HOW TO ENHANCE THE ELIGIBILITY PROCESS AND IEP PROCESS

Parents Should:
  • Talk to your child's teachers.
  • Ask if a referral for an evaluation is being requested.
  • Let the team know you wish to be actively involved in the process. Remember that you have an equal role on the team.
  • Ask what evaluation measures are to be used and why.
  • Ask for the qualifications of the examiners, and the time and place of the evaluation.
  • Obtain all school records prior to the team meeting(s) including: private assessments, medical records, prior IEPs, progress notes, report cards, teachers' notes, written observations, etc. KEEP COPIES OF ALL DOCUMENTS TOGETHER IN YOUR OWN FILE.
  • Discuss the evaluation with the person(s) who did the evaluation.
  • Get the child's input, where appropriate.
  • Be prepared for the meeting. Be assertive - leave your anger at home - stay objective.
  • Make a list of your child's present level of functioning based on your observations: academic skills, developmental skills (if pre-academic), motor skills, language skills, emotional/behavior skills, self-help skills, pre-vocational skills or any other concerns.
  • List goals/objectives you feel your child should attain and prioritize them.
  • List the special education services your child may need.
  • List the related services your child may need.
  • Meet with the team at a mutually convenient time and place. Find out who will be at the meeting and what their roles will be.
  • Let the team know if you are bringing someone to the meeting. Bring a tape recorder if you wish or bring someone to take notes.
  • Be on time.
  • If introductions aren't made, introduce yourself and ask the others to do the same including their function or role at this meeting (i.e. Mrs. Smith, the school nurse).
  • Ask how the proposed program will affect regular class time (work).
  • Explain any changes in the program to your child.
  • Share with the team any concerns your child may have.
  • Monitor the IEP to insure that the goals and objectives are carried out and that services listed are provided.
  • You may request a review of the IEP at any time.
  • Request that minutes of the IEP be taken and that you receive a copy.
  • Remember to thank members of the team for their efforts and to give genuine praise when appropriate.