Thursday, January 6, 2011

IEP Advocacy Resources

Are you a parent who is overwhelmed by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process and are often left confused?  If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. Navigating the world of IEPs in a daunting task for parents and professionals alike.

In my own attempt to learn more about what parents are entitled to and what they can legally ask for, I stumbled upon The IEP Success Kit at The Special Education Advisor website-

Although a bit of an investment ($39.95 for members and $49.99 for non-members), this resource is great because a lot of the upfront work is already done for you! The kit comes with a three ring binder with document printouts as well as a CD where you can use templates to type in your child's information. You can simply bring this portable organizational device to meetings and appointments and have everything at your fingertips. The binder is organized in tabs, which include:

  • General information, such as school personnel working with your child, contact information etc.
  • IEP info- for notes, prep sheets, IEP checklists etc
  • Report Cards and Achievement Tests
  • School Assessments, including charts explaining how to interpret scores and the Bell Curve
  • Private Assessments
  • Communication Logs- Sample letters, forms to request meetings, placement changes, non-compliance paperwork etc.
  • Complaints- with links to state complaint forms
  • Settlement Agreements/Hearing Officer Decisions
  • Special Education Definitions, Acronyms, and FAQs 

Step-by-step, this kit takes you through the whole process-- beginning with requesting an IEP in the first place. It provides IEP background info and clearly defines special education terms that are often left unexplained. If you are a parent or advocate that is often pressed for time and become overwhelmed when piecing together the information you need to prepare for your child's IEP meeting, the IEP Success might be the answer for you!

Another great resource when it comes to special education law and advocacy is The Wrights are Professors of Law at the William And Mary Law School and their website provides a wealth of information about special education issues, including IEP resources and answers to frequently asked questions.

Pledge to become organized in the new year and check out these resources to help you get started!


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