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Last Updated: 11/20/2017
 

IEP Issues - Helpful IEP Tips from Parents

Back to IEP Topics List

 

Helpful IEP Tips from Parents

If you want your child to participate in ALL concerts, special presentations/assemblies and anything else you can think of...it may be a good idea to work that into the IEP. I kind of thought common sense would prevail in these matters, but I am finding that it does not and that my son is being excluded from some of these activities this year.
 

Read: Ten Ways to Take Charge of Your Child's IEP Meeting or Family Support Plan

 
How to ensure that your child actually participates in activities with other children:

1. Be sure to attach a "parent report" to the IEP. I write a lengthy 4 page report every year. In it I list/describe my child's present level of performance, his strengths and his needs. I also require the school to indicate on the IEP that a separate parent report is attached to the IEP. In the parent report state that it is your expectation that your child will participate in all presentations, assemblies, concerts, field trips etc that his class is participating in.

2. Consider adding to your parent report, and to the IEP as a parent concern, the requirement that the school notify you in advance of any plan to exclude your child from activities his class is involved in, and provide rationale for the exclusion (prior written notice?) You could reinforce this with a reminder letter at the start of the school year. Another question to address is that if/when a child is excluded, what is that child doing during that time? And who is with the child?

There may be good reasons to exclude a child, but you should know about it. Requiring them to notify you of any exclusion or intent to exclude will at least keep you in the loop and also give you the opportunity to do something about it.

 

Parent "Comebacks" for IEPs

Here's a list of parent comebacks collected from various listservs.  Special thanks to LindaO.

(sd - school district; comeback - parent response)


sd; her grades are good
comeback; COMPARED TO WHAT?

sd; why do you want to label him?
comeback; HIS BEHAVIOR LABELS HIM, THE DIAGNOSIS GIVES US HOPE OF HELPING HIM APPROPRIATELY.

sd; she'll be in a class with 'lesser' students
comback; GEE, I THOUGHT IN THE UNITED STATES WE WERE ALL CONSIDERED EQUALS - OR - SHE NEEDS TO BE IN THE CLASS THAT IS APPROPRIATE TO HER NEEDS.

sd; grade levels on the tests don't matter
comeback; THEN WHY ARE THEY GIVEN? AND WHAT DOES MATTER? HOW DO WE DETERMINE WHAT THE TEST IS TESTING, THEN?

sd; we don't do that
comeback; NEVER? NOT EVEN WHEN THE CHILD'S EDUCATIONAL NEEDS REQUIRE IT? GEE, I THOUGHT THAT WAS AGAINST THE LAW.

sd; PT is not an educational need
comeback; IT IS IF MY CHILD CANNOT PERFORM SCHOOL-RELATED TASKS DUE TO DEFICITS IN THIS AREA.

sd; _______ is not an educational need
comeback; SAME AS ABOVE.

sd; this is the only program we offer
comeback; GEE, I THOUGHT THE "I" IN IDEA STOOD FOR INDIVIDUAL - AREN'T YOU REQUIRED BY LAW TO PROVIDE A RANGE OF PROGRAMS MEETING INDIVIDUAL NEEDS?

sd; 1/2 hour per week OT is all students get
comeback; EVERY STUDENT? WITH EVERY LEVEL OF NEED? GEE, THAT DOESN'T SOUND VERY INDIVIDUALIZED TO ME. WHAT IF MY CHILD'S LEVEL OF NEED REQUIRES MORE OT THAN THAT? HOW WILL YOU MEET HIS NEED?

sd; sI isn't for school
comeback; WHY NOT? MY CHILD'S SENSORY NEEDS AFFECT HIS/HER ABILITY TO BENEFIT ADEQUATELY FROM HIS/HER EDUCATION. HOW ELSE WILL YOU ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM SO MY CHILD MAY RECEIVE A FAPE? CAN I HAVE THAT IN WRITING?

sd; she has good grades now, she doesn't need sped anymore
comeback; SHE HAS GOOD GRADES BECAUSE OF THE APPROPRIATE SUPPORT SHE HAS BEEN RECEIVING. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WITHDRAW THE SUPPORT AND HER GRADES DROP AGAIN? I WILL NEED EVIDENCE THAT SHE CAN BENEFIT FROM HER EDUCATION WITHOUT THIS SUPPORT BEFORE I CAN AGREE TO ANY CHANGES.

sd; you have to find a social skills group
comeback; IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS SUPPOSED TO HELP ME WITH MEETING MY CHILD'S EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. WHAT SOCIAL SKILLS GROUP WILL YOU PROVIDE?

sd; you have to find a summer school
comeback; IF MY CHILD NEEDS SUMMER SCHOOL, IT IS PART OF HIS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS FOR AN EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR, AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MEETING THOSE NEEDS.

sd; you have to find a summer camp
comeback WHY? WHAT NEEDS WILL IT ADDRESS? AND WHY ISN'T THIS PART OF MY CHILD'S FREE AND APPROPRIATE EDUCATION?

sd; we don't need to write that down
comeback I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE WITH EVERYTHING WRITTEN DOWN. AFTER ALL, YOU COULD WIN THE LOTTERY TOMORROW AND YOUR REPLACEMENT WON'T KNOW ABOUT THIS AGREEMENT UNLESS IT'S IN WRITING.

sd; we do that naturally
comeback; I'M SURE YOU DO. HOWEVER, IF WE CHANGE DISTRICTS IN MID-YEAR, THIS MUST BE SPECIFIED IN THE IEP IN CASE THE OTHER DISTRICT DOES NOT DO IT NATURALLY.

sd; we don't know how to do an FBA
comeback HERE IS THE NAME AND NUMBER OF AN EXPERT WHO WILL COME IN AND DO THE FBA AND/OR TRAIN YOUR STAFF. OR - AREN'T YOU REQUIRED BY LAW TO KNOW HOW TO DO THEM? HOW DO YOU INTEND TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM?

sd; [written in IEP] where/when appropriate
comeback; GEE, I THOUGHT THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MORE SPECIFIC. CAN YOU TELL ME THE TYPES OF SITUATIONS WHERE YOU IMAGINE THIS MAY BE APPROPRIATE? OKAY, LET'S WRITE THOSE IN, THEN.

sd; [written in the IEP,] in a timely fashion
comeback; WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? CAN WE MAKE AN ESTIMATE OF WHEN THIS SHOULD OCCUR?

sd; just trust us, we know best
comeback; GEE, I'D LOVE TO JUST TRUST YOU, BUT AS A FULL MEMBER OF THIS IEP TEAM I NEED TO UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHAT IS BEING DONE AND WHY.

sd; let's just wait and see
comeback; HOW LONG WILL WE WAIT? AND WHAT CRITERIA WILL WE USE TO JUDGE OUTCOME? AND WHAT STEPS WILL WE TAKE BASED ON THAT OUTCOME?

sd; she has to take that 1 1/2 bus ride
comeback; WHY? DOES THAT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT HER SPECIAL NEEDS?

sd; he doesn't look depressed
comeback; YES, THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT SO HARD TO KNOW WHEN TO HELP HIM. THAT'S WHY MY (PSYCHIATRIST, PSYCHOLOGIST, DOCTOR) WHO MADE THE DIAGNOSIS RECOMMENDS WE DO THE FOLLOWING.....

sd; we don't have a harassment/bullying policy
comeback; WHY NOT? CAN I HAVE THAT IN WRITING?

sd; she has to stay in to make up that work
comeback; WHY? CAN I HAVE THAT IN WRITING?

sd; he lacks motivation
comeback; GEE, HOW CAN WE ADDRESS THAT EDUCATIONAL NEED?

sd; [phone call] come and get your child NOW
comeback; HAVE YOU TRIED EACH AND EVERY STEP IN THE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION PLAN?

sd; he has to learn to be more responsible
comeback; OKAY, HOW WILL WE TEACH HIM THAT?

sd; more accommodation will only 'enable' him, threatening his future
comeback; OH, I DISAGREE. I THINK THE ACCOMMODATION WE'RE DISCUSSING IS NEEDED TO ALLOW HIM TO MOVE TOWARD INDEPENDENCE.

sd; this is the only communication device we have comeback IS IT
APPROPRIATE TO HIS NEEDS? IF NOT, I REQUEST A FORMAL ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT TO DETERMINE WHICH DEVICE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEEDS TO MAKE AVAILABLE TO HIM.

sd; the CSPD is only for state use
comeback; REALLY? CAN YOU SHOW ME WHERE THAT IS STATED IN LAW?

sd; there's not enough time to discuss this issue, moving on..
comeback; I'M NOT COMFORTABLE JUST DROPPING THIS ISSUE. I'M WILLING TO MOVE ON IF WE SCHEDULE A TIME WITHIN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS TO DISCUSS IT FURTHER.

sd; but you have to sign this now
comeback; IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT I CANNOT LEGALLY BE COMPELLED TO SIGN ANYTHING. I NEED SOME TIME TO LOOK IT OVER BEFORE I SIGN.

sd; art therapy is not a related service
comeback ARE YOU SAYING MY CHILD DOES NOT NEED THIS SERVICE IN ORDER TO BENEFIT FROM HIS FAPE? IF SO, HOW ELSE DO YOU INTEND TO MEET HIS IDENTIFIED NEEDS? CAN I HAVE THAT IN WRITING?

sd; parent training? what's that? there's no reason for that in an IEP
comeback; HERE IS THE REGULATION WHICH STATES THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR APPROPRIATE PARENT TRAINING.

sd; you have to find the right meds for him
comeback; HIS PHYSICIAN AND I ARE WORKING ON THAT ASPECT; WHAT WE NEED TO DISCUSS HERE IS HOW WE CAN ADDRESS HIS NON-MEDICAL NEEDS.

sd; if we do it for one, we will have to do it for all
comeback; GEE, THAT SEEMS TO FLY IN THE FACE OF THE "INDIVIDUAL" PART OF IEP. PLUS, IF MY CHILD NEEDS IT IN ORDER TO BENEFIT FROM FAPE, THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE IT.

sd; there's no way we will authorize a 1 on 1 aide
comeback; NEVER? FOR ANY CHILD? REGARDLESS OF LEVEL OF NEED? GEE, THAT DOESN'T SOUND LEGAL TO ME.

sd; we need to see your child's medical and psychological records, sign here
comeback; WHY? PLEASE PUT YOUR REASONS IN WRITING AND I WILL CONSIDER IT.

sd; someone will get back to you
comeback; WHO? AND EXACTLY WHEN? CAN I HAVE THAT IN WRITING?

sd; [child going into 7th grade, needs a mentor from the local college program] we don't do prevocational, you will have to wait til age 14, transition
comeback ; ARE YOU SAYING MY CHILD DOES NOT NEED A MENTOR NOW? OH, HE DOES? THEN WHAT WILL YOU DO TO MEET THIS NEED?

sd; he doesn't need AT
comeback; WHY NOT? AND CAN I HAVE ANOTHER ASSESSMENT DONE?

sd; there must be problems at home; aren't you divorced?
comeback; I BEG YOUR PARDON? I DON'T THINK THIS IS AN APPROPRIATE SUBJECT FOR THIS MEETING. LET'S GET BACK TO MY CHILD'S IDENTIFIED EDUCATIONAL NEEDS.

sd; your child isn't ready for that
comeback; WHY NOT? WHEN WILL SHE BE READY? HOW WILL WE KNOW? CAN I HAVE THAT IN WRITING?

sd; subjective measurement is how it's done
comeback; I'M SURE IF WE BRAINSTORM WE CAN COME UP WITH A WAY TO FOLLOW THE LAW BY OBJECTIVELY MEASURING THIS.

sd; your child won't be able to keep up in a regular class
comeback; I KNOW, THAT'S WHY WE NEED TO PROVIDE SUITABLE ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS.

The correct comeback to most of these is something I learned at an advocacy workshop: "Show me in writing where your policy states that". If it isn't in writing, it doesn't exist applies here, too.

sd; we don't do that
comeback; I realize that none of your current students are receiving a program like this one, but since IDEA requires an appropriate education which meets each child's needs, there are no encompassing absolutes. If the IEP team agrees that this service is a appropriate and meets a needs, it can be done.

sd; this is the only program we offer
comeback; I realize that this is the program that some students are currently receiving, but since it is not appropriate for this child and does not meet his need we need to discuss other options Individual Education Plans are just that: individual, and perhaps if a new program is started you will find that it will also meet the needs of others.

sd; 1/2 hour per week OT is all students get
comeback; I realize that most students do not requires the extensive occupational therapy that my child does, however I hardly find that offering him the amount of therapy that the other children need either individualizing his education plan, or appropriate to him. Let's discuss HIS needs.

sd; we don't have the funds
come back; Gee, I thought that discussing funding during an IEP was illegal- let me just get that on tape.

sd; you have to find a social skills group c
omeback; Since my child has an identified need in social skills, and it has an impact on his education I ask that the SD meet this need by providing social skills training.

sd; you have to find a summer school
comeback; Let's discuss my child's eligibility for extended year services in order not to regress over the break.

sd; we don't need to write that down
comeback; I will note it right here in my parents notes, can I also get that on tape?

sd; we do that naturally
comeback; Great! So then let's just add it to the notes so in case of staff changes.

sd; [written in IEP] where/when appropriate
comeback; Let's modify that to make it more concrete.

sd; [written in the IEP,] in a timely fashion
comeback; Let's qualify that to give us a deadline- what would you consider a timely fashion?

sd; he lacks motivation
comeback; Let's make up a plan to motivate him, write a goal, get a behaviorist to work with the teacher to help find his motivation and support her efforts.

sd; [phone call] come and get your child NOW
comeback; Is he ill? Is he suspended? Then he will ride the bus home like always. If you would like to set up a meeting to address some behavior issues I would be more than happy to.

sd; there's not enough time to discuss this issue, moving on..
comeback; Well, then let's schedule a meeting to finish it up when you can take time to address all of the issues at hand. Here is when I am available.....

sd; if we do it for one, we will have to do it for all
comeback; The beauty of an IEP is that it is individualized plan, and only what a child needs it required. I would like the name of the person and the date which I will hear a reply from them written into the IEP notes.

If you were refused something, the school owes you your Procedural Safeguard of Prior Written Notice. 20 U.S.C. 1415(c) (1) a description of the action proposed or refused by the agency; (2) an explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action; (3) a description of any other options that the agency considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; (4) a description of each evaluation procedure, test, record or report that the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action; (5) a description of any other factors that are relevant to the agency's proposal or refusal; (6) a statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained; and (7) sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provision of this part. BE SURE YOU RECEIVE YOUR PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS BY LAW.

 

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