Parental Input on Your Child's IEP

Don't Miss the Chance to Have Your Say

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Among all of the details on your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP), there is a space for your input as a parent. You may have missed it there, along with spaces for input by the teacher, social worker, psychologist, speech-language pathologist, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. As a parent, you are a critical part of your child's IEP. This is your opportunity to have your voice documented.

Giving Parental Input on the IEP

The parental input space may not be blank. It may have been filled in by your case manager based on statements you made at the IEP meeting. Check it carefully to see whether it reflects your opinions and input. But if you see there have been misperceptions or you disagree with what is written, you can clarify what you meant. You may also have specific suggestions or want to document.

Write up your input and ask for it to be entered into the parental input space on the IEP. You'll want to make the language polite and professional, in keeping with a legal document. Consider carefully what you want those carrying out this plan to know, and how you want them to think of you and your family.

You can use the parental input space to give official recognition to informal agreements you've made with teachers and administrators. One example would be if a boy kept getting into conflict in the school bathroom at lunch time when it was crowded.

The school nurse suggested that he use her bathroom at those times and this plan worked well. Document this suggestion in the parental input space on the next IEP so it will be seen by his team, especially if he changes schools.

You can also use the parental input space to suggest academic or behavioral tactics that can be used at the teacher's discretion.

As your child changes levels, such as to high school, you may want to include goals you want to be communicated to a new set of teachers. For example, if your son is entering high school and you would like to have an increased emphasis on independence, you may enter a statement such as this:

A. is a very friendly and verbal teen, and may appear to be more mature and capable than he is. Due to his Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, he will sometimes be unable to make good decisions or show self control, especially under stress. Because of this, it is recommended that individuals with FASD should have constant supervision through the teen years and beyond. I believe there are ways to give A. the feeling of independence while still maintaining an appropriate degree of watchfulness, and I hope his teachers and I can work together so that A. can continue to have a happy and safe school experience.

A Word From Verywell

Do you have a particular concern, recommendation, or objection? Make use of the parental input space on the IEP so it will be documented. You've got a unique view of your child, and without it, the overall picture will never be complete.

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