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to Use a "Parent IEP Attachment"
Until recently, I 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 simple form with four columns: one column for Proposal, columns for Accepted or Rejected, and a column for "Reason Accepted or Rejected."
If a request is Accepted,a notation is added that states who is in charge of initiating the proposal and a starting date.
The parent sees to it that the IEP team states their reasons 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 definite yes or no answers, and reasons are provided for these decisions.
When the IEP team uses this form (even if it is an unofficial form designed by a parent), it eliminates worries about inactivity and concerns 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."
Here is a sample of Judy's Prior Written Notice Form -- a great example of KISS!
I continue to be a big fan of your site. As an 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.
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Advocacy Tips from Judy Bonnell
Special Needs and Special Gifts includes several excellent articles and tips for parent advocates, including:
The Parent Advocate includes an area where you can browse through tips. You can even add tips that you found helpful -- and information about what didn’t work. Judy is wise enough to know that we can learn from both!