How to Prepare for Your Child’s First IEP

Event Recap
May. 25, 2022Updated Jun. 10, 2022
We know how overwhelming your child’s first Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be, so we’re here to help you get prepared and feel confident to advocate for what your child needs. During our live event on April 29, 2022, educational consultant and special education advocate Kelly Rain Collin went over what an IEP is, broke down its components, explained placement options and eligibility requirements, highlighted common accommodations and modifications, and much more! Here are the highlights from the event.

5 things you should know before you go into the IEP meeting

Kelly recommends that you request copies of your child’s assessments and a draft of the IEP (or at least the goals) about five days before the IEP meeting. This way, you’ll have time to review these documents and write your questions down in advance, which will help you prepare for discussion during the meeting. (Not all schools are happy to provide copies in advance, but you won’t know until you ask!)

Watch this clip for four more tips for going into the IEP meeting, including what to say if the school tells you, “We don’t/can’t do that”:

3 things to do after the IEP meeting

As Kelly explains, your child’s first IEP is perhaps the most important because it lays the foundation for all the rest to come. The placement, supports, and services in this first IEP will remain in place until the IEP team agrees on implementing changes, which is rarely simple, so Kelly recommends that you be firm and not sign the IEP until you fully understand and agree with it. Hear her advice for how to review the IEP after the meeting in the clip below, including what to do if you disagree:

Make sure you know your rights as a parent

The school district must give you a booklet (sometimes sent via email) explaining your rights as a parent of a child with an IEP. Be sure to read this booklet thoroughly so that you understand it. Kelly explains that if you have questions, an Undivided Navigator can help you find the answers. Listen to more of her advice about parent rights in this clip:

Catch the full recording

If you missed the event or want to review what we learned, you can catch the full recording here.

To learn more about helping your child get the supports they need, be sure to attend our next live event to ask your questions in the chat and hear from our experts and fellow parents! 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

5 things you should know before you go into the IEP meeting

3 things to do after the IEP meeting

Make sure you know your rights as a parent

Catch the full recording

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