We all know the dread and frustration that can accompany IEP meetings. You’re armed with data, observations, and a passionate desire to get your child the support they need, but sometimes it feels like you’re speaking a different language than the school team.

Here are some essential questions you should be asking at your next IEP meeting to ensure your child’s needs are fully understood and met. Plus, there’s a handy printable at the end to take with you.

Two people sit at a table with cups of tea and blue papers, one holding a tablet possibly reviewing a child's IEP, while the other reaches for a cup. The scene suggests an intimate setting where important questions you should be asking about the IEP meeting are being discussed.

Keep in mind that since I’ve been an advocate since 2010, I’ve attended hundreds of IEP meetings. Yes, I could have made this list something like “101 Questions to Ask at Your IEP Meeting.”

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I have a tendency to overwhelm parents with information sometimes. This list is a basic framework to get you started. I know that there are many more things to ask about, but for the parent who is new to asking questions, this is a great starting point.

Questions About Your Child’s Progress

  1. Can you provide specific examples of progress my child has made since the last meeting?
    • Make them show you the data. Anecdotal evidence is nice, but numbers and concrete examples are king.
  2. What metrics are you using to measure progress?
    • Understand the tools and assessments being used. If they’re not clear, ask for explanations.
  3. How frequently is my child’s progress monitored and reported?
    • Regular updates help you stay in the loop and catch any issues early.
  4. What happens if my child isn’t meeting their IEP goals?
    • You need a plan B. What interventions will be put in place if your child starts to fall behind?

Questions About Evaluations

  1. Can you explain the evaluation results in simple terms?
    • No jargon. Just plain English. You need to understand what the tests actually say about your child’s abilities and needs.
  2. What areas were evaluated, and were there any areas not assessed that should be?
    • Sometimes, key areas are missed. Make sure all potential areas of concern are evaluated.
  3. How do these evaluations inform the goals and services in the IEP?
    • Ensure there’s a direct link between the evaluation results and the IEP goals.
  4. Can we discuss any discrepancies between this evaluation and previous evaluations or independent evaluations?
    • If there are differences, understanding why can be crucial to getting the right support.

Questions About Supports and Services

  1. What specific supports and services will my child receive?
    • Get the details on everything, from one-on-one aides to speech therapy. Vague answers aren’t helpful.
  2. How will these supports be implemented in the classroom? And in what placement?
    • You need to know the practical application of these supports to ensure they’re realistic and effective. You also want to know how much push-in vs. pull-out services your child is getting.
  3. Who will be providing these services, and what are their qualifications?
    • Credentials matter. Ensure the people working with your child are qualified. You also want to know if it’s individual, small group and so on.
  4. How will the effectiveness of these supports and services be measured?
    • Just like with progress, you need to know how success will be tracked.
  5. How will communication between home and school be handled regarding these supports?
    • Set up a clear line of communication. Regular updates from teachers and therapists can make a huge difference.

IEP meetings are a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t be afraid to take your time, ask questions, and request clarifications.

It’s your right as a parent to understand every part of the process and to advocate for the best possible support for your child. Per IDEA the IEP team is required to provide you with someone who can explain IEP evaluations to you.

Don’t be intimidated, ask! This is what they do for a career–and just like they don’t know your job, you don’t know theirs. It’s ok to ask for assistance.

Questions to Ask at Your IEP Meeting

Printable: Questions to Ask at Your Child’s IEP Meeting

To make things easier, here’s a printable list of all the questions discussed above. Print it out, bring it with you to the meeting, and jot down the answers. Being prepared can make a world of difference.

Download the IEP Meeting Questions Printable

Until next time, keep advocating, keep asking questions, and keep fighting for your child’s education. You’ve got this!

Printable List of Questions to Ask at an IEP Meeting

Progress:

  1. Can you provide specific examples of progress my child has made since the last meeting?
  2. What metrics are you using to measure progress?
  3. How frequently is my child’s progress monitored and reported?
  4. What happens if my child isn’t meeting their IEP goals?

Evaluations:

Do you know what your IEP rights are?
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5. Can you explain the evaluation results in simple terms?

6. What areas were evaluated, and were there any areas not assessed that should be?

7. How do these evaluations inform the goals and services in the IEP?

8. Can we discuss any discrepancies between this evaluation and previous evaluations or independent evaluations?

Supports and Services:

9. What specific supports and services will my child receive?

10. How will these supports be implemented in the classroom? (a good time to ask about placement if you have questions)

11. Who will be providing these services, and what are their qualifications?

12. How will the effectiveness of these supports and services be measured?

13. How will communication between home and school be handled regarding these supports?

Download Printable

Feel free to share this with other parents who might need a little guidance.

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