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Individualized Education Program or IEP meetings can result in information overload, even when you are prepared. You are bombarded by teacher reports, evaluation summaries, and suggestions for your child’s academic future. IT IS A LOT!
As a speech-language pathologist, I have to sit in IEP meetings almost daily, so I have a few questions and tips that I think are very important for parents.
Get more information on how individualized educational plan (IEP) works for preschool kids.
I’m going to give you a basic list of questions that you will want to ask in an IEP meeting. Of course, every child is different and, depending on your child’s specific needs and diagnosis, there may be more questions that you can ask. If you’d like specific examples, please reach out to Speech Blubs and let us know!
Each member of the IEP team will have a direct phone number and email address. As a speech pathologist, I always make sure parents have my email address so they can contact me whenever necessary.
For ANY student, the most progress is seen when carryover is done at home. This goes for emotional AND academic progress. Any therapist or educator should be able to give you advice on how to work on specific goals at home.
In our IEP’s, we have modifications for the special needs level and for the general education level. These supports vary in degree, depending on the class level.
Academic and behavioral support can be provided in many ways. Will the support be a pull-out model (a student removed from class for small-group support) or a push-in model (the support staff blends into the classroom for a period of time)? I’ve often sat in meetings where parents were unaware their child was being taken to a separate classroom for academic support and seemed surprised. You should know exactly what your child’s day looks like!
I am always honest with my parents with regard to their child’s strengths and weaknesses because, if it was one of my kids, I’d expect the same. I had one student who had plateaued and just wasn’t making progress. He was better suited in a life skills class, and we just didn’t offer that at my district. The parent asked me this exact question and I gave her a very honest answer. She cried and thanked me for my honesty. She wanted the truth and she finally got it.
These are the top 5 questions parents should be prepared to ask at an IEP meeting. Again, there are many more, but are specific to disorders/syndromes.
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