A Closer Look at IEPs:
What You NEED to Know!

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April 15, 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 432
Subscribers: 60,165

In This Issue:

What You NEED to Know About IEPs

Child Isn't Learning - What Can I Ask the School to Do?

IEPs for Children with Behavior Problems

IEP Members & Team Attendance

Tips: What to Do at an IEP Meeting

Introduce Your Child to the IEP Team

Wrightslaw WebEx Training Programs

Legal Requirements of IEPs

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starMore Helpful Resources

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
IDEA 2004: Roadmap to the IEP
The Advocate's Bookstore
IEP and Inclusion Tips for Parents & Teachers 
8 Steps to Better IEP Meetings

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Pete and Pam Wright
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P. O. Box 1008
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Copyright 2008, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

Spring is here and the end of the school year is fast approaching. Yes, it's IEP season.

Do you understand your role is at IEP meetings? Do you know how to request that an IEP be revised? Do you know that the IEP must include measurable goals? Do you know that the school must provide you with progress reports on a regular basis?

Do you know the required members of your child's IEP team? Do you know who
may be excused from IEP meetings, when, how? Are there circumstances when a child's IEP may be changed without convening an IEP meeting?

Does the IEP team have to address a child's behavioral needs in the IEP? Don't miss the special tip at the end of the newsletter.

It's time to take a closer look at the legal requirements of IEPs. If you have questions about IEPs, please look at our new multi-media training program, Legal Requirements of IEPs. The program shows you exactly what the law requires.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you'll find answers to your questions about IEPs,and how to use tactics and strategies to get quality services in your child's IEP. You'll even find a unique way to introduce your child to the IEP Team.

Don't hesitate to forward this issue to other families, friends, and colleagues.

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Child Isn't Learning - What Can I Ask the School to Do?

"My child is 8 years old and in 2nd grade. Last year, the school evaluated him and found that he has a learning disability. They placed him in a resource class."

"After a year in the resource class, he is not learning to read. He is failing math, and barely passing his other subjects. The teacher wants to retain him. He thinks he's stupid and feels hopeless - he's only 8 years old.

"What can I ask the school to do?"

If you were in this parent's shoes, what would you do?

In Child Isn't Learning, What Can I Ask the School to Do? research editor Sue Whitney Heath provides a step-by-step guide that parents who disagree with the school's IEP can use. You'll learn how to use the child's present levels of academic achievement, the facts about retention, how to prepare for an IEP meeting, and much more.

Read more articles by Sue Whitney Heath in Doing Your Homework.

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IEPs for Children with Behavior Problems

In What You Need to Know About IEPs for Children with Behavior Problems, advocate Pat Howey answers questions from parents whose children have behavior problems.

IDEA 2004 and the federal special education regulations include specific requirements for IEPs of children whose behavior impedes their learning or the learning of other children. These requirements include training teachers to use positive behavioral interventions and strategies.

In What You Need to Know About IEPs for Children with Behavior Problems, Pat describes these requirements and offers strategies parents can use to request help. Read more articles by Pat in Ask the Advocate.

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IEP Members and IEP Team Attendance

"I understand that parents are no longer required participants on their child's IEP team."

"Are teachers excluded from IEP meetings?"

Does it make sense that a child's IEP team would not include the child's parents and teachers?

If you answer, NO, you're right! Amazingly, we get questions like this every week.
According to IDEA 2004, Section 1414(d)(1)(B), the IEP team must include parents and teachers.

Read What You Need to Know About IEP Team Members & IEP Team Attendance to learn about IEP team members and IEP team attendance, when team members may be excused from a meeting, and what parents and the school district must do before a team member may be excused.

Learn more about IEPs.

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IEP Tips: What to Do at an IEP Meeting

Do you feel overwhelmed or intimidated at IEP meetings? Are your confused about your parental role?

In IEP and Inclusion Tips for Parents & Teachers, Anne Treimanis and Kathleen Whitbread teach you how to prepare for IEP meetings and strategies you can use to be a more effective
participant in the IEP process.

  • Send your agenda to the district a few days ahead of time.
  • Write to the school and request that all reports, evaluations, and proposed goals and objectives to be given to you at least 5 days ahead of the meeting.
  • If the school did not provide records, evaluations, or proposed IEP goals ahead of time and you feel your ability to participate in the meeting has been compromised, consider rescheduling the meeting (with the utmost of tact and class).
  • Be an active listener.
  • Bring your child to the IEP meeting.

    See what's available in the Wrightslaw Store.

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Introduce Your Child to the IEP Team

IEP and Inclusion Tips for Parents & Teachers recommends the following:

  • Discuss IEPs with your child
  • Ask your child what he wants in his IEP
  • Bring your child (and his siblings, for support) to the IEP meeting

A Unique Approach

Some parents have used video to introduce their children
- and the child's "unique needs" to the IEP team.

Here are a few examples:

Danny’s Video to the IEP Team l IEP Video

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