Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in IEP Meetings

There are many ways to include students in their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, and every student is different. Below are some essential tips to remember when encouraging student participation in IEP meetings.

  • Speak openly with your student about his/her disability, classification and learning needs.
  • Explain to your student what services s/he should be receiving, and what those services are meant to provide.
  • Slowly integrate the student into IEP meetings (e.g. 10 minutes for the first meeting, then increase from there).
  • Encourage student preparation. Choose a section of the IEP and have your student prepare something to add, such as interests, strengths, and preferences.
  • Remember that the IEP isn't just about academics. Including a student's extracurricular interests is one great way to let the teacher know some engagement strategies for your student.
  • Inform teachers and service providers that you’re working on this and ask for their support.
  • Speak with the student about his/her transition goals and how s/he is going to work on them.
  • Encourage your student to set his/her own academic and postsecondary goals.
  • Remember it is a process. Student participation takes time and requires ongoing conversations about your student's disability and needs.
Learning and School, Special education, Parenting and Advocacy, Advocacy, Your young person's disability
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