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Who do you bring to IEP meetings?

Posted by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM
  • 16 Replies

My sons first IEP meeting is coming up on June 20th, and naturally I don't really know what to expect. This is his initial eligibility determination meeting, as he is transitioning from early intervention to our school district. 

The school has already invited the chairperson, the representative of the couty, the person who conducted my sons preschool evaluation and our early intervention service coordinator. I know that at the very least I will be inviting his teacher. Do you invite your childs therapists as well? Should I invite the director of early intervention services at his preschool? (she did his classroom observation and acted as his aide during the cognitive testing for the evaluation)

Who do you invite to IEP meetings? Do people generally invite their childs entire "team"? Does it help to walk in with a lot of people? 

Thank you! 

by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM
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by Bronze Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Never had a team. It's always been just me at IEP meetings and I have no complaints at all; the school was far more generous with the plan than I'd have expected.

by Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 10:44 AM

It's usually just me. If DH can get the day off he'll come too. My mom has come to a few of them (My brother, sister and I all had I.E.P's so she's good to have the meetings). My brother was at my youngest DS's first I.E.P (DH couldn't get the day off and the school is down a long country road with no sidewalks). It actually turned out to be a good thing because he was able to relate how he behaves around other children and the outbursts he has.

If he's had outside therapies then you ask them to come or write a letter as to what they have worked on with him.

Good luck with the meeting.

by Bronze Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:29 AM
2 moms liked this
The first IEP meeting (transition from early intervention services to preschool), we brought the lead on my dayghter's home behavioral/ABA team & the Regional Center Coordinator for my daughter (CA thing). It was helpful to have people outside of the school with knowledge of how the IEP process works. We now practically bring an army with us, but that's been after some unusually awful circumstances related to our particular school district. I would think bringing one or two others with knowledge of the process, an objective view, and knowledge of your child would be helpful. Good luck!
by Bronze Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:33 AM

It's usually me, the director of special ed, his teacher, speech and occupational therapists from school, not private ST and OT.  I give copies of evaluations/testing/goals from private ST and OT and dev. pediatrician to the school but they have not physically attended IEP meetings.  I provide copies of the IEP to the private providers for consultation.

They should give you a rough draft before the meeting.  If I'm ok with it, I don't bring my husband.  I try to think of any questions before hand and bring them along, it's like a dr appt, if I don't do that I forget to ask!

I've learned to slow down....when my son was younger I wanted so many goals in his IEP.  I wanted academic, socialization, everything.  I've learned to start with the basic, add more as we go.  He learns academic and socialization skills in the basic goals, I didn't understand that at first.  Gotta walk before he can run.

Good Luck!  

by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:37 AM
My mom used to come before she passed away.
by Silver Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:49 AM

It is typically just me and my husband at my son's IEP meetings and everyone else is from the school (teachers, therapists etc.).  I will say it helps to have my husband there - it clearly shows that we care, we are on top of things etc. plus it helps to have 2 sets of ears listening etc. 

I will admit to you that behind the scenes, we have an advocate, a lawyer, specialists etc. but I find that not having those people at the meeting helps the meeting to be more relaxed and open and I get more information.  I use the meeting as a time to listen, ask a lot of questions, make suggestions - but I don't decide anything for sure at the meeting.  I tell them I want to read everything over again and make sure I understand and will be back in touch if I have any questions etc.  I fully use the 10 days allotted between the meeting and when I need to sign the NOREP.  I read everything several times, give myself time to reflect, ask questions of the IEP team as well as the advocate, lawyer etc. as needed.

I did have our advocate attend one meeting - we had several prior meetings and were at an impasse with the team - having the advocate there definitely changed to tone for the meeting - in this case, for the better but I am not sure I would want every meeting to be that way. 

by Dawn on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:54 AM

I recommend bringing any questions or concerns you have about the IEP after you have read it to the meeting. I also recommend reading,, and before the meeting.

by Kristina on Jun. 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I usually attend my kids' IEP meetings myself. I brought Logan's PCA to the last one so she would have first hand knowledge of his goals etc. The school typically sends the sped teacher, the principal, the school nurse, OT, Speech teacher, his primary para and DAPE instructor. It can be intimidating to face all those people but I would rather they all be on the same page when it comes to the IEP. I also take my time and read ALL the materials several times. My husband also reads everything but leaves the questions and clarifications to me. I have to be careful because our school district likes to sneak things in as well as drop accommodations. I always compare the current IEP with the new proposal. The school also wants the kids in the meetings. I refuse because Logan is disruptive and he knows we are talking about him. I think it is insulting to discuss issues in front of my children. I think it would be different if they were higher functioning and could have some input on the meeting.

Just remember that you are your child's voice when it comes to their education and services. Good luck and stay strong.

by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 12:47 PM
Thank you so much for all of the responses so far! I bumped into his PT while picking him up from school today and she said that people don't typically ask her to attend because the schools here do not have a problem giving the recommended amount of therapies. She said we should have no problem in that department.
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM

We bring an advocate, and our daughter's aba therapist. Our advocate brought in the district school psychologist to our eligibility meeting, and I asked for the district psychologist and autism specialist at out initial meeting (this is our second go with getting my daughter an IEP and special ed preschool). We recod all meetings on my iPad (so I don't have to take notes, I can listen later and to keep every one civil and on their toes. Can't deny a recording). We have had a lot of issues with our school.

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