for schools to began working on IEPs and reevaluations needed to be finished by the end of the school year. Are you ready for your child’s meeting?
Some quick dos and don’ts for an IEP meeting.
1) Do set goals both for this year, 3 years out, 5 years out, and by the end of high school. Review those goals annually. What these goals are will depend on your child, but use their potential and what your striving to accomplish, broken down into manageable and achievable steps. Also review this years and last years progress towards goals. This will help in building your goals for your child’s future.
2) Talk to the professionals treating your child. They are valuable sources of information and will help you build the documentation you need to support your “strategic plan” for your child.
3) The school does not know everything and are not medical doctors. They do not always understand what your child has and how it affects their WHOLE life. It is important part of the parents’ job to help the school officials understand your child and all the problems going on. Now is the time to mention the issues with homework at home, fighting, or other difficulties that negatively impact your home from school or at school from home.
4) If something does not feel right, trust your gut and get a second opinion. Remember you have 10 days to review your child’s IEP before it goes into effect. If your uncomfortable or unhappy with what is decided, seek professional help.
5) ASK, if you do not ask for a service or goal, it is fairly certain you will not get it.
6) You have rights, protect them. You are part of the IEP team and your input is very important. No one knows your child like you do. If you do not feel that you can successfully advocate for your child on your own, seek professional help.
7) Finally, if your child has an IEP, now is a good time to review whether or not your child and your family may be eligible for SSI benefits from Social Security. SSI has an income and asset test prior to a medical determination. Review your family’s finances to see if you may qualify.
Don’t just be an observer in your child’s IEP process. Do be an active participant and advocate for your child!