Prepare for Your IEP Meeting or Else!

Preparation is the key to success no matter what professional field, sport, or activity you engage in. The same holds true for IEP meetings. If you want to have a great IEP meeting then you must prepare ahead of time or else let the school tell you what is best for your child.  When I accompany parents to IEP meetings as a professional advocate I prepare ahead of time and don’t just show up to the meeting and try to wing it.  I learn about the child by talking to the parents, relatives, teachers, and reviewing pertinent records. I have to have a clear purpose for the meeting so that we can focus our efforts on getting a great IEP. 

You have to be prepared in advance since IEP meetings typically last between one and three hours. There is so much conversation and dialogue during these IEP meetings that it’s easy to lose focus of the purpose and your goal. I suggest you plan ahead so pull out a piece of paper and at the top of it write this statement down.  I believe the purpose or goal for this IEP meeting should be:___________________________.

 This clearly defined purpose will help you keep on track and ensure that the IEP members stay on task. These are common questions that you will be asked about your child during the IEP meeting. Consider these in advance so you are prepared.

What are your child’s strengths?

What motivates your child to learn?

What are your child’s areas of weakness? 

Have you found any techniques or strategies helpful in addressing your child’s weaker areas?

Do you have a goal or anything in particular that you would like your child to learn this year?

By taking the time to prepare for the IEP meeting now you are making an important stride in helping your child gets a great IEP.  At they offer parents expert IEP advice and a library of real IEP goals and IEP objectives that you can search to help you prepare for IEP meetings and get a strong IEP for your child.