How IEP Works
An Individual Education Plan (“IEP”) is a legal contract between the parent, the school district and the government. The IEP tells all parties about who, what, when, where, why and how, a special needs student will be educated. It will, in large measure, describe the necessary academic and social architecture for building a successful student with an appropriately successful life. This is why the process of developing an effective, usable, and legal IEP is of vital importance to parents, students, educators, administrators and society as a whole.
The question is frequently asked: What is the role of the parent in the IEP process? Is the parent just there to listen or is the parent expected to be an active and strong partner in this process?
Clearly, all statutory and case law makes it abundantly clear that parents are expected to be equal participants along with school/district personnel in developing, reviewing, and amending the student’s IEP. This is not a “one man one vote” forum, if anything, the parents should be thought of by the team as having at least one-half the final say in the development and implementation of the IEP, this is how things work. Job #1 for any parent with a special needs child is to ensure their child has a proper and appropriate IEP.
"The only way we can be there for our children is to be there for ourselves." ~ Anonymous