This is my personal philosophy: An advocate attends an IEP meeting with a parent for three main reasons.
#1 – Parent’s Concerns Are Heard
Our advocates’ first responsibility is to make sure that your concerns are heard. School members should not cut you short, talk over you or ignore your requests. In an IEP meeting, a parent has as much right to participate as any other person in the meeting. We make sure you are heard.
#2 – Your Child Receives Services
Our advocates’ second responsibility is to make sure your son or daughter receives all of the services and accommodations they are eligible for. Through our experience, we know what services are available through the school district and how a child can become eligible for them. Even if school personnel don’t mention them in the IEP meeting, we’ll make sure they’re discussed.
#3 – Make Sure You’re Being Told The Truth
You want to be told the truth at your IEP meeting. We make sure the IEP meeting school members do not lie to you or try to weasel out of providing help for your child.
IEP Meetings: Playing By The Rules
“That was the best IEP meeting ever,” a father said to me following the meeting. I replied, “I’m sorry that we did not quite get everything that you had wanted.”
“That’s okay,” he said. “As long as I know that they played by the rules, and were honest and fair in their assessment, I can accept their decision, even if my son didn’t receive everything. What drives me absolutely crazy is not knowing if they’re lying or telling the truth. Today I knew.”
After The IEP Meeting
We want you to know that the meeting was appropriate under the law and you were treated fairly. You may not get everything you want in the IEP meeting, but at least you know there was a legitimate reason why your child did not qualify.
Pam Lindemann, The IEP Advocate, is a private educational advocacy organization. With our experienced IEP advocates on your side, you can rest assured you’ll be developing the best possible program for your child. Call: 407-342-9836 or email: Info@theIEPAdvocate.com
Find more articles at The IEP Advocate Blog: www.theiepadvocate.com/blog/