Saturday, March 5, 2016

Surviving An IEP Meeting: The Parent Side

So you have an IEP meeting coming up and you're feeling less than thrilled?  Well, the good news is that you are not alone. In fact, I have never heard a parent ever say that they look forward to gathering with a group of strangers to talk about how academically low their child is performing or how much their child is misbehaving in school.

An IEP meeting is very much like a battlefield and parents often feel as though they are gearing up for war when it comes to attending a meeting. Is it really any  wonder why many parents just don't show up?  It's not that they don't love their kid or want what's best, but they see their roles as being adversarial. They view themselves as the enemy, not an ally.

Why can't IEP meetings be a time to celebrate a child's accomplishments too? Maybe the teacher could bring some of the child's best work to the meeting as a way to connect more positively with the parents. It's okay for parents to ask for this to be done since the meeting is supposed to talk about a child's strengths along with his/ her weaknesses.

Parents can also share some of the amazing things their child is doing that may give the teachers a different perspective of a child outside the school setting.

So don't view your next IEP meeting as a preparation for battle. Look at it as a chance to take part in the overall success of your child and offer a deeper insight into who he/she is.

Just food for thought...

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