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Monday

IEP-You Own This!!

IEP (individualized Educational Plan) Sounds important and very formal, but the truth is, this meeting can be the best thing that happens for your child, or it can be the most frustrating event of the year. 

What I have found over the years is that there are some ways to ensure you get more out of your IEP.

1. Forwarn:  If you have an idea of what you want, forward an agenda to the appropriate staff member at the school.. Leave room for the school to add their expertise.  Make sure you talk to all of the persons working with your child outside of school and ask them what they would like to have discussed, or what input they have.
2. Invite: Invite every darn person on your child's team.  Every one of them should be able to contribute. 
3. Details: Do not just focus on the trouble areas and the 'solutions' (little man has trouble wriitng by hand and will use a computer when required to write), make sure to also ask what that will look like.  Who will set up the computer? How will your child know when to and no to use it? How will his/her assignment go to the teacher? Who will get the assignment onto the computer?
4. Be available: Let them know you availablility.  Can you help create the flowchart for 'how to go to the assembly?" What can you offer in a way of help for your child's needs and his/her classroom needs?
5. Accountability: How will progress be measured? Before, during and after? What are the desired time frames and outcomes? Who will follow up and when? When will this be revisited?
6. Self Advocacy: What does your child feel would help him/her? Do they dislike being singled out? Do they need help organzing their books, papers, locker, desk?  How do they want that help to look like?
7. Talents and strenghts: What is being done to foster those talents and strengths? This is a vastly overlooked area with special needs children and it is important to include it.  Is your child a science fanatic? Can someone start a club? mentor?

I have had good and bad IEP meetings, but I follow up.  I collect email addresses of his WHOLE team, and I make sure to make contact regularly.  I have found that it is way more productive to just foucs on what CAN be done, rather than to be upset with teh (school, principal, teacher, EA, BI, government etc) over what was NOT done.

2 comments:

  1. Good post Angela! :) Especially for parents who have never done this before...if I knew then what I know now...*sigh*

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  2. I know!! We (us old parents haha) should write a "Autism and Public School; A guide for parents" Book...
    An E book, and list it with all the great source sites... because dealing with the school was worse at times than dealing with the tantrums :) and I don't think it needed to be.

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