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IEP FAQs: Can I write on the IEP?

07/25/08
by Wrightslaw

My daughter attended her first IEP meeting today, it was a disaster. Does she have the right to write on the IEP under parental concerns? She wanted to write a statement about her daughter being dyslexic and they wouldn’t let her?

There is no legal or commonsense reason why a parent or any other IEP team member cannot write on a child’s IEP.

Some uninformed educators go crazy when a parent does this, saying that “the IEP is a legal document.” People write on legal documents all the time – to amend, change terms, to provide additional information.

If this has happened to you, take advantage of it!

This provides a good opportunity to tell your child’s story in more depth and begin to build a paper trail. If the school continues to be oppositional, letters and notes from meetings, made at the time, are invaluable in resolving the problem.

Write a polite letter to the head of the IEP team describing in factual terms (no emotions, nothing about how you “feel”) that you attempted to inform the IEP team your child has dyslexia. Explain that when you attempted to add this information to your child’s IEP, [name of school personnel] refused to allow you to provide that information.

Explain that the school will not be able to teach your child to read, write, or spell unless they know she is dyslexic and she requires specialized instruction, delivered by a teacher who is trained to use an educational method that is proven to work with children who have dyslexia.

This is probably only the first of many letters you will need to write over the years. Before you begin, read the “Letter to the Stranger” for the big picture. This tells the story of a parent who wrote an angry letter and the impact it had. After the parent revised the letter to tell her child’s story, the new letter had a completely different impact.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/Letter_to_Stranger.html

This article has practical advice about how to do this:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/letters.draft.htm

Also read this success story by a mom who was in a similar situation, how she handled it, and finally got the services her children needed:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.susan.success.htm

and one more:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/advo.probs.protect.htm

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10 Comments on "IEP FAQs: Can I write on the IEP?"


Gina
03/07/2014

Can someone who doesn’t have a credential write an IEP and run a meeting.

ayante
10/08/2013

The IEP meeting is for developing an IEP, not just reading the IEP that was written. It is not a legal document until all members of the team agree on it. The Parent Concerns part is 100% fir the parent to write in/make comments for… meaning that was the perfect place for they parent to write.

Sharon L.
03/31/2012

Amanda You can always choose to get an outside professional evaluation in these areas at the school’s expense to get another professional opinion. THis can help make a decision. I have been working with schools for over 25 years as a parent advocating for my learning disabled children. I have found that if a school offers services it may be in your child’s best interest. I have found more often than not that the school’s try to avoid giving services to save money unless a parent insists on it, provides evidence, etc. You can always try the services and decide later as a team.