Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Are You Overwhelmed by Your Child’s IEP?

By Kristin Stanberry from the National Center for Learning Disabilities

Given the complexity of the IEP and IEP process—and its importance to a child’s education—it’s understandable that parents often feel overwhelmed. In fact, the whole IEP process can be an emotional roller coaster, as we learned from a survey we conducted in 2012. We asked parents what feelings they have ever experienced during the IEP process. The results were eye-opening, with over half of respondents saying they felt overwhelmed, confused, powerless, and/or intimidated. On a more positive note, many of those surveyed said they felt (or had at some time felt) hopeful, confident, thankful, and trusting.

The same survey told us that, while many parents are satisfied with the IEP process and their involvement as members of their children’s IEP teams, just as many were dissatisfied. More than half feel prepared at IEP meetings, so preparation alone clearly doesn’t wipe out the host of emotions many parents feel!

IEP Scenarios – Why You Might Feel Overwhelmed

Here are some common reasons why you might feel upset or uncertain during the IEP process — along with some possible remedies:

1.  You feel outnumbered and intimidated. Even if you attend the IEP meeting with your spouse/partner, you’ll 
almost always be surrounded by more than two educators. Here are some ways to bolster your confidence:

  • Remember that you are a valuable member of the IEP team. The others may be education experts, but you are the expert about your child. No one else on the team has a lifelong relationship and or the same level of awareness you do of your child. Make sure your voice is heard!

Read more HERE.
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