By: Molly Hankla, MA, BCBA
IEP meetings can be overwhelming, and you might not have any idea what questions to ask the school team. In our last blog, we discussed the basics of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and how they work. Now that you know the basics, let’s cover what you need to know in order to actually advocate for your child in a meeting with their school team. If you haven’t read the last blog, read it first here!
What questions can/should you ask in order to advocate on your child’s behalf during an IEP meeting?
What special education goals is my child receiving?
Goals may be set for the following categories:
- Curriculum and Learning Environment Goals (e.g., language arts or math goals)
- Social or Emotional Behavior
- Independent Functioning
Do the goals match my child’s current level of performance?
The IEP team will review your child’s present level of performance in each of the categories we listed above. A corresponding goal should be provided for each of your child’s needs that are impacting their educational performance or ability to participate in the general education classroom.
What related services will my child be receiving?
Related services might include:
- Speech/Language Therapy
- Psychological services
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Mobility services
- Medical services,
- and more
Related services should match your child’s needs and corresponding goals.
What accommodations will my child be receiving?
Accommodations can provide variations in:
- Time (e.g., extended time for learning, task completion, or testing)
- Input (e.g., the way instructions are delivered to the student)
- Output (e.g., the way the student can respond to instruction)
- Size (e.g., the amount of work required)
Accommodations can also include things like proximity seating to the teacher or board, increased opportunities for movement or breaks, encouragement to keep working, among many others.
How often will I be receiving updates on my child’s progress toward their goals?
Each school will have a process for evaluating and reporting progress toward IEP goals. The IEP team will be able to tell you how and when you’ll be receiving these updates.
Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about the IEP or my child’s needs?
This will vary between schools, but you should receive the contact information for anyone who can help answer questions or convene the team to express concerns.
As always, if you have any questions about IEPs, 504 Plans, Accommodation plans, Student Support plans, etc. we are here to help! You can reach out to us by phone at 904-374-6403 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also schedule a Parent Coaching session to discuss any questions with Dr. Cat Baker using her Calendly Link!
Looking for more learning tips? We recommend “8 Teaching Strategies for Children who Learn Differently” and “4 Tips to Help your Child Stay Organized.”