How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting
You know your child best and you can be a more effective I.E.P. member by being prepared in advance. The following are suggestions, but are not things you must do. They are to serve as ideas for you to consider when preparing for your I.E.P. meeting.
1. Talk to your child. Find out how your child feels about school. Find out his/her likes and dislikes. Ask if there is something he/she would like to do better.
2. Visit your child's classroom. Make an appointment to observe your child in the classroom.
3. Review your child's records. Make an appointment with school prior to your I.E.P. meeting and review what is contained in your child's records.
4. Before the I.E.P. meeting be sure you understand the reason for the meeting. Do you have enough information? Have you reviewed the evaluation reports? Do you understand the meaning of the terms being used?
5. Prepare to share what you know about your child. Jot down some notes about your child to bring to the meetings, such as: interests, hobbies, relationships with family and friends, behavior at home, things your child does well and things your child has difficulty with.
6. Prepare your own questions. Write a list of questions you would like to discuss at the meeting. Bring the list with you.
7. Consider inviting additional I.E.P. members. Is there anyone not present from school or outside of school whom you would like to invite? Notify the district if you intend to bring someone from outside the school (friend, advocate, outside evaluator, etc.). It should be someone who has knowledge or special expertise regarding your child.
8. Be prepared to discuss your expectations for your child. Talk with other parents who have attended I.E.P. meetings before attending your own. Jot down what you think your child needs and the extent of progress you would like to see during the year. You should consider your child's vocational and pre-vocational needs. This applies to children of all ages.
9. Bring any recent evaluations or reports done outside the school which you think will be of value.
10. Bring samples of your child's work from activities done in or out of school which you feel say something about your child.
11. Talk to other parents. Talk to others you know who have attended I.E.P. meetings to learn from their experiences. If you do not know other parents, call one of the local parent associations to ask for information.
12. Think about whether your child should be involved at the I.E.P. meeting and discuss this with school personnel.
13. Ask your child if he/she would like to attend the meeting. Talk it over with him/her.