IEP Advocacy

IEP meeting coming up?

You probably find IEP and 504 meetings confusing in general, and now after the Coronavirus things may feel even worse. At meetings parents are outnumbered by school people. They seem to speak a foreign language of special education acronyms. And your questions are often left unanswered.

All you want is understand the IEP process and help your special needs child. You may not even be sure of the meaning of an IEP vs. a 504 Plan. You’re not alone if you think an accommodation is something more you book at a hotel. On the other hand, you might know all of those terms but need to strategize with an expert. Look no further.

Our experts have years of experience advocating at IEP and 504 meetings. We’ll review your records and answer your questions.. We’ll even give you IEP goals and IEP examples. On your schedule, when you need it. Schedule a 1/2 hour or hour consultation.

IEP PLANS AND ADVOCATEs

An IEP (Individualized Education Plan or Individualized Education Program) provides educational support to students with disabilities.  One of the main goals of an IEP is to improve a student’s learning abilities. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the disabilities which an IEP can help. The type of education that these children receive is special because if the student qualifies it encompass special services such as physical, speech, and occupational therapy. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) underlies an IEP plan.

A 504 Plan, on the other hand, ensures that students with disabilities get classroom accommodations.  504 accommodations, such as extra time to answer questions, can improve the learning process of a disabled student. Students with “mental” or physical impairments which significantly impact major life activities such as learning may qualify for this plan. Below are more details on these two plans.

What does an advocate or attorney do at an IEP Meeting?

  • An IEP advocate will help in the negotiation process between you and your child’s school staff members.
  • An advocate will help you understand the things that people say during an IEP meeting.
  • An IEP advocate will help you know more about the special education acronyms people use during an IEP meeting.

What's the difference between an IEP and 504 Plan?

IEP and 504 plans help to ensure that children with disabilities receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). However, these plans are different. IEP plans will cover your children only if they qualify for special education. On the flip side, 504 plans will cover your children if they require special accommodations.  Generally, a 504 Plan assists children who do not qualify for the special education services or instruction of an IEP.

Who Goes to IEP Meetings?

It takes a village to ensure that the education goals of kids with disabilities are met. At an IEP meeting, you can expect to have all of most of the following in attendance:

  • The child with special needs (when appropriate)
  • The parents of this child
  • The child’s classroom teacher
  • The child’s special education teacher
  • Other professionals and service providers who help the child, such as their speech therapist or a psychologist
  • An IEP advocate, attorney or other person, if you bring one.

What Are Some of the Accommodations That Might Be Available for Your Child?

There are a number of ways a school district or individual school can accommodate students with disabilities. Here are a few examples which could come with a 504 Plan or an IEP:

  • Your child’s teacher might give your child extra time during the school day to do an assignment or tell your child to spell 10 words while the other students spell 20 words.
  • Your child might be given a reading assignment that is easier than the assignments that other students are doing.
  • The child’s classroom teacher could provide testing accommodations, such as extra time to finish a test.
  • If your child has dyslexia, they may be allowed to listen to the audio versions of the books that other children are reading.
  • If your child often loses focus, they might sit next to the teacher so that they can be redirected.

What can parents do to ensure a Better Iep meeting?

Special education advocacy begins with parents of kids with disabilities, such as ADHD, educating themselves, being prepared and being ready to work with school personnel.  To make sure IEP meetings with your child’s school team are as productive as possible, it helps to get ready by doing the following:
  • Before the meeting, write down the needs of your child in school.
  • Find out who will attend the meeting and what each person’s role is.
  • Prepare for the meeting by writing down a list of questions that you will ask and what you will discuss during the meeting.
An IEP plan can help children with learning disabilities or other disabilities receive a good quality education. If your child has such a plan, an IEP advocate can help you ensure that your child gets all the possible instruction, services, and accommodations that he or she needs for the best outcome. Our attorney will help you understand more about your legal rights, so you can work with school personnel to create the education that your child deserves. Our advocate or attorney can also accompany you when going to IEP meetings.
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