What You Need to Know About IEPs:
Your Role as a Parent

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 79, 053
ISSN: 1538-320
April 6, 2010

As a parent you are an essential member of the IEP team. You are an active participant. Your role is similar to that of a project manager with a long term plan.

It's time to take a closer look at IEPs - the centerpiece of your child's special education program. This issue is the first in our series on what you NEED to know about IEPs.

What makes the IEP process so confusing? What makes writing IEPs so difficult? How can you get good goals in your child's IEP?

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you'll find answers to these questions and learn about the keys to successful IEPs - how to organize, plan, monitor progress, anticipate problems, and keep the IEP team focused on your child.

Please don't hesitate to forward this issue to other friends, families, or colleagues.

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Will an IEP Help My Child?

In Become Your Child's Case Manager - Don't Just 'Go with the Flow', Sue Whitney, Wrightslaw Research Editor, explains you have the primary responsibility for your child's health care and education. Do not ever feel that you must turn this decision making process over to someone else.

Read Sue's new article about staying on track and keeping the focus on your child.

Find more articles, law and regulations, and tips about how to get quality services in your child's IEP on this page about Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).


Parent as Project Manager

Parents need to think of their role as watchdogs. The IDEA ensures that parents of a child with a disability are equal participants along with school personnel, in developing, reviewing, and revising the IEP for their child.

The bottom line is that parents must learn how to write IEP goals and objectives and how to measure their child's progress objectively. Read SMART IEPs - A Tactics and Strategy Session by Pete and Pam Wright.


Develop Your Master Plan

Your child's special education is a long-term project. You need a master plan.

You are the constant factor in your child's life. You represent your child's interests. If your child does not receive an appropriate education and master the skills necessary to be an independent, self-sufficient member of the community, you will deal with the outcome.

To learn about your role and long-term planning, read Planning and Preparation are Keys to Success.


Keeping Your Child's IEP on Track

In November 2009, law students in the PELE Special Education Advocacy Clinic at the W&M Law School presented a parent workshop on IEPs.

In this excellent presentation you'll learn:

  • How to design a good IEP
  • How to track your child's progress
  • What to do when your child's IEP starts to get off track
  • How to make mid-year changes to your child's IEP
  • How to keep your relationship with the school on track.

Don't miss this training. View a slideshow of the workshop as a PDF or Powerpoint file. 


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Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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