By Marcie Lipsitt, National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) Parent Leader
I know few parents who look forward to attending their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting. IEPs are difficult to read. Comprehending the IEP jargon and legalese can be daunting. Many parents are so intimidated by the document and the process surrounding its implementation that they “give up.” This is a mistake. Parents need to be engaged in this educational journey that will continue until their child’s very last day in high school or a post-secondary special education program.
I often ask why it is that only parents of children with special needs have to become experts in how to educate their children. Why do these parents have to understand and synthesize current research-based instruction, data-based decision-making or draft measurable and accountable IEPs? When is the last time that you heard the parents of a healthy, neuro-typical child lament the daily grind of learning how to educate their child or navigate state and federal education laws, rules, and policies?
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