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.
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.
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. Try these tips to make your case.
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
IEP Terms to Know
Standards-Based IEPs: What You Need to Know
Checklist: What to Consider When Developing Annual IEP Goals
Will the School Provide a Translator at an IEP Meeting If I Need One?
How to Create a Parent Report
IEP Transition Planning: Preparing for Young Adulthood
Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges.
Find technology to help your child.
Simulations and videos to let you experience your child’s world.
Dyslexia and dysgraphia are both learning issues. So what's the difference?
May 26th at 2:00 pm
How this one simple rule worked much better than any explanation in teaching personal space.
A safe place for you to connect with other parents like you.
Is there any scientific evidence that autism and learning and attention issues are somehow linked?
Reading “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” can turn an edgy source of entertainment into a life lesson.
Sign up for your weekly email newsletter, 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.
Child’s nickname is private and only you can see it.