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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
"Making life better!"


Parent and student involvement in planning for their child's education is very important. Yet, on reservations, the involvement of parents and students tends to be very low. We have included a lot of tips here for you to increase this involvement. One reason that people are not involved is they are not sure what they can do at a meeting, how to get ready for one or why they should go.

Spirit Lake elderGETTING HELP WITH THE IEP MEETING- Encourage parents to bring anyone who they want to be at the meeting.

If you don't feel comfortable asking for what you need, bring someone else to ask for you. Okay, we know that not everyone feels comfortable speaking to strangers. If you are one of those people, bring a friend. Everyone has an Auntie Martina or a neighbor named Joe who is perfectly willing to stand up to anyone at any time.

Discuss with your student what it is that you want decided in the IEP meeting. What do you think are reasonable goals for a student?

The most important thing a parent can do is ask for what the student needs. If you disagree with the goals for the student, speak up!

A parent (or student) has the right to a say on every part of the IEP. You can ask for different goals. You can ask for more time in the regular classroom, or more time in a special program. You can ask for extra services you feel the student needs. You can disagree that your student needs special education services.

As a parent, you can encourage your student to go to his or her own IEP meeting. Your child is very unlikely to go without you.

Schools are not required by law to do everything that you want, but they are required to show that they addressed your concerns.

Just for fun, we recommend reading these suggestions from the Mothers from Hell website. We don't seriously recommend trying these tips such as holding the IEP meeting in your neighbor's hot tub or bringing a tattooed biker named Bear to the meeting, unless that happens to be the child's father. However, we did think the webpage was funny.

NEXT arrow NEXT: How to know if you have a good IEP

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
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