IEP Musts San Jose Part 4
Write It Down!
We have said “Write It Down” is a prime rule of IEPs and special education. The last blog article was about when you are writing the school. That is only half of the equation.
What About When Your Child’s School Contacts You?
What about when the school contacts you? Perhaps a key team member suggests a change that you both think will benefit your child. The IEP team promises services and supports. Sometimes they do not get written into the IEP. Perhaps things are at the point where school staff are saying things to you that surprise or shock you.
There are no verbal agreements in IEPs. If it is not in the document, your child’s school is not required to provide it. If someone suggests a significant change that you both think will benefit the student, have a short IEP meeting to get it written into the document. Same thing if the team suggests services and supports. Always carefully read any IEP draft before signing, and make sure everything you discussed is included. If not, ask the team (in writing, of course) to add it to the IEP prior to signing it. This is also why we strongly recommend parents record IEP Team Meetings. You then have a record.
Sometimes things can get a little tense. You have tried to work out differences with your child’s school, and it is not going anywhere. A case manager will call you to offer additional services (or start the ones already in the IEP). A special education director will see you in the parking lot, and pass along a key piece of information. S/he may also say something that dramatically changes things.
How Do You Get That In Writing?
As soon as you can, get to a computer, write down your memory of the conversation. Email the person who said it and at least one other person at the school. Something along the lines of “Thank you for your time today. Here is what I understand you said” add the dates and time the conversation took place, and send it. It then becomes part of your child’s record.
What does all this mean, and how can it benefit your child? Give us a call.
As parents, we understand, As experienced and trained advocates, we can help.
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