July 6, 2016
HumpDay Hop Back….IEP Advocacy
Yesterday I found myself digging on the computer, looking at old files. I came across a powerpoint I had made for Magdalyn’s IEP team in 2009 as she was finishing up Kindergarten. It was the first year she ever had access to general education peers since starting special education services. It made a huge difference in her ability to be flexibile and relate more to other students.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to other parents is that YOU are EQUAL MEMBERS of the IEP TEAM. No one knows your child better than you. Often it can be helpful to write down your thoughts about child’s needs, progress, and concerns. Brag. Revisit. Be Proud. Share your ideas.
The U.S. Department of Education says the following about parents as IEP team members:
Parents are key members of the IEP team. They know their child very well and can talk about their child’s strengths and needs as well as their ideas for enhancing their child’s education. They can offer insight into how their child learns, what his or her interests are, and other aspects of the child that only a parent can know. They can listen to what the other team members think their child needs to work on at school and share their suggestions. They can also report on whether the skills the child is learning at school are being used at home.
You don’t have to be a public speaker to create some materials for your child’s IEP team meeting. Write down everything you would like to be known and be recorded in the document about your child. It can be copied and pasted into the IEP document and become part of the permanent written record in the legal document. Bring along a photo of your child and place it on the table so that everyone remembers who the meeting is about: your child.
Below is the powerpoint I created for Magdalyn’s IEP meeting as she was leaving Kindergarten and entering First Grade. Included are pictures from babyhood to the current day along with examples of some her academic skills and products of her learning experience. The final slides include parental input for her needs and also possible IEP goals emphasis.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.