One of the most important things that parents should know when it comes to the IEP is that if they do not agree or understand something in the IEP, they DO NOT have to sign it!
We have found and heard that many parents feel obligated or even intimidated to sign off on an 'individual' education plan to which they do not agree with or sometimes understand. The law stipulates that the parent or educational rights holder (ERH), be allowed to participate in the IEP process and that participation includes an understanding and agreement of the plan. It is important that parents and ERH's have a strong understanding of the IEP for their child and not take for granted the information provided. Ask questions! Make the IEP team explain, in detail, what the data they are sharing with your means. Make them define every acronym or term that you may not fully understand. Ensure that they thoroughly explain not only the goals for your child but how they will measure performance towards those goals and how the plan will assist you and your child in achieving these goals.
If, by chance, they fail to get your buy-in and/or understanding to the IEP DON'T SIGN IT! Ask for a copy and seek help. Find a professional to take you through the IEP and ensure you understand it. Find a professional to fight for you and your wishes for your child in their IEP. Y
Nicole Hodge Amey
I am a wife and mother of two with a strong passion for ensuring all children have access to a great education.