After the IEP meeting, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your child’s success throughout the year.
- Maintain close contact with your child’s teacher. Two-way communication is a key to making any program work. Some families have regular meetings, some have a daily or weekly notebook, some have regular telephone calls and some e-mail. Share information and suggestions. Be supportive. There should never be any surprises on your part or on the school’s.
- Ask for suggestions on how you can continue to practice and reinforce what is going on in school.
- Continue to keep good records and document any unaddressed needs.
- During the year, keep a list of anything you want to consider for your child's next
- If you think teachers or other team members are doing a good job, tell them. Let them know when they have done something you appreciate.
- You have known your child a long time. If you have discovered hints that help your child learn, share them. Offer to help teachers and others adapt materials or programs.
- Remember that other people such as school bus drivers, janitors, lunchroom workers and secretaries may help your child in informal ways.
- Get involved in your child’s school. Join the PTA/PTO, go to school plays and other activities, volunteer in the library. The more you are involved and the more people see you, the better you will get to know each other. This sometimes makes it easier to work together for your child.
- Go over your child’s IEP every few months. Are the services stipulated in the IEP being provided? Are you satisfied? Is your child happy? If there appears to be a problem, ask for a meeting of all the people involved. If you feel it is necessary, ask for a team meeting to change the IEP. You may do this at any time.
- Talk with your child’s teacher if you have any questions or if there are any problems. If the problem is not being resolved, put it in writing. Direct your letter to the Special School District area coordinator, principal or director of special education for your district or school.
- Do not get personal. Mention the problem and not the person. For example: “My child has not received speech and language services for three weeks.” Or, “My child has not received the assistive technology evaluation we agreed upon.”
- Focus on your child's needs for services, appropriate goals and objectives, placement, etc., to achieve a full and meaningful life.
- Be specific about times, dates, meetings and phone calls used to try to resolve the issue previous to your letter.
- Participate in training sessions or workshops offered by the school district or other community agencies. SSD’s Parent Education & Diversity Awareness Program offers a monthly Orientation for Parents to Special Education and the IEP Process in addition to approximately 50 other workshops during the school year designed especially for parents. Click here for a complete list of current workshops.
- Find out who the parent advisory council representative is in your building or district. He or she should be able to help you with questions and networking within your school.