Parent and Teacher Training for IEPs
Did you know that one of the related services an IEP can provide is parent counseling and training? It’s true: an IEP can provide training to assist parents in understanding the needs of their child and help parents acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of the IEP. This support can take the form of counseling or training, depending on the skill(s) the parent needs to acquire. Here, special education attorney Grace Clark shares with us some helpful information about requesting training for parents and teachers.
Parents are a very important part of the education of a child with a disability, and reinforcing the relationship between what a child learns at school and what happens outside of school will be of tremendous benefit to the child — in fact, it can potentially be the difference between success and failure in school. Training or counseling for a parent should be explicitly written into the IEP, in the Supplementary Aids and Services section, in addition to any other supports the child receives.
A parent can request training in any area that can help to implement the IEP. For example, if a student has a behavior plan, the parent can request training in the behavior plan so they have clear guidelines to follow if they see difficult behaviors in the home environment. The parent can also request training with a specialist working with the child, such as a speech language pathologist, so they can continue to support the techniques the child is learning in school while at home. If a child uses assistive technology or another adaptive tool, parents can request to be trained on the device as well. A parent can also request mental health counseling to learn about their child’s disability and to help manage their needs.
Teachers also may need special training to successfully work with a student with a disability. For instance, a general education teacher may have trouble navigating a student’s behavior, communication, or motivation needs. Providing this teacher with time to consult with the child’s special education teacher can help the gen ed teacher learn strategies to have more successful interactions with the child. Like parent training, these consultation periods should be written directly into the child’s IEP. If a child has unique and specific needs, this could also include attending a special training program or bringing in an outside expert.