3 Tips for Parents Jumping into the IEP Process

Event Recap
Oct. 6, 2022Updated Oct. 6, 2022
What do parents need to know about being a part of their child's IEP team? We asked Undivided parent Ruth about her experience helping prepare her son’s IEP for the first time and what advice she would give to other parents tackling the IEP process. In working with Undivided Navigator Will to prepare for this school year, Ruth learned the art of fighting for what matters. Here are the top takeaways from the conversation in our Unite and Conquer event series.

Do one thing at a time

When Ruth first received her son’s diagnosis, she was overwhelmed by all the recommendations for public benefit programs, IEP acronyms (including “IEP” itself!), and confusion about where her son could get services. On top of all that, she worried about what these changes meant for her son and his new world.

Ruth’s advice to parents is to make space to feel all the emotions that come with such a big transition. It’s tempting to want to jump right in and tackle all the services our kids need, but Ruth emphasizes the importance of doing just one thing at a time. Hear her story in this clip:

Organize and prioritize

Ruth worked with Undivided Navigator Will when she needed help in a disagreement with her IEP team. Step one was to review all the paperwork involved, and then Will helped Ruth identify her short-term and long-term priorities to make a plan. Listen to this clip to hear how the two of them used the organizational tools in the Undivided app to work together as a team:

Pick your battles

As parents, of course we want the best for our kids. Ruth reminds us, however, that it’s unlikely we’ll get 100% of our wishlist from the school district. Schools and teachers have limits, so it’s important to focus on what our kids need and the supports that will fulfill those needs. Listen to her advice in this clip:

Thank you to Ruth and Will who answered questions during our event on September 29, 2022! If you missed the event or want to review what we learned, you can catch the full recording here.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn more about upcoming events, and join our private Facebook group to keep the discussion going.

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Contents


Overview

Do one thing at a time

Organize and prioritize

Pick your battles

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Related Parent Questions

How do I request an IEP meeting?
When making a request for an IEP meeting, it MUST be done in writing. You may send an email or certified letter to the child’s case manager. You may also send copies of the letter or email to other relevant team members, such as the school psychologist, teacher, and principal.
What is the role of the parent(s) in an IEP meeting?
The parent needs to be prepared to discuss their concerns about making sure their child receives everything needed for a successful education. The parent can make sure the IEP meeting discusses their child’s immediate and big-picture strengths, needs, and goals.
How do I know whether my child has enough services in their IEP?
When it comes to what the law says, a student must make “meaningful progress” in meeting their IEP goals.

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