Tips for A Successful IEP Meeting

Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings can be stressful for parents. Here are tips on making the most of your child’s IEP meeting.

  1. Look over the IEP Meeting Notice. You should receive it at least 5 days before the scheduled date. It will include the date, time, and location of the meeting, and the names and titles of everyone invited.
  2. Invite anyone you think should be there. If there is anyone that should be at the IEP meeting who is not listed on the Meeting Notice, such as an outside therapist, invite them.
  3. If you are bringing other family members to the meeting, make sure you are on the same page before the meeting.
  4. Make a list of paperwork to bring to the meeting. This should include: current and past IEPs, doctor’s reports, progress reports, evaluations conducted privately, etc. Double check that you have it all in order the day of the meeting. 
  5. Review your child’s progress. Re-read your child’s current IEP and all recent evaluations. Identify areas where your child needed reduced, continued or additional supports.
  6. Make a list of questions.
  7. Start on a positive note. Point out something a team member has done to help your child, or one improvement you’ve seen in your child.
  8. Use “we” to promote collaboration. “We all see that Derek has been struggling in Math. What are some other ways we can support him?”
  9. Listen respectfully. Give everyone a chance to speak. You will have a turn to contribute too.
  10. Keep your cool. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed or emotional during the meeting, ask to take a 5 minute break.
  11. Participate fully. Remember, you are an equal member of the IEP team and you know your child best. Be sure to express your desires during the meeting.
  12. Respect time limits. If you run out of time, you have the right to another meeting.
  13. If you disagree, do it in writing. Unless you formally disagree with the results of your meeting in writing, you are considered by the CSE team to be in agreement with all of the team’s recommendations.
  14. Call INCLUDEnyc for help at 212-677-4650 and ask a family educator to help you prepare for your child’s IEP meeting for free!
Learning and School, Special education, Parenting and Advocacy, Advocacy, Your young person's disability
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