Feb 15, 2007

IEP Meetings * Update *

This coming Monday I have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting for my nine year old son. I tend to get so frustrated at these meetings. It seems that the only time any of them are truly concerned with his progress is at these meetings. They lay out a vague plan for his accommodations and suggested progress for the coming year. We all sign the bottom and that's it. It is then up to me (his only true advocate) to look out for him. I make sure the teacher is following the IEP, I aggravate the resource teacher because she isn't on the same page as his classroom teacher, and the vice principal and psychologist are not heard from again until the next meeting. In addition to these frustrations, I'm also going to request that he be retested before the end of school. His last assessment was three years ago and I believe it is no longer accurate. His needs have changed. I'll let you know how it goes and what I do (or do not) get accomplished. In the meantime, here are a few online resources that I have found to be helpful in the past when preparing for these meetings:

And, on a lighter note....the Top 10 signs that you are going to have a bad IEP meeting.

*UPDATE* - The meeting went very quickly. They totally agreed that he needed to be retested. He is scheduled to have this done the first week in March. We will meet again after that to discuss the findings and change his accommodations if necessary. Stay tuned!


  1. Shane,

    Wow! You've gathered some great resources on your blog. Boy do I know how important great resources can be. See ya.

  2. Shane regarding the I.E.P. and the annual review, I am a special education teacher who and has written countless I.E.P.'s and has attended countless meetings. The parents, classroom teachers, the resource teachers, counselors, and admin are all on the same team: to help your child be the best he can be.I advise parents to advocate on their child's behalf. Be that extra squeaky wheel so you will be remembered. You can be assertive and still nice.You can also get help from local special education organizations and have someone there go to meetings with you and help you advocate for your child. I've been at meetings where parents had someone come with them. I actually like that myself. If your not happy with what is going on you can talk to someone who represents the parents. We elect trustees and they are there to help parents. You can also go up the ladder with your concerns to the principal and his superiors. There must be someone in charge of special education in your school system, talk to that person if you have to. That's why they are there. The buck stops at the top and if you're not happy go to the top. Remember, it's your child's future. Ask how the IEP is going to be implemented. What are the accommodations and how will they be implemented in the classroom. Be very involved. Don't forget education is also part politics. I have given this advice to other parents who were not happy with the support their child was getting and they thanked me because it was helpful. The important thing is to remember that everyone is on the same side and it doesn't help to be nasty. Teaching is a very demanding job, especially teaching kids with learning differences or behaviour challenges. Good Luck.

  3. Every three years is the expected duration between testing anyway....

    I have a question... did the IEP from last year include specific activities to be completed by the psychologist and vice principal? I am wondering why not hearing from them throughout the year is notable...

  4. Dear Anonymous,
    In answer to your question in the previous post....

    No, the IEP did not include specific activities for the vice principal or school psychologist. Not hearing from them throughout the year is extremely noteable to me. The psychologist has not seen or spoken to my son in three years! I feel her being present at the meeting is only out of necessity...because she has to be. She probably wouldn't even recognize my son if he had walked into the room. The Vice Principal would recognize him, but she has no dealing with him on a day to day basis. She isn't truly familiar with his "case." She does not know his specific disabilitites, needs, etc. I view her presence has a formality as well. In my opinion, those how should be required to be at the IEP meetings are only those who actually know my son, his needs, his weaknesses and his strengths.....me, his regular teacher and his resource teacher. We are the only ones who actually "know" him and what he truly needs to help him suceed.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love comments and feedback!