Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings can be stressful for families. There are many layers to wade through, such as procedural requirements around notice and attendance, as well as written evaluations, learning goals, and recommendations for programming and services. It’s a lot to take in, particularly if your child has complex needs.
Given all this, it’s not surprising that parents often tell me they feel rushed and unprepared for their child’s IEP meeting. Some common solutions that IEP teams use to address this include providing parents with copies of the evaluations and proposed plans prior to the meeting. This not only helps alleviate stress for parents, it also makes the meetings themselves more productive.
But even with adequate advance work, IEPs can be tough to hammer out. Parents might be confused about any number of items, and may want additional time to process complicated issues.
Special Education Pro Tip – Take Your Time. If you as a parent need an extra day or two to go back through your notes, ask doctors or other experts some questions, or even just to clear your head, take the time to do that. Your child’s IEP will have an direct impact on the quality of their education. You should never feel rushed or panicked to finish it.