Student in IEP meeting? Missouri Kansas

Often meetings at the school to develop educational plans for special needs’ students involve discussions that may be hurtful for the child.   Not knowing that this may occur, a student in the meeting can make for an awkward position for the child.rsz_meeting7

Students who do not have the capacity to advocate for themselves may feel emotionally beaten. Other students may not understand the power dynamic in these meetings and withdraw. The adults in the room may use the opportunity to “motivate” the child to “work harder” or “apply yourself”.  Examine the motivation of a school that insists a student be present in multiple school meetings; if it’s just a control or power issue, it’s okay to say that the student wasn’t invited. There are a few exceptions to when a student must be present (planning for life after high school (aka “transition”), if the student is already age 18, etc.

It is a risky scenario to have a child in IEP or 504 meetings. Advocates at The IEP Center™ know strategies parents can use to avoid these scenarios. Contact us for more information.

In lieu of the student present in the school meeting, a parent could observe the classroom prior to the meeting.AngelsenseRunnerJPEG

Advocates at The IEP Center™ help parents solve IEP problems by providing information so they can advocate for the child with special needs.  Don’t be bamboozled!  Waiting and hoping for problems to go away allows our children to regress.  Hoping the problem will go away will only delay getting the problem addressed.the-iep-center (800x640)

Never go alone to an IEP meeting; our advocates are available!

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Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™ provides information to parents regarding the problems of children with disabilities.  We are not attorneys and do not give advice.  We do not represent parents or children.  Consult an attorney.

We help parents at low-cost.  We help parents prepare for school meetings and also go to mediation and IEP meetings with parents.  Go to our website to set a telephone consult.

©2015 Special Education Parent’s Advocacy Link LLC dba The IEP Center™


Student Records Review: The Parent Appointment

So you’ve told the school you want to go there and look through your child’s records.  You arrive and are seated.  Folders are presented and explanations given.  You see documents.

But did you really SEE the documents?

Advocates who assist parents can be an asset to the records review process.  Experienced and trained advocates can assist a parent in digging for documents that a parent might not be aware exists.  Perhaps the folders you were handed were only a part of all that exists. My experience has been that schools often have attendance, academic and discpline records ready for a parent; there can be much more.

Professional advocates also assist with an analysis of what records are not present at the school.  There may be documents that your child should have in place but are not.  The advocate can help a parent look for discrepancies in what should or shouldn’t exist.   The advocate can also prompt a parent about questions the parent might want to ask about what is on the documents, such as the meaning of test scores, what the test measured, frequency of tests/grading, etc.

It is advantageous for a parent of a child with special needs to review student records at least every two years, if not more often.  Never go alone; consider an advocate.        the iep center  .  com

If you don’t request, your kid won’t get

Our children with special needs may require specialty programming at the public school in order to make gains. Services under the special ed law known as IDEA list “related services” as services available to our children so that they can benefit from public schooling.

Parents need to know what these “related services” are so that they can request them for the child. Do a search for the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” at Then search for “related services”.

Common related services in the public school are physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT). Many students routinely receive a few minutes each week of these. OT’s are especially helpful when a student struggles with handwriting and coordination issues.

Another related related service as listed in 300.34(c)(8) of the IDEA:

(8)(i) Parent counseling and training means assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child; (ii) Providing parents with information about child development; and (iii) Helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child’s IEP or IFSP.

It may be beneficial in the long run for a parent to request these “related services” so that later perceptions of the parent aren’t negative. Since some of the “related services” listed in the IDEA are not typically known by school personnel they may dispute availability.

Often its better to ask for something rather than find out years later what was missed.

Advocates are available to assist parents in Missouri.  Visit the website.

SEPAL advocates are not attorneys and do not give legal advice.