6 Parenting Tips To Help You Assertively Participate In Your Child’s IEP

Are you the parent of a child with a disability in special education,
who would like parenting tips on how to be an equal participant
in your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) development? Are
you afraid to give your opinion, because you are not a professional?
Then this article is for you; learn 6 easy to use tips that will help
you assertively participate in the process, for the good of your
child.Tip 1: Ask a lot of questions. The process can be overwhelming;
The IEP meeting usually has 5-10 disability educators plus the
parents. Ask questions whenever you need to, so that you can
understand what is being said, by school personnel.Tip 2: Ask the disability educator to slow down, and explain
something that you do not understand. Sometimes school personnel
speak very fast, and do not stop to explain what they are
talking about. This is especially true, when they are giving parents
results of a psychological evaluation. You should ask them to show
you the results of the tests and explain what the scores mean.Tip 3: Bring a written list of items that you would like to discuss at
the meeting; it can be hand written or typed. Check off each item
as it is discussed. Leave space at the bottom of the list to handwrite
any new issues that come up at the meeting.Tip 4: Consider bringing a parent input statement to your child’s IEP
meeting. A parent input statement is a one page document that states
what you believe your child’s needs are, and what special education
services your child needs. It should be typed, if possible, and ask
that it be attached to your child’s IEP.Tip 5: Use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to
support your position. Peter and Pam Wright have written several
books including Special Education Law; second addition. This book is
easy to read, and use as a reference at any school meetings.The book
can be purchased at http://www.wrightslaw.com.Tip 6: Read the IEP document before you leave the meeting. What was
said at the meeting is not important, what is important is what is
written in the document. Make sure that any important discussions
about your child are included in the meeting notes, and that all
educational services promised are listed.With these 6 tips, you are well on your way to learning to assertively
participate in your child’s IEP meeting. You know your child better
than school personnel, so you have a lot of valuable
information to share with the team. Good luck in your advocacy