An Individualized Educational Plan is something that the federal government offers to any Special Needs children or children with developmental delays in a public school setting. Setting up an IEP is free and is a basic right for these children. However, there is a huge difference between a mediocre IEP and an excellent one. Parents who want what is best for their children in the Special Education department will advocate at each IEP meeting for workable, measurable changes that will stretch their children without creating unachievable situations. Try out these six tips at the next IEP meeting in Los Angeles County to create realistic, specific goals for ultimate classroom success.
Know What Works
Unless this is the child’s first year of school, parents and teachers will have a good idea of how the child prefers to learn and what does not work in the classroom. Teachers, administrators and other parents of Special Needs children will also be able to discuss different learning modalities that have worked with children with similar needs. Following this step will ensure that the IEP is individualized.
Come Prepared with Questions
Most parents have questions about how their child is performing, what new educational technologies are available and how the school can integrate their child into traditional classroom settings. Coming with a list of questions will help parents and teachers create complete and accurate IEPs.
Create Achievable and Measurable Goals
Goals listed in the IEP should be specific to the child and should be able to be measured using test results or some other form of concrete measurement. This will help the child be successful and will show teachers and parents exactly how well the child is progressing.
Create a Peaceful Atmosphere
Often, disagreements will arise at IEP meetings. Remaining calm will help keep one’s emotions out of the mix and will help to avoid tension and blaming. Should the need arise, parents can always put off decision-making until another meeting time to ensure that all decisions are made for the good of the child.
Bring an Advocate
Federal and state laws allow parents to bring along an advocate. This could be a family member or friend, but often an attorney is the best advocate in tense situations. Attorneys at Newman Aaronson Vanaman can provide legal representation at IEP meetings as well as at followup hearings.