Tips for Reviewing a Draft IEP with Parents
If you're getting ready for the upcoming IEP meeting, you probably have the IEP drafted. But as you know, you have to review the draft with the parents as they are important members of the IEP team.
But IEP draft reviews are never an easy affair. Here are tips to make it easier and smooth.
Send parents an advance copy
Creating an IEP is supposed to be a team effort. So send the parents a copy of the draft days before the meeting. And ensure it has 'DRAFT' on every page, so parents understand nothing in the document is set in stone.
They will be able to read it over and note down their concerns, comments, and suggestions. Giving parents a draft IEP beforehand shows that you value their input about their child. It also ensures meetings proceed smoothly since they are on the same page with other team members.
Determine how well parents understand the IEP process
Some parents have little understanding of the IEP process, while others are well-versed. To determine their knowledge of the process, you can have a conversation with them before the IEP meeting. This will enable you to adjust to their level so they can actively participate during the meeting.
Skimming or reading thoroughly
It's common practice to quickly read through IEPs during meetings. While skimming will save time, it'll create unnecessary confusion for the parents. It's best to ask them whether it's okay to skim or if they want an in-depth explanation of the different aspects of the IEP.
Speak WITH parents
An IEP meeting should have an air of collaborativeness. So you shouldn't get off on the wrong foot by speaking at them rather than with them. Successful IEPs are products of teamwork between every member, including the child's parents.
So you want to show concern and care with your wording and expressions. Their comments, opinions, and inputs about what they think is best for their child are priceless. So review the IEP with them and listen carefully to whatever they say.
If you’re a parent and have been sidelined in the IEP process, an education attorney can resolve the issue for you.