what was discussed at the IEP meeting. Be sure to discuss the progress she's made. Review goals and objectives so she'll know what she's going to be working on during the coming year.
  • Place the IEP in the binder or file where you keep other school notices and reports. This makes it easy to access for future reference. Note on your calendar the dates that you can expect to receive regular reports from the school of your child's progress toward his annual IEP goals. Make sure that you're receiving the reports in a timely way and that they include data that document your child's progress. These reports need to be based on objective criteria.
  • Develop a collaborative relationship with the professionals who interact regularly with your child. Meet with her special education teacher to share observations and to learn how you can reinforce at home the skills and strategies being taught to her at school.

Updated 2011

Comments from readers

"I think it's grate to have all of the teachers in the room "
"The best thing I ever did was hire an outside psychological educational consultant to do a private evaluation and act as my advocate at the IEP meeting. Yes, this is expensive. However, he reviewed previous IEPs and did extensive observations. He was able to point out many things the teachers were doing wrong in the classroom. He was the only person that the child study team listened to at the meeting - they certainly don't care what I have to say. I found this person through a recommendation by an attorney that specialized in educational law. I now have evidence that proves my daughter was denied FAPE, which means I could proceed even further if I choose. This was the only way I could get respect and the program my daughter needed. SECOND best thing - bring a tape recorder to all meetings and then transcribe them. So enlightening to listen to the way the CST team disrespects the parent's contributions. "
"as parent aps/schools/parents reaching out/district supporter it a joke there don't help childen thay gave you a run around i been asking for help for 3yrs because i have a son that has down's and diabetes type 1 you do the best that you can as a parent is there any parent is go thought the some thing tell me about it."
"My child is in a 3rd grade CTT class with an IEP (since 12/08). She has ADHD and is LD in math, reading comprehension, writing, as well as functioning below grade level. The teacher stated that her learning would increase, but is hampered by her behavior. She has no Behavioral Intervention Plan and it was suggested to me to put her in a 12 to 1 class setting. Her last psycho-educational evaluation was 4/08. I requested a re-evaluation in March 09. But, I haven't heard anything from the school. The school year ends June 26th. I don't know what to do? What should be our next step(s) over the summer? My husband and I are so confused about special education. Please help!!!!!!"
"I agree with the 504 but it is sad that the school know about the program but do not tell the parent. My daughter is 8yrs old and has adhd i have been trying to get an iep since last year and the principal has given me the run around she told me that the 504 neede to be done by my child therapist and me. she never mention the school psycologist my daughter grades have dropped from b's to d's and she has unsatisfactory every day. So can you all please stress the importance of the 504 to principal so that parents can know that there is help for children with adhd cleve. public school parent empire computech"
"i have a son in first grade and the school is suggesting we put him in self-contained for the second grade because he is not reading on the proper level and his comprehension skills are behind and he is not independent enough with his writing. need feed back asap my iep meeting is march 2009 and me and my husband don't know if that's best for him. help!!!! "