Today’s question comes from a Mom in Oklahoma who is attending her first IEP meeting:
Just got my son initially evaluated. He qualifies for services in speech and in handwriting/writing. I have an initial IEP meeting this week to discuss evaluation results and IEP. I have no idea what types of accommodations he needs in the 2nd grade. What types of things are on a dream list for speech articulation and likely dysgraphia? I want to be armed to advocate!
Awesome, good for you! This is a great way to start the process with your child. I’m going to address several things for you since it is your first meeting. Awesome that you are getting prepared, many of us are still in shock the first time and still trying to get our feet back under us. And Welcome to the Club, not exactly a club any of us had planned on joining but here we are. It is a club that contains some of the most amazing people I have ever met.
There are several things you can do. First, peruse my list of over 500 SDIs for an IEP. You know your child best, but there still will be some trial and error of course. But you at least have a strong bank of ideas from which to draw and suggest.
Next, network within your local community. There are many parent support groups if you poke around and ask around. Look for workshops and conferences. Parents are a fantastic resource.
Also, stay organized, and here comes another shameless plug for my IEP organizer. But seriously, I created it for the sole purpose of parents being better armed to advocate. If you use it to track your child’s progress and IEP, you can better monitor which strategies are working for him and which ones aren’t and will have better data as you head into IEP meetings.
Since it is your first meeting and first time going through the process, you may want to look over my free IEP toolkit. It has lots of great advice and some free printables for you to use for the meeting. Among other things, you’ll want to learn about the Parent Concerns portion of the IEP (and Present Levels of Performance) which is one of the best tools we have to advocate for our kids.
Good luck, feel free to join our Facebook group (banner is in blog sidebar) and ask if you have any other questions.