Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
The key to a successful IEP meeting is preparation, and the first step in preparing is research. Review your child’s exceptionality, as well as state and federal special education laws. Interview your child and his or her teachers about what is and isn’t working best.
Next, read your paperwork. Gather all evaluations, current and past IEPs, progress reports, and work samples. Include your child’s behavior plans and discipline actions, if any. Create a record of all communications about your child, including a log of phone calls and printouts of emails.
Ask for meeting paperwork (such as the IEP draft/evaluation draft) at least 48 hours before the meeting so you can review and prepare your thoughts. Also, if you plan on having anyone with you at the meeting, such as note-takers, people speaking on your child’s behalf, advocates, or lawyers, let the team know in advance.
Create a short list of questions and topics you want to cover during the meeting. You will have a chance to share these questions and topics during the “Parent Concerns” portion of the meeting. In the moment, it is very easy to forget what you had planned to say. Keep that from happening by writing out your thoughts before you head into the meeting.
When Preparing For an IEP Meeting, Consider the Following
· Bring supplies to take notes
· Bring a fresh folder for new paperwork
· Dress well – it encourages others in the meeting to treat you like the professional you are
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