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Three tips to better ensure a successful IEP meeting

Individual Education Program (IEP) meetings provide an opportunity to help set your child up for a successful school year. During this meeting, parents and educational professionals come together to discuss your child's needs.

There are many steps that can be taken to help better ensure this meeting is a success. Great Schools, a national nonprofit that focuses on providing parents with the information they need to make the most out of educational opportunities for their children, discussed various ways to set the meeting up for success.

Four tips from this piece that are most applicable to IEP meetings include:

  • Individual assessments. If possible, it can be helpful to have individual assessments of your child conducted outside of the school's assessments. These assessments can provide additional information and help the team working with your child to structure a plan that better suits your child's needs.
  • Be a part of the plan. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that schools must allow parents not only to be a part of this meeting, but also to be considered equal partners in the development of the IEP plan. If possible, request a copy of the proposed IEP prior to the meeting. If this is not possible, accept the draft provided during the meeting and state that you will not agree to the proposed IEP plan until you and your experts fully review the proposal. Take a few days to review it. It generally does not need to be signed during the meeting.
  • Review the previous IEP. If this is not the first meeting, review the effectiveness of any previous IEP before moving on to the current year's proposal.

IEP meetings are intended to set your child up for success. These steps can help better ensure that success becomes a reality.

Unfortunately, not all schools meet their legal obligations to provide for special needs children. In these situations, it is wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney can aid in pursuing a good resolution for your child.

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