I recently attended an IEP meeting where two atypical events happened.
First, the parent was asked an open-ended question: what do you want for your child in the long-term? The parent wasn’t expecting this question so she gave some answers that are what every parent wants for their child; self-sufficient, college, etc. The parent also added some things we had practiced prior to the meeting that were in line with what she was working to accomplish that day; appropriate social skills and to be understood by others.
Parents must be careful what they say in IEP meetings. How others in the meeting perceive the parents comments can be misconstrued in how a student is treated by the school.
Second, when the school staffer who was running the meeting needed a signature from the parent, the staffer got up from her chair and walked all the way around the group to get close to the parent.
Typically the form is just handed across the table to the parent for a signature. However, in this instance, the staffer used proximity to engage the parent in a more intimate manner. Her positioning did not influence this prepared parent; the parent made it clear that she needed to think about it at home before signing. Again, this parent knew in advance of her choices prior to going into this meeting.
Advocates at The IEP Center can help a parent be one step ahead of the school. Don’t be bamboozled!
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Visit our website to arrange for an advocate to assist. Marilyn McClure, CRP, is a certified teacher, parent of a child with developmental disabilities, and former due process hearing panel member in Missouri.
Advocates at The IEP Center are not attorneys and do not give legal advice. Consult an attorney.
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