By Kristin Stanberry
At the end of an IEP meeting, you may be asked to sign a draft of the IEP. If you disagree with any part of the IEP, you don’t have to sign right away. Try these tips to make your case.
A busy IEP team leader might skip over some sections of the draft IEP. It’s important to look at every section to ensure that the information is correct. Even your contact information (mailing address, email address and phone numbers) needs to be confirmed.
What to say: “Can we quickly review the sections you skipped? Since we only meet once a year, I want to make sure you have our most current information.”
It’s your right to take it home to review it. The same is true if the school mails you a copy of the proposed IEP soon after the meeting. Ask how many days you have to sign the IEP.
What to say: “I need time to review and discuss the IEP with my spouse. I owe it to my child to make sure I understand it and that it meets my child’s needs. What’s my deadline to sign it?”
You have the right to request an IEP team meeting at any time. If you have a good relationship with the IEP team, you can probably work things out.
What to say: “There are some points we still need to discuss. Since we don’t have time to do so today, I’d like us to meet again to resolve those issues before I sign the IEP. Can we schedule a meeting before we leave today?”
If you aren’t fully satisfied with the proposed IEP, explain which items you agree with and which items you dispute. Explain your disagreement in writing and ask for your objections to be included in the IEP. If you’re asked to sign in several places, ask what each is for.
What to say: “This IEP is off to a good start. Please implement everything except the parts I disagree with. I’d like the comments I wrote on the draft to become part of the IEP.”
Politely ask for proof. For example, if an IEP team member says school district policy won’t cover some services your child needs, don’t be afraid to question them.
What to say: “Those services are important for my child. I’d like to see the section of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that supports your policy. If you don’t have it here, please send it to me at home. I can’t sign the IEP until we resolve this.”
Federal law defines what an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is, but the details can be tricky. Myths and false assumptions about IEPs abound. Here are five common misconceptions—and the facts about each.
After an IEP meeting, you need to take care of some details. These can vary from one meeting to the next. Here are five important things to do after an IEP meeting.
Kristin Stanberry is a writer and editor specializing in parenting, education and consumer health/wellness.
Whitney Hollins is a special education teacher and adjunct instructor at Hunter College.
There was an error posting your reply.
Thanks for being a part of the Understood Community. Your comment will appear shortly, once it’s been reviewed.
*Please confirm you are not a robot.
Checklist: What to Consider When Developing Annual IEP Goals
Standards-Based IEPs: What You Need to Know
Getting an IEP for Your Very Young Child
When and Why Teachers Can Be Excused From IEP Meetings
The Process of Getting Your Child an IEP
Understanding Individualized Education Programs
The star of “Valerian” on dyspraxia, depression and kicking butt as an actress.
Use this fidget contract to set rules on when and how your child can use fidgets.
A new study of MRI scans shows how this happens in the brain.
Learn how to make it easier for kids who struggle with transitions and managing emotions.
Sign up for weekly emails with helpful resources for you and your family.
This email is already subscribed to Understood newsletters. If you haven't been receiving anything, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe-senders list.
Name must have no more than 50 characters. Email address must be valid. Email message must have no more than 140 characters and cannot include the < > / \ special characters. Please fill out all fields and complete the reCAPTCHA to send a message.
*Please confirm you are not a robot.
Don’t worry—we saved what you wrote.
Sign up to get personalized recommendations and connect with parents and experts in our community.
Only members can view and participate in conversations.
Child’s nickname is private and only you can see it.