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NC Education Lawyer Blog

  • Writer's pictureNeubia Harris

How Students Can Actively Participate in Their IEP Meetings

For students with disabilities, an Individualized Education Plan lays out the support and strategies they’ll receive to achieve their learning goals and objectives.

A multidisciplinary IEP team meets to formulate this plan and review it at least once a year.

While students are allowed to participate in IEP meetings, many students draw back, choosing not to take part.

This should not be so.

When students take an active part in their own IEP process, they’re better positioned to understand and work on their weakness, strength, goals, and objectives.

This post highlights ways students can actively participate in their IEP meetings.

Introduce team members

One of the simplest ways students can kick off their participation in IEP meetings is to make the introductions. They can introduce family members and other team members they are familiar with.

Introducing team members is an excellent ice breaker and can help students feel relaxed and comfortable to vocalize their opinions and contributions during discussions.

Present their work

In meetings where students are absent, teachers speak for the student when highlighting areas of progress.

For this, students can take center stage, explaining to the team how they were able to accomplish a given classroom task. Students can also go the extra mile to create and present a slide show of their work during the year in review.

They can talk about their challenges and the skills they employed to complete tasks.

Discuss beneficial accommodations and support

Rather than having teachers and other team members deliberate on the accommodations and support they believed were beneficial, students can better indicate which helped them achieve their goals and objectives.

Thus, unhelpful accommodations and support can be removed in favor of impactful and beneficial ones.

Help in creating IEP goals

No matter the accommodations and support, students will struggle to meet goals if they do not align with their aspirations. Thus, it’s smart to allow students to participate in the conversations about their own future.

Students can identify areas of weakness and strength and determine areas where they need more support. They can also reveal skills they would like to improve on. Together with classroom data, students’ input goes a long way in creating tangible and attainable goals.

Get in touch with me for further advice on how your child can actively participate in IEP meetings.


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