Tuesday, October 9, 2012

31 for 21:#9 Tiffany's Top Ten Tips for IEPs: No Brainer

This may seem like a no-brainer...but keep tabs on your child's progress on their IEP goals.

I mean, you go to ALL this trouble to duke it out at the IEP meeting, Don't forget about it and assume that the goals are being addressed and met! 

As my mom said, keep all your materials (notes, testing, IEP) on your child stored and organized.  Take them out and check your child's progress report against them periodically.  The most obvious time is at "report card time". But I also check about halfway, either in conjunction with their teacher, or just a quickie run through at home.  Make sure that they are all being addressed.  Check our their actual progress, assess if the IEP goals need to be expanded, or even if there needs to be goal regression or breakdown.

If your child has a breakthrough quarter and meets all of the goals, then you need to call another IEP meeting to rewrite goals.  Reward the success, with the child AND THEIR TEACHERS AND THERAPISTS, with treats or simple sweet and complimentary words about how proud and thankful you are.  And then push them to greater success and independence.

If your child seems to be struggling and the goals seem to stretch out before you, heavy and demanding.  You have two choices: 1) rewrite the goals with a greater chance of success or 2) break down the goals on your own and reward your child and compliment the teachers/therapists at positive intervals.  Personally, I usually shoot for the second, the whole "shooting for the stars" kind of thing...but I never hesitate to rejoice and share my rejoicing at accomplishments!  Mostly because if you constantly fight, fight, fight for a huge future and forget to get excited about the baby steps, you and your child will become discouraged.

Never forget that while the IEP meeting is important for the direction of the year, and it is then becomes an everyday guidepost.  And that it is your responsibility to call to accounting.

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