Special Education IEP Relationships Santa Clara

Special Education IEP Relationships Santa Clara

Special Education IEP Relationships Santa Clara

IEP Team Dynamics

When interacting with members of the IEP team, it can feel like we are dealing with a monolithic, unfeeling agency. It can be easy to ascribe the entire group with a lack of cooperation and helpfulness. Sometimes this is the case; we have heard of teams being trained in how to deny services. Other times, there is simply a communication breakdown between the family and the school members of the IEP team.

There are specific remedies in place for the first case. This article addresses good communication between families and team members when the relationship is not in crisis.

Your Relationship is Like a Marriage

You are in a long-term relationship with the school district. It is possible to change your child’s educational setting, though it is not easy. You can move, pay for private school, or home-school your student. For many of us, those are not viable options. In these cases, the relationship with the school is like a long term marriage without the option of divorce or even a trial separation.

We meet a few people in the system who seem like they might be happier doing something else. This is true in any field, and we believe it is the exception in special education. Most who chose special education as a career choice went into that field and remain there so they can help people with disabilities.

Email

Email is both a wonderful thing and very challenging at the same time. We all know the many advantages of email. The biggest negatives are that one does not have the verbal and visual cues present in a face to face conversation. It is more difficult to assess tone, and far less opportunity to clarify than one has in a phone call. It can be a wonderful tool, or a great opp

Thoughts

Assume positive intentions from your child’s teacher.

Approach the teacher in a positive and collaborative manner.

When emailing any member of the team, write directly yet kindly. Especially when upset, Susie and Leigh often write emails without entering the email address (to avoid sending it before it is done by accident), walk away for a bit, and then come back and read it again. We will even sometimes run it by each other to make sure it says what we want it to say.

A lot of advocacy is repairing communication breakdowns. Relationships are hard, and good communication is key to any relationship.

As parents, we understand,  As experienced and trained advocates, we can help.

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