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How to Get Started with an IEP
Sometimes it may be trying to consider if your child needs extra help in the classroom setting. Here’s some advice on how to get started with an IEP that I have learned as both a mother of a child who had an IEP and a teacher/RTI in the public school system.
You first need to ask yourself, what are the things you are concerned about when it comes to your child and learning? Does your child have an existing learning disability? Does your child struggle with attention? These are questions that you need to ask yourself at the beginning of each school year. By doing this, you will not only be helping your child but also helping the school system, which by the way is already overwhelmed with balancing and figuring out the needs of all the new/existing students.
Did you know that for your child to get extra time on a test, it needs to be legally documented and approved by the school? If your child has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, this is something you’re gonna want to look into! So how does one get started on with an IEP?
Not everyone will qualify for an IEP.
Now, I’m not saying that every child who comes into the school system who struggles with learning is going to qualify for an IEP or 504. There is a checklist for both an IEP and 504. Some students require extra help and that will look more like after school tutoring. For the students who have an existing medical diagnosis, they will need to apply for an IEP or a 504 to get the extra help that they need in order to be successful in the classroom. So many parents don’t realize that for their child to get the extra help, they will have to meet with the school and have their child evaluated by the school to see if they can come up with or qualify for an IEP or 504.
Make a point at the beginning of the school year to set up an appointment with your school administration so that you can discuss what you’re concerned about it when it comes to your child in the education system and how their medical diagnosis is affecting their learning in the classroom. By taking this initiative, you are going to help your child be more successful in the classroom. This is going to not only help them with their grades, but it’s also going to help them emotionally. Prepping your child for success rather than failure.
Reached out with concerns, now what?
Lastly, you need to follow through! There are many changes going on in the school system and the administration has a lot on their plate. It’s the beginning of the school year and everyone is juggling with new students and making sure everyone gets what they need to be successful in the classroom. So follow up! Don’t just leave a call and expect them to continue to reach out to you for follow up. In order for a successful IEP, the parents and the school need to work as a team.
It doesn’t hurt to ask.
Let’s start the school year off on the right foot. If you have any doubts about your child in the classroom, ask! Don’t sit back and wait for failure. Reach out and let the teacher and school know of your concerns. This is one of the best things you can do for your child. Let me tell you, initiating an IEP for my son was one of the best things I have done for him when it comes to education!