Paper Trails: How Good Is Your Documentation?

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 82,883
ISSN: 1538-320
November 23, 2010

The success of your child's education may depend on how well you document what happens during the IEP process.

"If it is not written down, it was never said. If it was never said, it did not happen." If you have spent much time on Wrightslaw, you've heard Pete say this many times.

IDEA 2004 specifically allows you to submit your concerns to the IEP Team. So document, document, document - document everything!

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you will find out "how-to" document events and conversations, develop documents that support your position, make documents available to the IEP Team, and create paper trails.

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

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Tell the IEP Meeting Story from Your Point of View

A Written Opinion is an effective document you can create to tell the IEP meeting story from your viewpoint as a parent. A Written Opinion ensures that the IEP team understands what you think happened at the IEP meeting.

New article! You don't have to be an expert on "the law" to write a written opinion. Advocate Pat Howey explains all the steps in Written Opinions: A How-To Manual.


Train Yourself to Write Things Down

Documentation that supports your position at the IEP meeting is a key to resolving disputes early. Your tools are simple:

  • Logs
  • Calendars
  • Journals

Using Low-Tech Tools to Create Paper Trails.


Do It Now! Write Things Down When They Happen

If you present proper documentation that supports your request for a service, the IEP team is more likely to acknowledge that your child needs the service.

You can’t wait until the last minute to prepare documentation.

Make sure you know Advocacy Rule #1: Write Things Down When They Happen!

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From The Wrightslaw Way Blog

The special education coordinator said my input could not be attached to the IEP because of school policy.Can they do this?

Of course not. Nothing in the statute or regulations prevents you from adding input to your child’s IEP. Find out what to do when... The School Won’t Let Me Add Input to My Child’s IEP.

So what IS the strategy for getting the school to include your attachment as part of the IEP? Adding Parent Input to the IEP - Here’s How!

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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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