Friday, July 31, 2009

Your Kid's IEP - ready to go?

If you have a child in Special Education, the first day of school is right around the corner. Is your child's IEP up-to-date and ready to be implemented?

Many schools want to wait until school starts to refresh teachers on conditions and requirements of IEPs for their special ed students. Valuable time is lost by this delay.

Contact your child's special education department now and request a review and refresher of the accommodations in your child's IEP. Ask questions. Get answers. Get a clear understanding as to who is to do what, and when.

Don't settle for any assignment of some duty or task to "Team Member." "Team Member" means that no one is accountable. Somebody's name or title should be associated with every accommodation in the IEP.

How do I know this? Because I have seen "Team Member" in IEPs for too many years. And even though I have asked for an individual to be tasked with a duty, it doesn't happen because it is a school staff member who types up the IEP

A school/home notebook is a good way to maintain communications with teachers. Email is good, too. Too often the school/home notebook is an accommodation listed in the IEP that gets ignored very early in the school year. Don't let this happen.

If it is to go back and forth every day and the pattern changes after the first two weeks, clear it up - fast. Be specific in the IEP that it is be used daily. This is how you identify problems quickly and solve them while they are small (and economical).

There are many excellent resources for good school/home communications.

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