This post goes sort of hand in hand with some of the big announcements that I have coming this year regarding this website. However, this past week or so, I have fielded so many questions from parents with upcoming IEP meetings, and I am emailing out so many links to things…that I just thought that I would put it all in one post. In particular, I have met several moms recently who have children turning 3 and they are attending their first IEP meeting in the coming weeks. There are just so many parents out there right now looking for IEP meeting tips. Don’t forget, we also have a group on Facebook to discuss IEP stuff and support each other.
First, last year I announced in this post that big things were coming. Well, they are here…and it includes the IEP organizer that I developed. You can see how I use it here. Better organization=better advocacy, I mean it! I have a video in that post where I explain how I have it set up and how it helps you become a better advocate.
- Don’t just survive, thrive at your next IEP meeting: This one is a good read the day before or the week before your IEP meeting. All the data and documentation aside, this is the non-tangible ‘stuff’ that you need to have a successful IEP meeting.
- Parent Worksheet for IEP meetings + 6 principles of special education: You definitely want this one, and print it out a few days to a week before your meeting. Jot down your notes so that you have a 1-page document in front of you to reference for talking points.
- Vision Statement for IEP and free printable workbook: This is one of the most important things that you can do for your child, in my opinion. However…if you are a newer IEP parent and/or your meeting is TOMORROW, don’t get stressed out about it. Do it next year. Developing a vision statement for your child is essential to their success, and it shouldn’t be thrown together the night before an IEP meeting.
- 10 common mistakes that parents make in the IEP process: This is a good one, and good to follow as you are going through all the steps. It’s all the “I wish someone would have told me that!” kind of advice.
- Over 500 SDI suggestions for an IEP: This is one of the most popular posts on this blog, and with good reason. Print it or make note of the ones that you think will help your child access and benefit from their education, and you have constructive input and suggestions to add to the IEP.
- Parental Concerns: Parents should be working on their Parental Concerns all year long (but more on that later!) but at the very least, you should send in a complete and thorough list of concerns when you get the meeting invitation. Here are some tips on the importance of parental concerns.
- Sample Request for Evaluations Letter: Maybe you are brand new to all of this, have a 504…or maybe you already have an IEP but don’t feel that your child’s needs have been adequately or accurately documented or tested for. Requests must be done in writing and here is a sample letter. That link contains 25 letter templates for special education!
- Executive Functioning Goals for an IEP: I’ve seen lots of families and schools struggle with adequately addressing Executive Functioning Deficits. Here are 30 goal suggestions for an IEP.
- Everything you need to know about ESY.
- Do you have to sign the NOREP?: Many districts will present you with an IEP and NOREP to sign at the meeting. If you read the above advice, you see that I’m not a fan of signing at the meeting. However, even if you disagree, you still have to sign it or it goes into affect automatically. Author’s note: A reminder that NOREP is a term we use here in PA. Other states refer to it as PWN (Prior Written Notice) or may have their own state specific term. It is the document that you get that seals the deal, when you agree or disagree to the IEP, placement and all the services.
- Agencies that help: Every state has what is called a “Protection and Advocacy Group” or P&A for short. If you are hitting walls and think you need some assistance. That has the complete list for all 50 states. Call yours and ask if they provide Educational Advocates. For the more seasoned parent, or someone who is working with an advocate, or someone with an older child who is having job issues, not IEP issues, here is the list of Federal Agencies who assist people with disabilities.
- Gift List: Lastly…I like to end things on a positive note. Again, if you read the above essays, you will see that I am not a fan of bringing donuts or any treats to an IEP meeting. I think that there is a time and a place to thank your IEP team, just not at the IEP meeting. So here is a printable list to keep track of gift buying to use either at the holidays or in May for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Well, I hope this helps! There is a lot more information on this site. You can either search using the search bar, or browse using the menu bar up top or the related post suggestions at the bottom of each post. I have many more great things for parents in the works, so stay tuned. All my social media contact info and mailing list opt-in should have popped up by now…so join us on this journey!
Last year the A Day in our Shoes app became available on Google Play. It’s free, so you can download it and have all these IEP resources at your fingertips.