How to Disagree with the IEP Team Without Starting World War III
If you are like many parents, you don't know what to do when your child's team presents you with an IEP that is not appropriate for youir child.
Don't be surprised if someone gets upset and claims 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.
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 tries to yank the document away, continue to write, even if the IEP tears.
When to Record Meetings - and Why
It's a good idea to record all important school meetings. If you expect a dispute or disagreement, you should definitely record the meeting. 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.
Thank You Letter
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.
Under these circumstances, the district will want to avoid a due process hearing.
In From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, you learned about the Rules of Adverse Assumptions. You should assume that:
* A hearing
will be necessary to resolve a problem,
This happened in
more than one of my cases. In one instance, 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.