IEP Meetings
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Participating in Your Child's IEP Meeting 
As the parent of a child with special education needs, you should learn how to use the IEP (Individualized Education Program) process as an effective tool to obtain appropriate special education and related services for your child.
You should know:
  • What an IEP should consist of
  • How to Prepare for an IEP meeting
  • How to write your own IEP statement
  • How to effectively participate in an IEP meeting
  • How to use communication skills to build a cooperative home/ school relationship
  • How to obtain appropriate special education and related services through the IEP.
 
What is an IEP?
Federal and state law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA) mandate a free appropriate education for all children with special education needs, from three to 21 years of age. The IEP is the specific vehicle for your child’s free appropriate education. You, as the parent, know your child better than anyone else. Therefore, your input during IEP process is essential and invaluable.

State and federal law require a written IEP be developed and reviewed annually, to meet your child’s unique education needs.

The IEP is developed at a special meeting, with the participation of:
  1. The parents of the child;
  2. Not less than one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
  3. Not less than one special education teacher of the child, or where appropriate, not less than one special education provider of the child;
  4. A representative of the public agency who
    • Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
    • Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
    • Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the public agency.
  5. An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described in paragraphs (a)(2) through (a)(6) of this section;
  6. At the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and
  7. Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability
    • Transition services participants. (1) In accordance with paragraph (a)(7) of this section, the public agency must invite a child with a disability to attend the child's IEP meeting if a purpose of the meeting will be the consideration of the postsecondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child in teaching those goals under Section 300.320(b)
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