Students with special needs in New York often have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) that dictates what a school should do to help them be successful. Parents, school administrators, and teachers meet during the year to review the IEP and make changes. These meetings are important in making sure the IEP is working for the student and if anything needs to be updated. In order to have a successful IEP meeting parents should consider the following tips.
Do not blame or criticize
It can be natural for parents to want to blame someone for their child’s education challenges. But an IEP meeting is the time to stick to the facts and negotiate with the IEP team.
Know what you want
Parents need to go into an IEP meeting ready to share their observations, requests, and difficulties in a clear and simple manner. A parent should be prepared to tell the team what they want, what action they want the school to take and what facts they have to back up their request.
Understand where the school district is coming from
It can be helpful for parents to understand how the school district views the situation. They may see the problem differently and if they do meet the parent’s requests they may worry about what may happen next.
Seek solutions to problems that benefit everyone
When negotiating an IEP it is best to come up with solutions that resolve the problem and meet the districts needs and wants.
Protect the relationship
The relationship between the student, parent and school is one that will last several years. It is important for parents to negotiate with the school and protect the relationship they have established. All of this is in the best interests of the student.