Making the IEP Process
More Parent-Friendly

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 84, 565
ISSN: 1538-320
April 26, 2011

The law is very clear that parents have the right to participate in the meeting where their child’s IEP is developed.

…provisions are important to encourage parent participation in the IEP process, which is an important safeguard for ensuring FAPE under the Act.

Parents are free to provide input into their child’s IEP through a written report if they so choose. (Commentary to the Federal Regulations page 46678)

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you will learn:

  • about your active parent role as a member of your child’s IEP team
  • some simple but effective tools for asking questions and making suggestions at team meetings
  • how to be an equal participant in IEP meetings

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

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No One Likes Surprises at IEP Meetings! Use a Parent Agenda

One effective way to provide the school with a list of your concerns and questions before the meeting is with a Parent Agenda.

Send several copies of your Parent Agenda to the school for members of your child's IEP team. Bring extra copies to the meeting.

Note: This Sample Parent Agenda was provided by A.J.'s parents. We thought it was such a good example that we included it in Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy (see page 267).

For a Pre-Meeting Worksheet see "Getting Started" - Chapter 1 on page 4 in Wrightslaw: All About IEPs.


Use This Easy Form to Document Requests & Team Decisions

If parents can use this simple system to make the IEP process work for their child, the IEP process may become a little more "parent-friendly."

Here's a simple tool you can use to document your requests, decisions made to accept or reject your requests, and the reasons provided for these decisions.

How to Use a Parent "IEP Attachment" by Judy Bonnell


What To Do When School Officials Won't Respond

Have you attended an IEP meeting and found you were having difficulty getting answers to your questions? Did it seem like the other IEP team members weren't listening to your concerns and requests?

Parent attorney Sonja Kerr describes how parents can effectively create your own written record of what happened, or didn't happen, during the meeting.

Don't argue! Just take notes. Find out How to Handle Disagreements at IEP Meetings.


Add Power to Your Punch with a Written Opinion

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.

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.

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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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