Tips for IEP and 504 Plans
Preparing for an Individual Education Plan(IEP) or 504 meeting can be stressful. Thankfully you don’t have to go it alone. Just being prepared and asking questions ahead of time can ensure that the meeting is productive. Here are some tips for planning your child’s IEP or 504 meeting by Karen Sunderhaft from the Attitude Magazine website:
- Prioritize your child’s needs. Prior to the meeting, write down your child’s academic, social, physical and emotional challenges in order of priority. Ask that the top three problems are addressed.
- Write everything down. Keep a log of time spent with your child to support his needs in school. Make sure you are documenting how long it takes to work on homework, daily organization tasks. If something is working at home, make sure you share that with the school so that they can build off of what works well.
- Plan ahead. Find out who will be at the meeting. If you are aware of who is planning on attending, you can email questions ahead of time.
- Create a personal touch. Bring in something your child has made, or a picture of them. Make sure that the tone of the meeting is about your child and everyone in attendance can get in-tune to the direction needed.
- Make a presentation. You could create a slideshow of pictures of your child displaying happiness and sadness. Leave the photos up during the meeting and pose the question “What kind of year will this be for our child?”
- Invite an advocate. An advocate can be not only an extra set of eyes and ears, they can ensure that the questions that need to be asked are presented to those present. “What kind of accommodation can you provide?”
- Keep an open mind. Teachers may have an idea that may work for your child. Try not to put all of your eggs in one particular basket. It takes a village, so it is important to be open and welcome input and suggestions.
- Pick a follow-up person. If there is someone in attendance that you feel most comfortable speaking with, approach them with the request of being your contact when questions arise.
- Follow up. Schedule a 30 day review after the initial meeting to discuss progress.
- Communicate. Make sure that everyone on the team is on the same page. Send everyone in attendance an email summarizing the meeting goals and list the people completing specific tasks or providing certain accommodations.
- Be thankful. Make sure that you let your child’s teachers know how thankful you are for their dedication to your child’s educational success.
- Keep a journal. Include copies of emails, current plan, test scores, report cards and samples of your child’s work. This is helpful when gauging if the plan is successful.
For additional information or assistance with IEP or 504 Plans, please call Freedom Resource Center at 1-800-450-0459.
References: Attitude Magazine