Spring IEP meetings parents dread in Missouri

Sweaty palms are common among parents who are approaching that annual IEP meeting.  One of these meetings is called the “review of existing data” (RED) meeting.

In the RED meeting, the school personnel determine if more information is needed in order to make decisions regarding pursuit of a new or different label for a child, or, if more information is NOT needed about the child.

Many times school personnel will suggest that more information is NOT needed since the student is “doing fine”, “everything’s okay”, etc.   The parent is then asked to sign that testing is not needed (a waiver).  Parent beware!  Waiving testing at this point may result in unknown needs of the student going unaddressed!  We parents get busy and fail to recognize the need, or, perhaps the changes the child is experiencing as he ages through the years.  And, since schools are busy places, they don’t always want to take the time to test our kids.

If a parent decides that “more information is needed” a parent can request so and indicate which tests need to be done.  Parents can carefully consider repeating some of the same tests done previously; so that a parent can then be consistent in tracking a students progress (or lack of progress).  A parent can ask the school person in the meeting (who is the designated person who is knowledge about educational evaluations) specifics about possible tests for inappropriate classroom behaviors, neuropsych evaluations, behavior analysis, adaptive behaviors, social skills, etc.

These meetings can be intimidating for a parent.   Advocates at the iep center help parents prepare for these meetings over the phone and skype consults. What a parent doesn’t do now impacts a child’s education for years. Contact an advocate below:

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Teacher offended when parent asks questions

In a recent IEP meeting, a teacher indicated she was offended by the questions the parent was asking about procedures and practices in the classroom for his son. The questions were focused on how the staff was managing the student’s lack of interest in the instruction as well as curriculum.

The student’s needs in this area had gone unaddressed by the school staff for years and now the teacher was “offended”.  It was bewildering to see a professional perceive a parent’s questions as personal attacks.  It was bewildering to see a “professional” not recognize systemic problems in the school system that allowed the student’s predicament o to continue as long as it did.

The parent’s questioning enlightened those present that the “system” was failing the student, not just one teacher.

Additionally, this IEP team was planning the student’s next school year where he would be attending in another building with different staff.  Due to the lack of adequacy in the current scenario, the outlook for the following year had a bias; that is, a bias that the expectations were too low for this student.  No staff from next year’s school was present to contribute.

Advocates at theiepcenter.com  provide telephone consults to parents to help them prepare for these meetings.  Had these parents known earlier what the buzzwords are to “work the system”, perhaps the student would have struggled less.

Connect with a professional advocate who is a certified teacher:

sign up for  ezine “The IEP Center Advocator”:  http://eepurl.com/wsEID

IEP for speech not working

Some students have an IEP that has the public school providing speech services.  Many students, however, have more special needs’ than just speech.  Many of our kids have “hidden” disabilities, such as processing delays and reading and writing problems, as well as impairments that effect their ability to be successful in a classroom setting.

A parent has provided medical documentation to the public school about the student’s diagnosis, yet the school believes that since the child has an IEP for only speech so the IEP is sufficient. The school leads the parent to believe that is all that needs to be done and indicates there’s no need for an IEP meeting. It is suggested to the parent to discuss concerns with the principal.

Talk is cheap.  Unfortunately parents grew up with the mindset that the folks at the school know what they’re doing, and, they are “experts” in what our children need.  As long as parents keep talking, the school will continue to promote the “wait and see” approach.

Paper is power.  A parent can submit in writing concerns to the school about the student’s needs that have gone unaddressed. Parents need to know the right buzzwords to use in communicating with the school in order to work the “system”.

This is another scenario that a professional advocate at the the IEP center encounters.  Parents get bamboozled and don’t even know it.  Advocates at the IEP center are available for telephone consults where a parent can learn the buzzwords and approaches parents can use to work the “system” for the child with special needs.  http://www.theiepcenter.com

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