Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Importance Of Including Your Child in Their Own IEP Meeting


We as parents spend a lot of time advocating for our children when they are young.  However, there comes a time when our children become older and they have to learn how to advocate for themselves; knowing when the time is right will depend on your child.  If your child is still attending elementary school, they are most likely NOT mature enough to participate.  For those of you who have children in middle school, now is the time to think about the prospect of someday having your child attend their own IEP meeting.
When you and your child have come to the conclusion that they are ready to participate in their IEP meeting….then by all means, bring them in!!  When they first attend, it’s not necessary to bring them in for the entire meeting.  It’s important to make them feel comfortable and let them know that the team is there to help them in school.  The purpose of the IEP is not to discipline your child but to encourage them to become an integral part of some of the decisions pertaining to their IEP.  When you have finished discussing whatever you needed with the school, then bring your child in to participate.  It’s important to make it a positive experience so they are not afraid to participate….it can be frightening for a pre-teen/teenager to walk into a room by themselves with ten adults staring at them.
Read more of Dennise Goldberg's Special Education Advisor article HERE.

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