I wanted to wish you a fantastic 2022-2023 school year. If you are a parent who is facing an IEP with areas of disagreement, here are some great tips to help you.
What if you disagree with your child’s IEP?
First off, it is your parent right to disagree. This is important because you are a coequal member of the IEP team. You are not asking for a favor but are utilizing your rights under IDEA.
As you present your areas of dissent, yes, you want to be professional and respectful, but the district staff at the IEP table should be receptive to your parent concerns and willing to work with you to come to a resolution.
There is no magic formula for dispute resolution. There is no form to fill out, however, I recommend you outline your issues in dissent and be very clear on the areas you are in disagreement. When you are at the resolution meeting, if you are not 100% in agreement with the proposed plan, be very clear in letting the Committee know the issues in which you disagree.
What steps should you take if you disagree?
It is very common for parents to not understand the IEP program, supports and services, or not be aware of what the goals really mean.
Most parents don’t understand how to measure a goal in your child’s IEP that says, “In 4 out of 5 trials for 80% mastery with one prompt.”
This is why it’s so important for you to ask for clarification when you are unclear. The school has the responsibility to explain the program and everything it entails.
Unfortunately, the team not only doesn’t take the time to explain but they rush parents through the meeting and then pressure you to agree.
Here are a few tips to begin to understand what the IEP should look like:
- Who does the IEP say your child is? In other words, after reading the IEP, does it accurately describe your child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- Does it paint an accurate picture? If the IEP sounds like they are talking about a different child, then the IEP is not accurate, and adjustments should be made.
- What does the IEP set out to accomplish? Does the IEP clearly state where your child should be academically, socially, and emotionally within one school year?
- Are the goals written with high expectations? Goals should presume competence and should be written to make one year of progress.
- How will the goals be measured? The goals should be clearly written to measure progress with factual data. You should understand how progress is measured for each goal.
Once you have all your questions answered and can evaluate what the program offers, you can then make a decision whether you agree or disagree.
I’ve built my advocacy agency around helping parents find the answers to some of the most important questions you’ll ever ask – questions about your child’s education, rights, safety, and future after high school.
Advocates 4 Angels specializes in:
- IEP development that includes a records review
- Preparing for Dispute Resolution meetings
- Understanding and improving your child’s services and supports
- Addressing bullying, harassment, or abuse
- Assessment and IEE (second opinion) Evaluations
- Parent Training
Make the decision today to start the new year off with confidence.
Here’s to your advocacy success for the 2022-2023 school year!
If you haven’t joined our Private Special Education Parent Empowerment Facebook Group yet, you should check it out here.
Here’s what parents are saying about the group:
“I want to thank you, Valerie, for all your knowledge and help you give all of us. Even though I’ve had 30 years in Special Ed, laws have changed, and it helps me to know what’s best to help my daughter.”