Between the check marks and boxes, sometimes it’s impossible to decide on what is truly important in your child’s IEP. Here are 3 MUST have characteristics of a successful IEP: 1. PURPOSE: The purpose of your child’s as defined by IDEA law is to prepare your child for further education, employment, and independent living. The problem is that each family has a different vision of what those 3 areas look like for their child. It is rarely specified in the IEP what the vision truly is for each child. You job as the leader of the IEP team is to write a Parent Input statement that includes the purpose of your child’s IEP both in short term and long term planning. Your Parent Input statement is an equal part of the IEP and should be significantly driving the goals, services and desired outcomes. 2. PEOPLE FIRST: An IEP can’t be designed based on narrow minded thought and limited resources and be successful. Make sure the IEP is always focused on your child and their unique needs for an appropriate education, not district limitations. 3. PACED GROWTH: Your child’s IEP must reach towards growth for your child at a pace that is both reasonable and with high expectations. I never expect a child to make steady growth without peaks and valleys, but your child should have an IEP that sets the precedence for a significant amount of growth in each area that is a strong priority for a successful future. Ready to find out how we can work together to improve your child’s IEP? Want to see the easiest way to get IEP advocacy help for your child without hiring a full time advocate?