Special education: a practical primer
Page 4 of 4
By GreatSchools Staff
Preparing for the IEP meeting
The IEP process can be one of the parent's most emotional and stressful experiences; it's important to prepare for the meeting so that you feel at ease with the terminology, laws and requirements.
Your input is integral. You should go into an IEP meeting knowing the process and laws associated with the IEP development and what your child is entitled to under IDEA 2004. Most importantly, the school must appropriately address your child's educational needs without regard to the availability or cost of needed services.
- Request an agenda for the meeting.
- Take an advocate or friend for support if you feel it would be helpful.
- Make a list of questions you'd like to ask.
- After the test results are explained to you, ask for any clarifications.
- Take notes; this will help you sort through your questions.
- Describe your child's skill level as you perceive it.
- State how often and in what ways you want communication structured with the teacher.
- Discuss all options, including inclusion and special day classes.
Most important, don't be afraid to disagree with the professionals. You know your child better than anyone, and your faith in your child's abilities may be a more powerful force than any assessment results.
Once the IEP has been created and your child's program is underway, keep in contact with the teacher in accordance with your agreement.
If it seems like your child isn't making expected progress toward the annual goals of the IEP, the IEP team must meet and revise the plan. A new evaluation should be conducted every three years to determine whether your child continues to have a disability and to examine his educational needs and levels of performance.
Reviewed February 2010