By Kristin Stanberry
Your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) has been set in motion. How well is it working? Is the school delivering what it promised? Try these tips to monitor the situation throughout the year.
The parent-teacher conference is a good time to take the pulse of your child’s progress. But you can also check in regularly to make sure your child’s IEP is being followed. Share any concerns based on what you’re seeing at home. If your child spends most of his time in the general education classroom, his teacher will know if he’s being pulled out of class to work with special educators as promised in his IEP.
If you think the school isn’t delivering all of the services and supports in your child’s IEP, don’t sit and stew. Be proactive and contact the IEP team leader. Give that person a chance to clear up misunderstandings and correct any problems. The leader may appreciate your alert. If corrective action is required, make sure it happens. Be friendly but firm.
If you take the steps above but aren’t satisfied with the results, you can request a special IEP meeting. You don’t have to wait until next year’s IEP meeting to iron out any problems. Getting the entire team together may be the only way to put your child’s IEP back on track as soon as possible.
The IEP should state what special education services your child will receive and for how many hours per week. You can ask the IEP team leader for the names of the special educators assigned to help your child. Find out what services they’ll provide and on which days. That way you can casually ask your child, “Did you spend time with Mrs. Smith today?” Your child may tell you a little—or a lot!
Your child’s IEP includes measurable annual goals. It should also explain how his progress toward goals will be measured and when this will be reported to you. Many schools send IEP progress reports to parents when report cards are issued. Find out when you can expect progress reports and mark the dates on your calendar. Carve out time to compare the IEP with how well your child is progressing.
Keep an eye on your child’s homework and classroom test scores. Is the teacher adjusting assignments as noted in the IEP? If so, is your child making progress? Ask your child if he’s getting his accommodations, whether it’s extra time on tests or assistive technology. Talk to your child in a way that suits his age and personality. Listen carefully to what he says—or doesn’t say—about school and learning. Jot down your concerns.
Being a member of the IEP team requires confidence, collaboration and a commitment to your child. Here are five important ways to advocate for your child during an IEP meeting.
Emotions can run high at IEP meetings. But it’s important to focus on the end goal: helping your child. Here are 10 stay-calm phrases you can use to redirect conversation and defuse tense situations.
Kristin Stanberry is a writer and editor specializing in parenting, education and consumer health/wellness.
Virginia Gryta, M.S.
Jun 04, 2014
Jun 04, 2014
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Hi Happymama! We would encourage you to speak with your child's teachers about the concerns you may have. Check out our Working with your child's teacher section which has great articles, tools and tips on starting those conversations: www.understood.org/.../working-with-childs-teacher
We hope this helps.
Both my daughter and son have done that exact thing. I font know how much contact you have with your 2nd graders teachers, but Since my 2 were in preschool I have always been in contact with their regular and special education teachers & etc..by daily email, and phone Atleast 1x a week so that both sides could know when behavioral or educational issues originate and when they dissipate to keep track of when they start so could see if there could possiblybe a precise reason, or if it may be something u seen/unknown by all. There were Atleast 8 times (between my 8th grader and 5th grader that is) that one or both of them hit a wall. We ended up getting together again during those times and tweaking the IEP. Now if the child is on medication like for ADHD, Bi-Polar, etcetera, etcetera... You may want to speak with the child's psychiatrist &/or pediatrician in the case the meds may not be working the way they use to; that has had to be done with my 2 and it has helped fix the sudden halto
What would your suggestion if the teachers are doing everything that is in place on the IEP but my child still isn't progressing or learning whatvis being taught? My child is in second grade!
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