How To Teach A 3 Year Old Boy To Write 12 Tips For Involving Parents in the IEP Process

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12 Tips For Involving Parents in the IEP Process

As special education teachers, one of our main responsibilities is to develop Individual Education Programs (IEP) with a team of individuals including the child’s parents or caregivers. The process is very time consuming for Special Education teachers. It is not usual to spend more than several hours just to gather information and prepare to conduct the IEP meeting and write it. Some IEPs are only a few pages long, but others, especially for a child who needs multiple services, can be twenty or more pages long.

The purpose of the IEP is for a team to develop goals and objectives, as well as to define the services that the child will need for at least the next year. IEPs are written annually and some require revision or writing more often.

Each individual on the team is supposed to have input to help develop the IEP goals. The key term here is “supposed”. While some team members are more involved than others, the burden of producing and writing a correct IEP is on the Special Education teacher.

As often happens, the Spec. Ed. The teacher organizes the meeting, sends the necessary notices to the participants and then writes the IEP. While goals and objectives are usually written during the meeting itself, the Spec. Ed. The teacher has a good idea of ​​what goals to include. He also spent time writing narratives for other parts of the IEP.

Team members who are invited to the meeting have little or no input into the process and only show up to sign the document produced. Ideally, the team members who should have the most input into the IEP are the Spec. Ed teacher, classroom teacher, key support staff and parents.

The fight that more Spec. Ed. teachers face is how to make parents become more than a participant in the IEP. Parents with their child are the main players in the development of an appropriate IEP. What can Spec. Are ed teachers doing it to get parents more involved in the process?

Here are 12 tips for Special Ed teachers to get the parent involved in the process:

1. Before the IEP meeting, the Special Ed. The teacher should interview the parent to see what their concerns are for their child and what goals and objectives they would like to see implemented in the IEP.

2. At least a week before the meeting, send home a list of possible goals and objectives for the parent to review and make additions or corrections to them.

3. Probably the most important thing is to set a time for the meeting that is mutually agreeable for everyone, but more especially the parent.

4. Be sure during the meeting to welcome the comments and concerns that the parent may have. Ask questions specifically addressed to them. Don’t let anyone interrupt them.

5. If one parent starts talking, let them go and make sure the others allow time for them to talk too. If team members feel the need to talk among themselves while the parent is speaking, ask them to leave the room so that one parent does not have to compete with the others’ attention.

6. Maintain a steady flow of communication with parents all the time – not just at the IEP meeting.

7. Keep the parent appraised of what is happening with their child. This doesn’t just mean the report card or parent conference time. This also means at other times. In this way, parents can know what is working and what is not working.

8. Let the parent know the successes that his child has achieved, and what things should be done differently.

9. During the meeting make sure you recognize the parent as part of the team and that the other members of the team know that what they say and discuss is important.

10. As teachers we are very attached to the children we work with, especially those we have worked with for many years. It is important that we keep in mind that this child, for whom we met, is not our child, but belongs to the parent. We may not always agree with the parent, but their wishes should be considered and acknowledged.

11. The most important skill we can develop as meeting facilitators is to listen, listen and listen when the relative speaks. This means active listening – with eyes and ears.

12. Finally, let the parent know that you care about their child and about them as a family. Parents of children with Special Needs often need reassurance that their child is part of the classroom, has friends and others who care for them.

Try these tips and see if they help make parents more involved in the IEP process.

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