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Preparing for an IEP Meeting as a Parent

Some parents are heavily involved in their child’s education. Others tend to stand by the wayside and let the teachers do the guiding. When it comes to IEP meetings, there is no good choice but to be heavily involved. Some parents however, don’t know what is expected of them and may be unnerved by the experience. Use the information provided here to help you if you are one of those parents who wants to be prepared but isn’t exactly sure what all being prepared entails.

Sit down and think about how your child feels about school. Talk with your child so you can learn how they perceive the educational atmosphere. After all, it’s their education and well being that you are concerned about. Children tend to feel overwhelmed when expressing feelings that they may think will not be received well. Help them to understand that you are ready to listen to and address their concerns. Write down notes that concern what the child says.

Now think about how you feel about their education and how they are responding to what they are learning. Has their behavior changed at home? Do they seem to be retaining information? Do they seem to feel comfortable going to school and addressing their concerns to you and their teacher? Are they being picked on by other students? Are there any physical problems that need to be addressed? Are there any comprehension problems that need to be addressed? How do you feel about how they are doing in school overall?

Now that you have thought about the concerns you have for your child, what are some solutions to any problems they may be having? Are there certain tools you use at home that seem to work well? Write these down as suggestions to give to your child’s teacher. If you are both using the same tools then the child has a better chance at understanding what is expected of them as well as what they can expect from you and the teacher.

Keep an open mind. As parents, we sometimes tend to be overprotective of our children. While this is certainly understandable, children do need some sort of motivation in order for them to do well. If they are not encouraged to do more than what they currently can do, then they will not grow beyond where they are now. If the student has a teacher who is experienced in their field, then they may have some good ideas of how the child can be motivated. While you may think you are doing them a favor by protecting them from being pushed too hard, in all reality, you may actually be holding them back from their full potential.

If you go to your child’s IEP meeting prepared to make progress, then it’s entirely likely that your child, you and the teacher will all feel as if something has been accomplished at the end of the meeting. Have some faith in the teacher. Trust me, they aren’t doing their job only for the pay.

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