Special Needs Parents are the most creative and ambitious people I have ever met! Now, the trick is to take the creativity and ambition and present ideas to your child's IEP team in a clear way that gets the IEP team on board.
In other words, you have to learn how to speak teacher language. The great part is that teacher language is FUN! It's not assertive or aggressive. In fact, I've never met a teacher that went to school with the hopes they could spend their days in conflict with parents. Really, teachers are on your side. You just need to let them know that you are on their side.
That's where this IEP Brainstorm Resource for parents comes in. You can use it ANY time of the year. This is NOT just for when you need BIG changes to your child's IEP, but you can use this to tweak your child's IEP throughout the year.
Did you know that you can change your child's IEP without an IEP meeting? I teach that strategy all the time in the Special Education Resource Center for Parents.
So here's what you do... Fill out this form and bring it to your child's teacher. Use it as a talking point and it'll help you leave your emotions out of the conversation (at least a little bit).
Do you see how this form is NOT intimidating... YES!
You want to be able to describe your child's IEP from a teacher's point of view.
- You want your child to be able to "write their name in cursive", you will need time to practice, possibly a special pen with a grip and lined paper and a quiet place to work.
- You will need the help of the teacher and the OT.
- You want your child to do this so they can be independent signing forms.
- You'll measure the progress by keeping a work portfolio.
- Together, you and the teacher will decide next steps on how to get this goal going... do you want it officially in the IEP now or is this something that we should try for a few weeks, get some data, make some adjustments and then add into the IEP.
If you need help coming up with IEP Goal ideas, check out this IEP Goal Writing for Parents Resource. I give you exact examples of IEP goals and how to choose them by sharing with you real-life goals from the families I work with.
Remember, don't ever be intimidated to bring these ideas to the teacher or feel it's silly to bring this brainstorm sheet. You are learning to speak "teacher" and having been a teacher myself in the past and being an IEP advocate for the past 20 years... I can tell you with confidence... THIS WORKS.