Every official IEP meeting must include a full IEP team. IDEA (the Individuals with Education Act) describes who must be present.
IDEA (at §300.321) describes the IEP team as including the following members:
- the parents of the child;
- not less than one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
- not less than one special education teacher of the child, or where appropriate, not less then one special education provider of the child;
- a representative of the public agency who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities; is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the public agency;
- an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results;
- other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate (invited at the discretion of the parent or the agency); and
- the child with a disability (when appropriate).
Remember, you are allowed to bring in extra support. This can be someone who works with your child like a tutor, outside therapist or doctors. It can also be someone there for your own moral support – as long as they know the child and have your blessing to be there, you can invite them. This includes family members, advocates, and attorneys.
One mom said it best – “I never go to an IEP meeting alone, no matter what.”
Of course, you are allowed to call more than one IEP meeting a year. In fact, parents who do this tend to feel better about their child’s education. You don’t have to have a formal IEP meeting (where the document itself is changed). An informal meeting with just a few of the IEP team members can be very helpful.
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