FOLLOWING UP AFTER THE IEP MEETING
Parental follow up after the IEP meeting will help to assure successful implementation of the child’s IEP. The following are some suggestions:
- Monitor your child’s progress. Know how often progress reports and communication from the school will occur.
- Remember IDEA 2004 requires that the IEP describe when periodic reports to the parents on the progress the student is making toward meeting the annual goals will be given to parents.
- Ask for a meeting if progress has not been satisfactory or if problems that you believe might be affecting your child’s progress begin to surface.
- Anticipate a year end review and/or meeting as a minimum with the school team to assess your child’s current status. Find out what went well and what should be on the next IEP.
- Express appreciation for the efforts of school personnel. Let them know what is going well! Also let their supervisors know.
Monitoring Your Child’s Progress
After an IEP is written and once the implementation of the IEP begins, ongoing monitoring of the IEP needs to take place. Monitoring is a process that helps parents, therapists, teachers, and others involved with the child to constantly evaluate how the child’s program is working. Monitoring is critical because you can never know for sure if a program or goal is going to work for a child.
If you catch problems early, you will be in a better position to problem solve with the team in time to make needed adjustments to the program.
Some Ways to Monitor Your Child’s Program:
- Evaluate progress reports. A progress report should use documentation to show what gains your child is making in a given area.
- Use a daily or weekly home note for your child. A home note can be a notebook that goes home regularly with notes about your child, or it can be a specific checklist that goes back and forth.
- Keep a “home file” of samples of your child’s work, teacher notes and other communications, copies of IEPs, copies of assessment results, etc.
- Make anecdotal notes of your child’s progress or difficulties as observed at home.
- Look at work that your child brings home. If the work is consistently sloppy, unfinished or has a lot of incorrect answers, that may signal a problem. If your child’s work never increases in difficulty, that could indicate a problem. Also, notice if the work is too challenging or not challenging enough for your child.
- Trust your instincts. If your child seems unhappy or ill or if something ‘feels’ wrong, you may want to conference with the teacher.