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Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a legal document that outlines a student's educational needs and how those needs will be met. It is developed by a team of professionals, including the student's parents, teachers, and other service providers.
The IEP includes the following information:
The student's current level of performance
The student's annual goals
The special education services and supports that the student will receive
How the student's progress will be monitored
How can parents add input to the IEP process?
Parents are essential members of the IEP team and their input is critical to the development of a successful IEP. Here are some tips for parents on how to add input to the IEP process:
Be prepared. Before the IEP meeting, gather information about your child's strengths and needs. This information can come from your own observations, as well as from school records, test results, and other assessments.
Be clear about your goals. What do you hope to achieve for your child through the IEP? Be specific about your goals and how you think they can be met.
Be assertive. Don't be afraid to speak up for your child's needs. If you don't agree with something in the IEP, say so.
Be respectful. Remember that the IEP team is working to create the best possible plan for your child. Be respectful of their expertise, but don't be afraid to advocate for your child's needs.
Here are some specific ways that parents can add input to the IEP process:
Share information about your child's strengths and challenges. This information can help the IEP team develop goals that are realistic and achievable.
Provide input on the services and supports that your child needs. The IEP team will need your input to determine what services and supports will be most effective for your child.
Attend all IEP meetings. This is your opportunity to provide input and to make sure that the IEP is meeting your child's needs.
Ask questions. If you don't understand something about the IEP, ask questions. The IEP team is there to help you understand the process and to make sure that your child's needs are met.
Be prepared to compromise. Sometimes, the IEP team may not be able to agree on everything. Be prepared to compromise in order to reach an agreement that is in your child's best interests.
The IEP process can be daunting, but it is important to remember that you are an essential member of the team. Your input is critical to the development of a successful IEP. By following the tips above, you can help ensure that your child's IEP meets their needs and helps them reach their full potential.