Some basic things happen when I work with families who have had an IEP in place for years. No one knows where all their paperwork is, no one knows their child’s goals or accommodations from memory, no one understands present levels of achievement, and no one knows their rights. I get it! It is an overwhelming system that expects you to be an expert while still managing everything your child needs. Below are simple things to tackle and can make your 2021 IEP better for your child.
1. Organize! Find all your paperwork, get a binder, and put it all together by year. I also suggest using a tracking sheet of requests you made, the date and to whom you made them, and if they were honored.
2. Keep a quick guide of all your child’s IEP goals. ALL OF THEM. Past and present. Note if they have been met or not. Even if the goal was from years ago, you can revisit it if you believe it has not been met.
3. The goals are driven by your child’s present levels of achievement. This is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT section of the IEP. It drives the goals we mentioned above. Think of this section as the proof of what your child’s needs and strengths are. Sometimes, in some schools these areas are neglected or worse…exaggerated. For example, I have one client whose child’s present levels of performance said they could read at a level Z. This includes books like “Of Mice and Men” and “The Outsiders”. I tell you this child could barely read directions on a worksheet let alone a level Z. We asked for proof that these types of books could be read fluently with full comprehension and discussion of deeper symbolic meanings. You can imagine the answer. Fortunately, this was quickly changed to reflect how the child was truly reading which led to stronger reading goals.
4. You are given procedural safeguards. Read them. (If you don’t want to read them, hire me. I’ve read them and know them inside and out.) These safeguards are there to inform, to build trust, and to help you understand you are an equal member of the team. They help your child get what they need to succeed.
4 easy steps to get your new year (as a parent of a child who receives special education services) off to a strong start! I am always available for a quick chat, to offer insight, or to simply reassure you. Give me a call to review any or all of these simple tasks! 605-431-3318 email@example.com