Questions About IEPs? Our Education Advocate Has Answers!

Event Recap
Mar. 3, 2022Updated Jul. 28, 2022

Are you just starting out with the IEP process or you need a refresher? From all the confusing IEP components and acronyms (FAPE, LRE, IDEA, IEE — oh my!) to assessments, placement, and goal setting, we've got you covered! On February 24, 2022, Undivided’s Education Advocate, Lisa Carey, covered all the basics to help you get through your next (or first!) IEP meeting with confidence. Check out the top takeaways from our live event below.

If you missed the event or want to review what we learned, you can watch the full recording here! This will be an ongoing event series, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for the next one.

Start with the basics: What is an IEP?

An Individualized Education Plan (or Program) helps ensure that students with disabilities have access to the rights guaranteed them by the law. Lisa breaks down this concept and highlights why strength-based IEPs are the best place to start in this clip:

What do all the acronyms mean?

As Lisa explains in this clip, working on your child’s IEP can mean learning a whole new set of terms and acronyms. Hear her brief explanation of some of the most important terms to know:
If you want to dive deeper, check out some of our parent resource articles about IDEA and FAPE and LRE.

What should be in an IEP?

The main components of an IEP are your child’s goals as well as the supports (like modifications or accommodations) they need to accomplish those goals. These things will likely be the focus of your IEP meeting.

However, one thing you shouldn’t overlook is making sure the IEP includes your child’s health plan. If your child has a medical condition that requires attention from the school staff, spell it out in your IEP so that the intervention or training you’re asking the school to provide is legally protected. Hear Lisa’s explanation and some examples in this clip:

What will happen at the IEP meeting?

If you’ve never attended an IEP meeting before, it can be intimidating to prepare for. In this clip, Lisa gives a quick overview of everything you can expect, including one tip she’s used to prepare for every one of her IEP meetings over the past fifteen years:

Many parents asked questions about IEP meetings in the chat during the event, such as whether parents can request for 1:1 aides to attend (Lisa says, "Aides generally don’t have the same training as teachers. You can request to speak with the aide with the teacher present. Most schools will allow that.") and whether timelines of when evaluations will be completed include school breaks. (According to Lisa, "The sixty-day timeline stops for school breaks of more than five days, so if your school has spring break, it will stop for that one to two weeks.")

Lorena P. asked, "Is it a good idea to pay for a professional IEP advocate to come to the first meeting?" Iris B said, "We did! We knew we wanted inclusion and, unfortunately, based on talks with the school district, we knew it would take a lot of work to get them there, so we did it!"

If you have questions about IEPs, make sure to attend our next live event to ask your question in the chat and hear from our IEP experts and fellow parents! Keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn more.

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Contents


Overview

Start with the basics: What is an IEP?

What do all the acronyms mean?

What should be in an IEP?

What will happen at the IEP meeting?

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