IEP Meeting: IS MY 17 YEAR OLD REQUIRED TO ATTEND IEP MEETING?

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Tammy: I was told that it is the law that my 17 yr old has to go to his IEP meeting, but he does not want to miss his classes. Can they make him go to the meeting?

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Admin
02/29/2016 4:57 pm

Jill – Thanks for the great info on transition and for posting the citation for the requirement.

Tammy – Take a look at the Self-Advocacy page, lot of information here for older teens getting ready to transition. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/self.advocacy.htm

Jill G
02/27/2016 5:48 pm

Tammy –

IDEA requires schools to INVITE students to IEP meetings whenever transition planning will be discussed. This should be just about every IEP meeting once he turns 16 (or earlier, if your state requires transition planning earlier).

This requirement exists because of the importance of transition planning, and the idea that it should be focused on the student’s vision for his/her future. Students are not just encouraged to attend, but to actively participate in the meeting and self advocate for their interests. It’s not uncommon for students to even lead such meetings.

So it’s a good idea for your son to go. Perhaps the school can schedule it during gym, study hall, or some other non-academic time? If he can’t attend, IDEA requires that the school otherwise get the student’s input for IEP development.

You can see the IDEA requirements at § 300.321. Your state may have additional rules or requirements. Your local parent center can help you find and understand these (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/).