While schools might be going online for the foreseeable future in many areas, that doesn’t mean that the basic protections for your child’s education are going away. If your child has an IEP, that document is still going to be very important – and so are your IEP meetings. As you plan for future meetings, you’ll want to keep the following in mind.
The biggest thing to keep in mind this semester is that your child’s IEP meetings can and should be conducted virtually. Even if your school district pushes back, it’s up to you to make sure that those meetings happen. Your school cannot refuse an IEP meeting, though they can make the process more difficult. Even schools that are usually great about supports are having a tough time with scheduling right now, so make sure that you’re ready to gently remind them that your IEP meetings need to be scheduled.
You are still going to need to provide paperwork and evidence if you need your child’s IEP changed, so make sure that you have everything ready to go. Get what you need from doctors, therapists, and other relevant individuals scanned into your computer before you call for a meeting. If possible, go ahead and share those documents with the relevant parties beforehand so that things don’t get derailed by the need to do so later.
Finally, make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed in an online meeting. It’s easy to have your voice drowned out when many people are on one screen, so do what you can to take control. Speak when necessary, and don’t let yourself be muted. This is a meeting about your child, and you both deserve a voice.