So you are getting ready for your first or fifth IEP meeting on your child’s behalf. Being prepared for these meetings is key in being sure that nothing falls in the cracks. I am sharing some valuable tips for you to prepare for these meetings to empowered you to advocate for your child.
Regardless if it is time for your yearly IEP or you are getting ready for the first one, preparing for these meetings are so important for you and your child.
I am sharing how to prepare for your child’s IEP meeting.
Being prepared is important is in knowing what to expect in the meeting and making sure there are no surprises.
The timeline of how the process should work is below.
7 to 10 days prior to meeting
Approximately 7-10 days prior to the IEP meeting you should be sent an invitation to the date and time of the meeting.
If you have not been given adequate notification you have the right to request a date and time change.
Once the date and time are established, you should be given a copy of the Individualized Education Plan.
This should include, goals, a review of improvements made, what needs to be worked on and any changes that need to be made.
Review the invitation to the IEP and be sure you understand the purpose of the meeting and what is the intended results from the meeting.
Be sure you are aware of how many people and what their position is in regards to your child.
You may also write down any names of people you plan to bring with you to the meeting and let the school know prior to the meeting so they may be prepared.
After you have been given a copy of the IEP it is important that you read over the entire thing.
Even if you don’t understand the educational jargon that may be used.
Write down anything that you do not understand from reading a copy of the proposed IEP, so that this can be cleared up during the meeting.
Create your agenda by writing down any concerns, questions or issues that you feel need to be discussed at the IEP meeting.
Double check and be sure you have your IEP notebook set up that we talked about last week.
What to include your IEP notebook
- current/past IEP
- report cards
- work samples (writing, drawing, coloring)
- progress reports
- IEP goals
- FBA (Functional Behavior Assessments)
- BIP (Behavior Intervention Plans)
- medical records and reports
Having these items with you enables you to be prepared to answer any questions that might possibly arise during the meeting.
Creating a goal
One thing that always tripped me up in the beginning of this journey with IEP meetings was when they would ask what my goals for my child were.
I never really knew what to say because I never planned for that question.
After several meetings I began writing down goals for my child for that specific year prior to the annual IEP meeting.
These goals will change as your child grows and changes.
Put some time into thinking about realistic goals for your child and have those prepared for your meeting since it is a standard question.
It is so important to be prepared for your next IEP meeting in order for you to advocate in your child’s best interest and be comfortable with the entire process.
These tips should get you ready for your meeting. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Till next time