Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press

 Home >  Advocacy Articles  > Tactics & Strategies: How to Disagree with the IEP Team - Without Starting WW III


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Programs

Oct 25 - Olympia, WA

Oct 30 - Phoenix, AZ

Nov. 1 - Grand Rapids, MI

Nov 6 - McAllen, TX

Nov 18 - DesMoines, IA

Nov 21 - Temecula, CA

Dec 4 - OKC, OK

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergy/Anaphylaxis
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
ISEA
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 

How to Disagree with the IEP Team
Without Starting World War III

Print this page

Many parents have questions about what to do when they are presented with an IEP that is not appropriate for their child.

You should advise the IEP team that you donít think the IEP is appropriate, that it does not provide your child with enough help or the right kind of help. You should use facts to support your position (i.e., facts from an evaluation of your child from a private sector evaluator, graphs of your child's test scores).

Be polite but firm.


Tip: Think how Miss Manners handles difficult situations and use this idea to guide you.


Your Consent to Implement Inappropriate IEP

When the team asks you to sign consent to the IEP, pick up a ball point pen and put the IEP on a hard table top. Write this statement on the IEP: "I consent to this IEP being implemented but I object to it for the reasons stated during the meeting."

Sign your name.

Do not be surprised if someone gets upset and claims that you are not allowed to write on the IEP because it is a legal document. This is not true - you can write on your child's IEP (although the person who objects may not know this).

You are a member of the team and a participant in the IEP process. The law requires you to make your objections clear. The IEP is the best document to use when you need to make your objections clear.

If someone tries to stop you, continue to write. If someone tries to pull the IEP out of your hands, press down hard with your ballpoint pen and continue to write. If someone yanks the document away from you, continue to write as the IEP tears.

Stay calm. Take your copy of the IEP (whatever is left), stand, say "Thank you. I guess this meeting is over." Extend your hand to shake theirs. Pick up your tape recorder and leave.

The IEP team has a problem. You have advised them in writing that their proposed program is not appropriate for your child. You also consented to their implementing the program so they should implement it.

When to Tape-record Meetings - and Why

If you expect a dispute or disagreement, you should tape record meetings. The recorder should be out in the open. For advice about how to tape-record meetings, read the chapter about "Surviving School Meetings" in From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition.

Your Thank You Letter

When you get home, write a nice thank you letter to the head or leader of the IEP team. (See chapters about Letter Writing in
From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition)Home

Re-state your position: You consented to the school implementing the IEP because something is better than nothing. You believe that an inadequate program is better than no program. However, you believe the proposed program is not appropriate for your child. Because something is better than nothing, you expect the district to implement the program -- even though Mr. Jones ripped the IEP document.

After you mail this letter, transcribe your tape of the IEP meeting.

Under these circumstances, the district will want to avoid a due process hearing.

Rules of Adverse Assumptions

In From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, you learn the Rules of Adverse Assumptions. You should assume that:

* A hearing will be necessary to resolve a problem,
* All s
chool staff will testify against you,
* School staff's recollections of the facts will be completely different from yours; and, most important,
* You cannot testify!

If you cannot testify, how can you tell your story? You tell your story with the tape, transcript of the meeting, your letter, and the ripped IEP. Good evidence.

This happened in more than one of my cases. In one case, the special ed supervisor yelled that the IEP was a "legal document," the parent was not allowed to write on it, then ripped the IEP when the parent tried to write her objections on the IEP document.

That case settled quickly.

These are good strategies to use if you disagree with an IEP team and are dealing with a bully.

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright © 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

What's New!

Now Shipping!

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Check it out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order


About the Book

To Order


Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order


To Order


Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
24.95
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)


Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)


Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95