Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities are Always Searching for Easy IEP Help

Walking into your first IEP can be intimidating. The simple fact that your son or daughter is having difficulties with school is enough to make any parent lose sleep. But discovering that your child will need an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can be very stressful.

Parents frequently have mixed emotions when they get the news that their child has a learning disorder.

Moms are usually upset and wonder what they can do to help. Dads on the other hand can sometimes be in denial and don’t believe their child has a problem. It’s not that dads don’t care about their children but they usually aren’t as close to their schoolwork or daily care to notice everything.

It’s important to realize that the if the child has some kind of learning challenge, any help that can be provided by the school is crucial.

Individualized Education Plans are often challenging for all parties involved and for countless reasons. So, how do you find a way to have an Easy IEP?

It’s important to prepare for the IEP. Parents should keep an open mind, offer as much information about the child as possible, and be willing to learn as much as possible about the learning disability.

Make sure you attend the meeting. There are plenty events at school that parents can't attend like sports, plays and other events because of time constraints, work, or conflicting schedules with siblings. An Individualized Education Program is usually a once a year occurrence that you MUST attend.

Be prepared to participate. It is important that the child's parents get involved in the IEP, both before and after the meeting. Continue to monitor the child's progress and follow up after the meeting to ensure goals are being met.

Be flexible. Even though your child will probably be in the regular classroom, some of the curriculum will be modified. This means that portions of the materials could be toned down from what the rest of the children will be working on or that part of the school day will be learning from resource teachers such as an Occupational Therapist.

Easy IEP Help is an effort to provide some suggestions and tools for parents involved in the IEP process.

After years of attending IEPs, the process gets easier. Sometimes they go well and other times not so well. Parents have sent so many emails with questions that it was easier to begin to blog about it. Which is what this is all about.