IEP Checklist: A Parent's Guide
Updated: May 25
Having a plan in place is a significant step in guaranteeing your child's special education needs are being met at school when you are seeking support for a child who struggles with a learning disability, behavior regulation, or mental health issues. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting is helpful in this situation. Parents, members of the IEP review team, and other significant stakeholders in your child's special education have the opportunity to discuss a variety of solutions pertaining to your child's needs and academic achievement during this mandated yearly meeting, including any necessary modifications, accommodations, or therapies. To get the most out of your meeting, preparation is essential.
Here is a simple checklist you can use:
Request a copy of the IDEA manual
Before you attend an IEP meeting, familiarize yourself with the procedure and what to expect from the meeting. If requested, school districts are required to provide you with a copy of the manual outlining the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This manual explains your rights.
2. Organize your questions
It is easy to forget your questions regarding your child's education when sitting in a meeting full of education staff. Outlining the questions you wish to ask before the meeting, helps streamline the information you need to recall.
3. Invite professionals or a support system
You don't have to go up against a group of administrators, teachers, school counselors, or IEP review participants by yourself. If you have a "support team," you might want to consider inviting them to the meeting. Any adult, such as your child's stepparent, grandmother, therapist, or educational advocate, who can offer more insight into your child's social interactions, behavioral, or academic difficulties can serve in this capacity.
4. Review all evaluations and documents from the school
Review and sign the paperwork and evaluations that the IEP review team has created. These papers often let the team know who will be attending the meeting and provide information about the topics that will be discussed, such as objectives for the upcoming school year and current status. Additionally, this is the time to provide any confidential assessments to meeting participants in advance for review. Finally, use this chance to express your thoughts and concerns.
5. Create a profile of your child
You are the expert on your child as a parent. Give your IEP team a profile in advance so they can learn more about your child outside of school. Strengths, learning difficulties, and any special accommodations your child might require can all be included in this profile.
IEP sessions can be educational, but being prepared beforehand will help you even more. Review your IEP checklist the next time you have an IEP meeting to make sure you are prepared and know what to bring and know so you can make the most of your meeting. Contact us for all of your child's special education needs.