Most disabled children have IEPs. IEPs are Individual Education Plans for individuals with special needs in school. Some schools’ special needs classes adapt to the child’s educational level where other schools need to be told what to teach to the child on the child’s level. Make sure your IEP includes what you want your child to learn.
An IEP can cover everything from basic needs such as the child combing their own hair to more complex educational needs like reading and writing. You really need to make sure your child’s IEP is on his or her level and a little challenging to give him or her an opportunity to expand their knowledge. As parents of special needs children you have to believe in expanding your child’s outlook. Sometimes, parents are the ones to hold their special needs child back without meaning to and without even knowing they are doing it.
It is sometimes difficult to know how much your child knows especially if your child does not answer questions on demand. Being a parent of an autistic non-verbal boy I understand how hard it is to figure out what they know. Schools will usually let you know what your child is doing and you can figure out how to challenge your child with the help of the teacher.
An IEP meeting should be called every time your child obtains his or her goals on the current IEP. Once your child has obtained their goal they need to be offered something new to learn. Start your child’s IEP with easy goals that need to be mastered. If you are still dressing your child, your child’s IEP should have a goal of dressing themselves. You want your children to learn to be independent by the time they graduate, and you need to help them achieve success.
One of the most overlooked times to call an IEP meeting is when your child is not meeting his or her goals. Some parents do not realize even though their child is on an Individualized Education Plan, the child is still being graded and may need either extra help to obtain goals or easier goals. If your child is not meeting his or her goals, you want to find out why. Is it really your child or is it the teacher and/or environment?
It is important to call an IEP meeting anytime the parent has a concern. It is the parent’s right to call IEP meetings. The school will look less favorably on you if you do not have true concerns about your child’s education. Stay informed about what your child is doing and whether or not your child is able to meet their goals for the grading period. A little intervention will go a long way in your child’s education and self esteem.