Wednesday, February 13, 2013

IEP Meeting Conversation Stoppers

Originally posted on The National Center for Learning Disabilities      By Candace Cortiella, Director, The Advocacy Institute
IEP Meeting-Idividualized Education Program 
Some of the statements made to parents at IEP meetings are "conversation stoppers" — comments that create barriers and can prevent the IEP team from working cooperatively to develop effective special education services and supports for students with disabilities.

Here are nine common "conversation stoppers," some information about what may be the real issues of concern and suggestions for how parents can respond in a forceful but respectful way so that planning for their child can move forward.

Stopper #1: "The general education teacher could not be here today."

What is the issue?

The vast majority of children with disabilities spend most or all of their school day in general education activities or classrooms. It is essential that the general education teacher be an active IEP team member. This does not mean that parents should expect teachers to leave their classrooms for long periods of time. However, it is reasonable to expect the general education teacher to attend IEP meetings to contribute expertise in setting academic, behavorial and social goals, to advise the team about curriculum and help identify where and when adaptations and     accommodations will be needed so that your child can be successful in the general classroom and have meaningful access to the general education curriculum.

Here are possible responses:

"Nina is one of Miss Taylor’s students and we think she is doing very well. However, I have no idea if the goals, accommodation and other supports we are suggesting are going to be helpful to Miss Taylor in adapting the curriculum and classroom activities so Nina can be successful. We need to schedule another IEP meeting so that Miss Taylor can attend for at least part of the time."

"This is the first year my child has been spending a lot of time in a general classroom. I do not want to have IEP meetings without my child’s general education teacher. We can complete the main parts of the IEP and give a draft to Mr. Jones. But then we will need to schedule another IEP Meeting that includes him so that our team is complete."

Click here to read about more conversation stoppers!

If you would like more information about your rights in IEP meetings, please contact an information specialist at Family Matters.  Our number is 866-436-7842.

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