Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Apr 29
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by Dennise Goldberg

Believe it or not, we’re in the homestretch for the 2012/2013 school year!  State tests will finish and the mad rush to complete IEP’s has begun.  If you need to call an IEP because of concerns you might have for your child, now is the time to do it!!  Remember, when you request an IEP meeting without assessments, the school has 30 days to hold the meeting under California Law (please check you State law to determine timing in your State).  Like myself, I’m sure your school begins summer break at the end of May or early June; which means if you need to write a letter requesting an IEP meeting, it needs to be done immediately.  There are many reasons why it’s a good idea to hold an IEP at the end of the school year.

Maybe your child has been struggling with completing homework this year.  It might be a good idea to bring the IEP team together and discuss accommodations with regards to homework.  Remember that every new grade brings additional homework, especially in middle and high school.  If your child is having difficulty staying on task long enough to complete their homework, accommodations can made where your child will still be on track to graduate with their classmates.

Did your child have difficulty staying on task or inappropriate behavior in the classroom this year?  If so, you can request an IEP to discuss possibly changing to the Behavior Support Plan if your child has one; or the IEP team could implement a reward system that might help your child stay on task or behave appropriately.  If your child has a BCBA or School Aide assigned to them on a daily basis, then they or their supervisor should always attend the IEP meetings; they are quite familiar with your child’s behavior in school, so they are a vital component to the IEP team.

One of the most important reasons to request an IEP before the end of the school year is placement!  Finding the appropriate placement can be very tricky.  For many parents the subject of placement causes a lot of anxiety.  It’s important to hear from everyone in the IEP team as to how the year went in each subject, class and teacher.  As I’ve said in the past, nobody has a crystal ball; however, when you bring everyone in the IEP together to discuss placement, your child has a better chance of being placed in the appropriate class with the appropriate teacher.

These are just a few important issues which should be addressed at the end of the school year.  Bringing an IEP team together at the end of the school year will hopefully help your child be successful in the 2013/2014 school year; the best way accomplish that is to bring everyone together to communicate and brainstorm.  Don’t forget parents, you are a vital component to your child’s IEP so make sure you speak up and participate in the meetings!  All parties must remember it’s not just the parents or the school’s responsibility to make sure a child receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), it’s both parties collectively.  Every time an IEP team comes together to help a child receive (FAPE), it is a reminder of the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child.”

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