The IEP team is required to hold an IEP meeting at least once a year, according to the law. But of course, the IEP can be reviewed more than once a year when it is necessary. There are several topics discussed in these meetings. The IEP is created to make sure that your child has a successful school life. So, the key in these meetings is to make sure that the IEP prepared is working for the child. Members of the IEP team share their thoughts and suggestions on the child’s situation. If it is the first IEP meeting after the child is evaluated, the team would review the results so that everything is clear in terms of what the child needs, what his/her strengths and weaknesses. After all, the team is there to provide the child with the special help he/she needs in school to succeed.
During this meeting, you and the team will have the chance give input on how the child is doing. You will be discussing what is working and what is not. For instance, if your child didn’t manage to meet a goal you set out, you can review it and figure out a better way for that challenge to be managed. In these meetings, you will see if your child is on the track with the annual educational goals or falling behind. You will be the voice of your child if he/she is not able to speak up. This is the moment to give and take.
Every IEP meeting should include certain key points. First of all, the team leader will write a statement on your child’s PLOP (present level of performance). These will be based on the test scores and observations obtained from the team members. Second of all, IEP team will review child’s annual goal progress. Depending on the progress, you will develop new specific, measurable and realistic goals for the next year. You will also look into how the individualized services are working.
Other than these topics, there are some more items you can discuss in IEP meetings. It is important that you share your observations outside of school so that the team can make a certain assessment. You can focus on one of your child’s strengths and give information on that. If he/she is struggling with social interaction, you can fill in the IEP team on what he/she is doing with social interactions outside of school.
It is also of essence that you share your concerns and suggestions. You and the team are there to improve your child’s school life. If you notice a subject your child is having a difficult time with, you can talk about what it is and what you think should be done to make it better, if you have an idea.
Besides from sharing input, the team will also review and discuss the benefits of modifications and accommodations provided to the child. If they are not beneficial as expected, they can be upgraded, discontinued or replaced with what seems to be more right for your child.
It is essential to review your child’s most recent evaluation if you have already reviewed the first one. These tests reflect what your child is having trouble with at school, so they are essential to creating a better education for your child.
The team leader will be taking notes of any changes to be made in the IEP that the team agreed upon during the meeting. However, as this will only be a draft version of the new IEP, you will have the right and time to think about it. After the meeting is over, be ready to start a new journey. This new guide will be your child’s education for the following year.
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