You Are a Member of The IEP Team

Submitted by Tim on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 02:51 PM

As the parent, you are a member of the IEP Team.* You have incredible knowledge about the practical issues created by your child’s special needs. Remember that you have more experience about your child’s difficulties than any school employee. Feel free to talk about how problems you have at home might be similar to problems at school. Try to suggest ways that the school could implement solutions like those you use at home. If there is a difference between the types of problems at home and at school, it is worth the effort to figure out the reasons for the differences.  Those reasons help you and the school design concrete changes that will help your child learn more effectively.

You might be worried that a school employee will suggest or imply that you are doing something wrong at home that is causing your child’s problems. You should respond that vague suggestions are not helpful and ask for concrete actions to take. Then give other IEP team members a chance to make concrete suggestions. Although this can be unpleasant to hear, your child is worth the effort it will take to think about better ways to help your child learn. If the school employee cannot make precise suggestions, then politely suggest that the meeting re-focus on specifics for the IEP. Remember that your purpose at the IEP meeting is to create a plan with specific steps to help your child learn despite special needs.

  * 20 U.S.C. ∫ 1414(d)(1)(B)(i)  

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