An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed by a team of people. Each member plays an important role. Find out who is required by law to be on the IEP team, what role they play, and who else you can invite.
IEP team members required by law
You (the parent or guardian): By law, you have a say in your child’s education. You have valuable knowledge about your child’s strengths, struggles, and goals. You can describe what is and isn’t working.
At least one of your child’s general education teachers: This person knows how your child is doing in the classroom and with the general education curriculum.
At least one of your child’s special education teachers: This teacher offers input on what your child needs to thrive in the general education classroom. Suggestions may include how to modify instruction or offer accommodations for your child’s needs.
A school district representative: The IEP must include a representative who has the power to approve school resources for your child. This person must be qualified to provide or supervise special education services.
An expert who can interpret your child’s evaluation results: This could be a member of the team already, like the special education teacher. Or it could be another person, like a school psychologist.
Your child: Your child will be included on the team at age 16. Kids can self-advocate and help develop their transition plan. Some kids even lead IEP meetings.
A translator: The school must provide an interpreter if you need one. Let the school know in advance so it has time to make these arrangements.
Additional IEP team members you can invite
A parent advocate: You can bring a parent advocate to help you. Schools aren’t required to provide a parent advocate, but they might be able to help you locate one.
A friend: Some parents bring a friend to help take notes or to provide emotional support.
Do you want to learn more about the IEP process? Read an overview of what happens in an IEP meeting. If you need to, practice defusing phrases you can use at IEP meetings.
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The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.