If I hear just one more time how cute or how polite my son is I may never recover from the screaming meemies that will immediately descend upon me. It is wonderful that you recognize his cuteness but his cuteness will not improve his functional reading skills, or his social competency, or any of the myriad of other challenges he has in order to become a functioning independent adult.
There are two things that a parent absolutely must make sure are included in the IEP for their child and they are: 1) that ALL NEEDS are identified. Some of them may not be directly addressed in the IEP for a variety of reasons, but they must be identified and listed. 2) Base lines are given that are taken without prompts and reflect the child's FUNCTIONAL LEVEL.
I learned this through having an IEP meeting where I knew my son's reading level was pre-primer and they kept insisting it was at a 5th-grade level. Not a small difference! Remember it does not matter where you are. This school was nationally recognized and ranked one of the tops in the country. They still got it wrong and they admitted that his reading level was pre-primer by the end of the IEP meeting.
So every parent should consider the following questions at their IEP and document the school districts response.
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Marie Lewis is an author, consultant, and national speaker on best practices in education advocacy. She is a parent of 3 children and a Disability Case Manager, Board Certified Education Advocate, and Behavior Specialist Consultant. She has assisted in the development of thousands of IEPs nationally and consults on developing appropriately individualized IEPs that are outcome based vs legally sufficient. She brings a great depth of expertise, practical experience, and compassion to her work as well as expert insight, vision, and systemic thinking. She is passionate and funny and she always inspires and informs.
MJ Gore has an MEd in counseling and a degree in elementary education and natural sciences. She worked as a life-skills and learning support teacher She has been honored with the receipt of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. She is the Director and on the faculty at the National Special Education Advocacy Institute. Her passion is social justice, especially in the area of education. She is a Board Certified Education Advocate that teaches professional advocates, educator, and clinicians the best practices in education advocacy.
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