I frequently attend IEP Meetings with parents to make sure that they get the needs of their child met by their school districts because I know these laws pretty well. With that said, I have compiled a list of some great websites to help you learn the Laws that protect your child and that will ultimately get you what you need for your kiddo. One of the biggest problems Special Needs parents face when it comes to education is getting the school district to provide the right services for their child. The School don't expect you to go in knowing your stuff so here's your opportunity to have the upper hand =) It's overwhelming at first but the more you study, the quicker you'll learn and I'm always here to help you. Always feel free to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
1) IEP laws (Individualized Education Plan) Both Federal and State. If they start talking about what their state laws are, be sure to remind them that Federal Laws supersede their State Laws.)
2) FAPE laws (Free Appropriate Public Education) Both federal and State.
3) LRE laws (Least restrictive Environment) Both federal and state.
2) No Child Left Behind Act or explained in simple terms --> No Child Left Behind Act
3) IDEA Laws (Individuals with Disabilities Act)
4) Your State Laws On Special Education Regulations
**(If you click on #4 link you can also find your states IEP/FAPE/LRE laws there as well.)**
Great Websites To Help You Prepare:
Wrights Law - Under "topics" on the left side of their website is just about anything you would ever need to know going into an IEP. I use this website myself to prepare for my own IEP meetings.
Special Education Newspaper - This is a great website with info on IEP Meetings.
Printable List For SDI's (Specially Designed Instruction) - This blogger has done a great job at putting this list together and the following List together. Definitely take a look at them.
Printable List For Cognitive and Academic Deficits
Sensory Accommodations For an IEP:
PREPARING FOR THE IEP:
1) learn these laws
2) Ask that you receive a copy of the draft IEP at least a week in advance. Tell them that if you do not
receive a copy within a week in advance (this is your LEGAL right) that you will have to reschedule the IEP meeting so that you have an adequate amount of time to review the IEP.
3) Review the IEP, make notes so that you know what to say when you go in because you will probably be nervous when you go in and may forget what you had wanted to say.
4) Read EVERYTHING they give you before you sign it.
5) ALWAYS be sure to ask them about their SECLUSION AND RESTRAINT policies and GET IT IN WRITING. A good amount of lawsuits that arise in regards to special education are related to inappropriate practice of seclusion and restraint.
6) BE FIRM. If there is something you really want for your child (within reason) then push for it. Speak up, don't let them tell you that they know better. You will always be the best judge of what your child needs.
7) If you want daily or weekly communication with the teachers and therapists then get it put in the IEP. I receive daily notes from my kids teachers and weekly notes from their therapists. SAVE EVERYTHING.
8) Save all you get sent home from school because if down the road you need to show that the school is not meeting the needs of your child - the best way to prove this is with your child's work and evaluations.
9) Goals should never be changed unless they have been met. If Goals are being repeated each year - this is a good sign that the school is not adequately meeting the needs of your child. If they can't meet the needs of your child then they are required by law to pay for your child to attend a school that can.
10) Absolutely ANYTHING you want for your child, make sure it is put in the IEP. The IEP is a Law Binding contract so this is very important in the long run if the school does not fulfill their end.