Need Help with your child’s IEP?
You’ve received an invitation to attend your child’s IEP review, your blood pressure rises, and your hands begin to sweat as your anxiety reaches its peek… you think I’d rather be operated on than attend another meeting at my child’s school!
You’re overwhelmed with terms, services, and anachronisms that just act as fuel for an anxiety induced melt down; IEP, FAPE, LRE, CST, OT, PT, and speech, oh don’t forget SPEECH!
Now you’re questioning, “Who needs services more…me or my child?”
Well there ARE services for you! Problem is…the school doesn’t want you to know that there are. In fact they count on keeping you as much in the dark as they possibly can, by having you believe they have the best interest of your child in mind. BUT..you know that you are the one that knows your child best!
3 Main Things you NEED to Know about that IEP meeting…
- This is YOUR meeting!
If not for the fact that you have a child with a disability, this meeting would not be taking place. Take charge and run that meeting like the “Chief Operating Executive” (COE) that you are of your child and family matters.
2. Be PREPARED!
Go into that meeting with YOUR agenda, not theirs! Put together an agenda of the main points, issues, and services you want to address and discuss for your child’s education going forward.
Know ahead of time what all those numbers, percentages, and percentiles are all about. The law requires that the CST provide all parents at least 10 days in advance of any meeting the outcomes, synopsis’, and evaluations, therefore there is NO reason on God’s Green Earth, to sit there and be mesmerized to the point of hypnosis by the case manager spouting off number after number of your child’s evaluated disability level.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?????
Know ahead of time that for the most part, these charts and numbers prove that your child needs help! Needs Services! Modifications, placement, and accommodations!
3. Have a Plan!
Go into that meeting with the requests for services that fit your child’s disability. Know that you want to request a home to school communication log, make requests for assistive technology, or a behavior intervention plan.
How will you know what to ask?
What to discuss?
Call me first!
Linda McDougall-Leenstra is passionate about advocating for special needs families. She has been in the special needs community professionally for over 25 years. Linda began advocating for better, more effective special education programs after experiencing first-hand the challenges of our school systems as a certified special education teacher.
Linda is a child centered crusader, who feels the education of a child with special needs works best when the strategies are carried out across all environments of that child’s life. However, Linda quickly found out how difficult it is to make sure these strategies, modalities, and services cross over when she was met with adversity from her employers in the public school sectors. In finding that; acquisition of funds, availability of services, a general desire to do the very least possible for each individual child was the driving forces behind our educational services, when in reality, the national laws of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) are the legal RIGHTS of families and students. Therefore, Linda was forced to leave the employment of public education and became the wonderful advocate she is today.
Linda’s mission is to educate and empower parents and professionals on how to design and implement special education programs for success. Linda understands the modern-day special needs family and the struggles families are facing in both the education and medical communities. As an advocate, Linda is able to help families navigate the all too often confusing waters of special education with goals towards receiving the full and appropriate services a child “needs” based on their individual disability.
Call (973) 534-3402 to speak with Ms. Linda today
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