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ADVOCACY TIP: HOW TO USE A "PARENT IEP ATTACHMENT"

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Judy writes:

I continue to be a big fan of your site. As a volunteer advocate, your site is the first one I refer parents to. I was delighted to see permission granted to reprint your articles so I may pass them on to parents who do not have access to the internet.

I'd like to tell you about a recent development. I have had great difficulty getting districts to take parent attachments seriously. Recently, I was told that the district could not attach such a document to the IEP.

I turned to Prior Notice in the Procedural Safeguards section of the statute. Prior Notice specifies that suggestions put on the table must be accepted or rejected, and the IEP team must list the reasons for accepting or rejecting the proposal. I saw this done one time by a district in another community and it was very successful.

I devised a very simple form with four columns: a column for Proposal, a column for Accepted, a column for Rejected, and a column for "Reason Accepted or Rejected."

If a request is "Accepted," a notation may be added stating who is in charge of initiating the proposal and a starting date.

The parent sees to it that the IEP team formulates the reason for accepting or rejecting each proposal.

After doing this in a couple of meetings, the district actually suggested using my form to keep track of proposals and their disposition. I was so proud of them! They are in compliance. And parents have definitive yes or no answers, and reasons are given for these decisions.

Using this form (even an unofficial form designed by a parent) has eliminated worries about inactivity and worries that someone will drop the ball, sidestep a request, or forget. The IEP team members know what issues have been resolved and what issues have not been decided. Issues that must be tabled for further investigation have a name attached and a date for an answer.

I don't think parents realize what a powerful tool this can be for them. If parents can use this system to make the IEP process work for their child, the IEP process may become a little more "parent friendly." Again, thanks for being such a powerful resource for parents and professionals alike.

Here is a sample of Judy's Prior Written Notice Form -- a great example of KISS*!
 
 

Items Discussed

        IEP for _____________________________________________ Date_____________________

               Item Discussed                        Accepted /Rejected       Reason Accepted/ Rejected              Date To Be Initiated  Responsible Person

 
         
 
         
 
         
 
         
 
         
 
         

* KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid!

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