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IEP (Individual Education Plan) Day: How to Prepare

Alethea Mshar
Special needs mom and Blogger
10/16/17  2:10 PM PST

IEP (Individual Education Plan) Day: How to Prepare

Today is IEP Day for my son Benjamin. He has Down syndrome and autism, as well as hearing impairment and a host of other medical problems. Thus as you can imagine, his IEP is pretty comprehensive. In addition to hearing impairment consultations, he also has OT, PT and ST as part of his special education.

With all this going on, it’s important for me to be prepared. Here are some steps I take to make sure I’m as ready as I can be for each IEP meeting.

  • Prepare information in advance.

    • Always keep a hard copy of your child’s IEP. I review the previous IEP so that I’ll know what to expect. At this point, I’ve already been in touch with his teachers and therapists to see what’s next.

 

  • Look over everything one last time before the meeting.

    • Have your child’s last evaluations and IEP in front of you so you can refer to it as needed. Also have a pen and highlighter handy. Be ready to jot down notes and call out anything that seems really important. Do this during the meeting to ensure everything’s clear to you afterward, when your mind may be a bit scrambled.

 

  • Mentally prepare.

    • Do whatever it takes to organize your mind, deal with tension, and feel ready to sit down for a prolonged period of time. What works for me is a morning run. You might take deep breaths, meditate,  or load up on coffee (not a bad option, either).

IEP Day

 

  • Dress business casual.

    • I attend any meeting or doctor’s appointment this way. The habit started when I became a foster parent. You are part of the professional team and advocating for your child is a big responsibility.
    • Don’t get me wrong, no pencil skirts and suit jackets for me! I wear elastic waist bands, clothes that are loose fitting so I feel comfortable.

IEP Day

 

  • Plan to arrive early.

    • Leave plenty of time to get there, go to the bathroom and generally psych yourself out before the meeting.

 

Those are my IEP tips, what are yours?

 

More Helpful Articles on IEP and Special Education:

Webinar Video: Special Education -Tips on Advocating For Your Child

Special Education: How I Advocate for My Child

 

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kimberly
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:09 am PST

    Rely on your support system to get you through that meeting, whether prayer or words of affirmation.

    Also, don’t be afraid to bring an extra person along that knows the child outside of school to help advocate. There may be things you miss hearing, have them write down things that they hear in the meeting.

  2. Posted October 20, 2017 at 8:25 am PST

    I bring a big binder with me. Even though I may never open it, it looks intimidating. I also make sure my husband can attend the IEP. He is a lawyer and they know that. I tell him to leave most of the talking to me, because I’m the one who knows the things, but just having him there looking like an attorney is helpful I think.

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