This is a summary of the third edition of CSNLG’s Beginner’s Guide to the IEP. In this podcast, host Michael Boll and CSNLG attorney/advocate Linaja Murray discuss what happens during the IEP meeting and what it feels like to be there. The podcast can be found here.

What is the atmosphere like?

  • The atmosphere is collaborative — the one purpose of the meeting is to identify the student’s strengths/deficits and how to address each area of concern.
  • You may be nervous or on edge at the beginning, which is totally normal, as a parent you are likely concerned for your child.

Who is there? What are their roles?

  • About 12 people will be present, this may include:
    • General education teacher.
    • Teachers who assist with your child, such as a special day class teacher and SAI teacher.
    • Assessors, such as the school psychologist
  • At a triennial IEP meeting, all assessors will be present
    • For some children, assessors may be an occupational therapist or a speech and language pathologist.

What should I bring to the IEP meeting?

  • Notebook to take notes.
  • A friend, family member, or someone else who supports you

Assessments should be provided to you in advance

  • Request these about ten days before the IEP meeting so you can familiarize yourself with them

What should I take away from the IEP meeting?

  • Copies of everything discussed

What is the difference between an annual IEP and a triennial IEP?

  • At the triennial IEP meeting there are a lot of assessments to go over such as the psychoeducational assessment.
  • This will also include ancillary assessments, such as speech and language, OT, visual, audio processing, or behavior assessments depending on your child’s specific needs.
  • At the annual IEP meeting, these assessments are not necessary — annual IEPs tend to be shorter, with much fewer people involved.

What does the process of the IEP meeting look like?

  • The IEP meeting is called.
  • A teacher or district representative will ask to do introductions where each person will give their name and title.
  • The meeting then starts; an agenda may be followed.
  • The strengths of the student will be shared.
  • The progress and goals of the student will be shared and whether goals have been met or not
  • Feedback from people in charge of those goals will be shared.
  • Parents can weigh in to discuss whether they believe goals have been met.
  • Services and accommodations (such as extra time during testing, preferential seating, behavioral aid) are discussed. This is when FAPE is brought up: special education and related services that your child should be receiving.
  • As a parent, you should get as much in writing as possible.
    • This process tends to be toward the end of the IEP meeting.

This summary is part of our complete Beginner’s Guide to the IEP

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