Happy Halloween! If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) then now is a good time to dust off the cobwebs and make sure your child’s needs are being met on their current IEP. After your child’s last IEP meeting, perhaps at the end of last year, you placed the IEP in a folder and pretty much forgot about it. Actually, your child’s teacher may have done that too. So, after your copy of the IEP is dusted off and reviewed, make sure your child’s teacher’s copy of the IEP is dust free and being followed. After all, it does not matter how great the IEP goals are if the teacher does not follow them.
Here are three important ways to review and strengthen your child’s IEP.
- At minimum, read your child’s IEP goals and IEP objectives/benchmarks. Do they make sense to you? Are they appropriate and obtainable? If not, schedule a meeting with your child’s teacher(s) to review the IEP goals and let them explain them to you. Revise the IEP goals if you need to so your child can be successful from the start.
- Start planning for your child’s IEP annual review now. Consider what your child’s most important educational need is. How would you answer if I sat down with you and asked, “What is the most important skill or content you want your child to learn in the next year?” That’s the primary question your child’s IEP team should be asking you during the IEP meeting! Prepare your answer now.
- Share the IEP goals and IEP accommodations with your child, if appropriate. Explain the IEP to your child so he or she understands what the teachers should be teaching them and what accomodations they are entitled to. Your child begin should gaining skills at becoming his or her own advocate. Help your child understand the IEP goals so that he or she can explain them in a few sentences.