So you’ve got that IEP meeting coming up, and like many of us, you want to be ready to impact your child’s educational journey. It’s a maze, and knowing where to start can be overwhelming. But don’t worry. Here are the top 5 ways you can get ready for your next IEP meeting.

1. **Get The Lowdown**: First things first, read the Official Meeting Notice. The school must give you a heads up about the meeting roughly two weeks in advance. This notice will tell you who’s going to be in that room and what’s on the agenda. It’s like a sneak peek into the battlefield, so use it wisely to gear up for the showdown.

2. **Get a Peek at the Game Plan**: Write a letter to the IEP team, asking for a copy of any documents to be reviewed and the Draft IEP if they’ve already written one up. This lets you check out what the school team members suggest for your child. Take your time with it, let it marinate, and consult with someone who knows the ropes if needed. Compare it to the current IEP and get ready to question any similarities.

3. **Demand the Data**: Don’t be shy about it – ask the school for all the evaluations, data, and ongoing progress reports that will be discussed at the meeting. This stuff forms the basis of the services and recommendations they’ll throw your way. You deserve to know the nitty-gritty details.

4. **Make Your Voice Echo**: The school has its own agenda, but you must also make sure your voice is heard. Prep your Parent Input section before the meeting. This is where you get to shine. Share your thoughts on what’s going well the progress you see, and lay out all your concerns. You’re an equal member of the IEP team, and your input sets the tone.

5. **Bring in the Reinforcements**: Gather all your private evaluations, documents, and summaries of services and hand them over to the IEP team beforehand. Considering external insights is helpful, especially when dealing with behavioral challenges. If your child has been working with an ABA therapist or another qualified behavioral therapist, their input is gold. Teachers might not be experts in that field, so let the specialists have their say.

Now, if that IEP meeting sneaks up on you and you feel like you’re not ready to advocate like the superhero parent you are, don’t hesitate to hit that reschedule button. Be honest with the school – tell them you need more time to prep and review. As a valuable team member, they should respect your commitment to being fully prepared.

And remember, if you ever need an extra pair of eyes or some guidance in this special education maze, don’t hesitate to seek out a highly qualified special education advocate. They can be your secret weapon in this journey.

These tips help you navigate the IEP meeting with confidence and power. You got this! 💪🏾✨


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