Can our advocate observe my son in the classroom? The school denied my request and said, “only the parent can observe.” Members of the IEP Team The parents and school decide who they want to be on the IEP team, aside from the required members. IDEA allows you to invite individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about your child to be part of the IEP team meeting. You decide who meets these criteria. You may invite related services providers, independent educational professionals, including consultants, advocates, and tutors to be part of the team. You may invite a friend or …Read more
The school listed this goal/objective in my son’s IEP. “Objective: The parent will direct all communication to the Principal. Parent is not allowed to call or talk to the special education teacher, other teachers, or teacher’s aide.” Can this be listed as a “goal” in the IEP? That isn’t an IEP “objective!” Goals and objectives are for what the student will achieve, not what the parent will or will not do! Instructional goals state: what your child needs to learn what action you want to see your child take how you will measure your child’s progress toward the goal what …Read more
The school said, “I am not sure if you are aware, outside professionals are not considered a part of the IEP team. Your doctor really cannot participate. Parents use professionals to bounce ideas off of, however, the school will set up services based on the IEP we write.” Check the federal statute and federal regulation. Then check your state regulations. Federal regulations track the federal statute. State regulations generally track the federal regulations. You should check all three. Federal Statute IDEA 2004 Turn to your Special Education law book. On page 101, the middle of the page, look at (B), …Read more
It’s now second semester of my son’s junior year and no attention has ever been paid to a Transition plan. The school has no vocational training, internships, or apprentice programs for any student. My son needs hands-on experience in his current school program. Shouldn’t the school provide these services? Transition planning is an IEP team responsibility. As a parent, you should attend IEP meetings as an active team member. As a parent, you play an important role in transition planning. As a member of the team, you can help the other members identify measurable goals that your child wants to …Read more
When parents build an effective team with the school, what does it look like? What happens at IEP meetings when staff and parents come together to develop an effective plan for a child with disabilities? It is basically the same set of people. What is different about an effective team? 1. Parents will get more information before the meeting. Staff will both share their observations of your child and seek input from parents. The school will test your child as needed without having to hold meetings and negotiations. The school will give parents test results and explain the facts. Parents …Read more
Do you get tongue tied at IEP meetings, not knowing what to say at times? Here are some answers to questions and comments that have worked for me that I would like to share with you. 1. “We don’t have to write that down. We automatically do that for our students”. What do you say to this comment when you want something written in the IEP and the school throws this at you?
My son is 11, his academic skills are at the 4-yr old level. He gets one hour a week of APE, but we do not have the APE teacher on his IEP team. A general classroom teacher is part of the team, but my son does not receive inclusion services. Is it advisable to replace the general classroom teacher with the APE teacher who actually has contact with him during the school week? Does such a decision fall under federal or state mandates for special education? You may not want to replace the general education teacher on your child’s IEP team, but …Read more
As a pediatrician, I get all kinds of questions from my patients. Can you help me answer these two special education questions? 1. A teacher in a school system wants to sit in on the IEP meetings as the student (family’s) advocate (not as a county employee). Can the school system refuse, saying it is a conflict of interest? There is a legal answer and a practical answer…
The bottom line is no. If you do not agree, a required member of the IEP team may not be excused. If the school asks you to consent to excuse a member and you don’t agree, write a short polite letter to explain that you don’t consent because the individual has valuable information and insights to share with the team. Do you know the required members of the IEP team? Submit your answer below – then read more about the excusal rule. The Excusal Rule The law includes two circumstances that allow a required team member to be excused from …Read more
In November, I offered to research an issue and write a legal memorandum about whether an attorney for the school can legally attend an IEP team meeting. Thank you to all who posted comments on my article Can School Attorneys Legally Attend IEP Meetings? I am finally out of finals and through the holidays and I wanted to respond to your comments. Sorry for the delay. “These attorneys actively misrepresent laws and safeguards.” David, have you ever tried to tape an IEP Meeting?