Your How-To Guide for an IEP Meeting With or Without an Advocate. 

School meetings for children with disabilities can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Let’s break it down.  Here’s some simple, doable steps that will help you feel empowered and prepared at each point in the process: before, during and after the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE THE MEETING

With An Advocate

  • Review Your IEP Goals

  • A brief phone call or consultation to ensure you’re on the same page.

  • Make sure your advocate has updated information and reports or evaluations.

Without An Advocate

  • Review your rights to better understand the IEP process.

  • Consider joining a reputable group online if you have questions.

  • Organize your documents in a large binder or accordion folder.

  • Jot down your concerns and what you would like to address in the meeting along with IEP goals.

  • If it’s an eligibility meeting where evaluations will be reviewed, remember to request a copy of the report ahead of time.

  • Talk to your child about what they enjoy about school and what is challenging for them.

WHAT TO DO DURING THE MEETING

With An Advocate

  • Expect your advocate to facilitate a productive and collaborative meeting.

  • Partake in the conversation – provide suggestions, answer questions, and voice your goals.

  • Ask your advocate to review anything you are unsure of and don’t be afraid to step out for a private chat.

  • Review the draft with your advocate.

Without An Advocate

  • Make sure the appropriate team members are present.

  • Write down questions as they come and check them off as you address each item.

  • Request to review the document before finalizing.

  • If you don’t agree with something, make sure to say so.

WHAT TO DO AFTER THE MEETING

With An Advocate

  • Touch base with your advocate to debrief.

  • Jot down any items to follow-up on and let your advocate know if you will be continuing to use their services.

Without An Advocate

  • Process the meeting and give yourself a few hours before jotting down your notes.

  • Follow-up via email for anything that was agreed upon.

Keep us in mind if you’d like an advocate to attend the meetings with you.