Miss Emma’s IEP Map for Success

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Sometimes the best way to approach an IEP team is through the heart.

One of our readers, Nan, offered some interesting ideas about how to approach the IEP team to help them better understand your child.

Appeal to IEP team members’ better instincts by presenting persuasive evidence. Can you invite the IEP team to your home to see your child read? Videotape him? Get credentialed professionals to evaluate and report? Think outside the box.

Nana Donna Creates Emma’s IEP Map

In 2008,  Nana Donna was thinking “outside the box” when she created Miss Emma’s IEP Map to Success to personally introduce her granddaughter, Emma, to the IEP Team. She asked that Emma’s Map be included as part of her educational record.

Another Unique Approach…

Some parents have used video to introduce their children – and the child’s “unique needs” to the IEP team.  You  may have seen this video on our FB page.

Tiffany Moody made a video to introduce her son to the IEP Team.  It was a great success. Tiffany shared how she created it and the impact the video had on her son’s IEP meeting.

See her tips for making a video in Introducing…  He’s a Child, Not a Label at https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.video.moody.htm

  1. Ok so took your suggestions and the school district did send out packets to the schools I asked to see. I emailed them and told them which school I felt would be the most appropriate fit for her. It is now six days later, several phone calls and emails have not been responded to. This morning I sent an email stating that I would be contacting an attorney if I did not hear back by the end of the day. Well I got a call stating a placement meeting would be next week. Exactly a week before the summer programs begin. I just have huge anxiety that they are not going to approve the best school for her. Should I bring an attorney to this meeting since they have been dragging their feet so much through this process.

  2. Suzanne: You need to write a letter that describes your daughter, her history, her educational needs and goals for the future. You need to include information about the two placements offered, what you observed, and why they are not appropriate for your daughter. I strongly advise you to get at least one expert in your daughter’s corner – an evaluator, psychologist, who can explain what type of program and placement your daughter needs and what is likely to happen if the team does not find an appropriate placement for her.

  3. Suzanne, What recommendations did the doctors evaluating her make? If there are not appropriate recommendations, perhaps you need a new evaluation. That should be one important factor in determining placement. Also, if neither of the two placements meet your daughter’s needs, then they are not appropriate. What other options are there? If your daughter’s needs are not defined fully and specifically, the team does not have enough information.recommendation.
    You might need to get more information on defining needs. Check the Wright’s full website, and the FETA website. Consider getting their books as well. The information can make the difference in being able to help the team recognize how to meet your daughter’s needs. She needs access to the general education curriculum, including honors courses.

  4. I have a question I hope someone can help me with. My daughter has just had her first iep at age 18. She suffers from anxiety and bi-polar. The school determined that she needed an outside placement. They gave me two options, both seem totally unacceptable. What rights do I have as far as choosing a school. One school is full of juvenile offenders and the other just seems like a dumping ground for kids with issues. My daughter is very bright scored above average on all her academic testing but emotionally cannot function in her current school setting.

  5. Tiffany, Contact your PTIC. Every state has at least one. Consider getting outside evaluations with educational recommendations. Document, document, document. Develop a plan for the next meeting where you can ask for what he needs, and document the answers. Learn about prior written notice; if you ask for something and the school refuses, they must provide you with the reasons in writing. Learn about positive behavioral interventions and get them into a behavior plan. I know it’s a lot, but these are the ways you will become an equal team member. You can influence the team decisions, but you have to have knowledge to do it.

  6. Tiffany….check your student/parent rights….they should be given to you before every IEP meeting….here in NY if the school district cannot provide a suitable classroom, parents have the option of puting the child in private school and the state pick up the tab. If you don’t have a copy of your student/parent rights then cotact your school district and request one or call the Department of Education. Good luck!

  7. Please I am very lost…we moved to MA almost 2 schools yrs ago. They placed him in a self contained class room in when it was not needed. They didn’t even give him a chance in Regular general ed. class. And now my child is displaying behaviors that the other children in his class are doing. It is now keeping him back. I went as high as the superintendent and he too has expressed that he will not help. I am stuck, I have no clue where to go from here….any suggestions. Please!!

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