IEP Meeting: WHO IS LEGALLY ALLOWED AT MEETING?

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Derrick: I am the stepparent of the child with autism. I was wondering who is allowed at the IEP meeting legally? Some members are hostile.

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Tonia

My school is saying I can’t attend my sons IEP meeting cause I am banned from school grounds!! Can they keep a parent from IEP meeting

Chuck

Parents are to be part of the IEP team, so the school should try to work with the parent. I suggest contacting the district special ed director, & requesting that an arrangement be made where you can be present. Options – meet away from the school (public library, another campus, or administration building) or participate by phone or skype. Make your request in writing for documentation.

Patti

What is the code for the parent inviting additional participants of the iep meeting?

Benny

The parents can invite whoever they want. There is no law to say who they can or cannot bring with them.

Patti – turn to Chapter 2 in your Wrightslaw: All About IEPs book – on page 9. This chapter advises “Do not go to the IEP meeting alone.” You’ll find a whole chapter about IEP Teams and Team Meetings. On page 12, check the section on “People with Special Knowledge and Expertise” about who a parent can invite to the IEP meeting. You’ll find the citations for both IDEA and the Federal Regulations. Or, for the citations in your Special Education Law book see pages 101 and 247. The information you need is in both of these references. Let us know when you have the answer.

https://www.wrightslaw.com/store/aaieps.html
https://www.wrightslaw.com/store/selaw2.store.html

Jill G

Derrick –

Both the parents and the school can invite to the Team meeting individuals who have “knowledge or special expertise” regarding the child. The inviting party determines that the person being invited has that knowledge/expertise.

So basically the school can invite whomever they want (unless it would violate your child’s privacy under IDEA or FERPA). With whomever they invite, they must notify you in advance.

There ARE some things you can do to change the tone of the meeting. If IEP facilitation is available in your are, that may be a good option. Teams are often better behaved when bad behavior will be witnessed by someone outside the Team. Your local parent center can help you figure out if this option is available (http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/).

If it’s not (or the school doesn’t agree), invite in another outsider. You can invite a friend, and tell the school they’ll be there for note taking and moral support (rather than to advocate – which may put the Team even more on guard). Or invite someone higher up in your district’s food chain, like the special ed director.

Your parent center can likely offer addition suggestions and support!

Dad2Luke

Sadly, the law reads something along the lines of people with knowledge of the child as invited by the parents, or District. My experience is that typically some members of the school staff are hostile hen I successfully advocate for my child. I assume that I was messing up their budget. I never found a way to excluded anyone so I stopped trying and tried to learn to not let it bother me.