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Tips for Preparing for Year End IEP Meetings

Attending annual IEP meetings can be difficult. With these tips for preparing for year end IEP meetings you will be ready to advocate for your child.

IEP Meeting Prep

Having IEP (individual education plan) meetings can be very hard on parents of a special needs child.

Often times these meetings are very intimidating.

Being in a room with the support team for your child, often 6 or more people.

It is important to remember they are there to help your child.

Listening to things your child can not do can be disheartening, but do not take it personally.

This is an important step in helping your child and being realistic.

Being prepared, having everything put together will help you be calm, understanding and able to handle the negatives.

The timeline of how the process should work is below.

7 to 10 days prep for IEP meeting tip.

Approximately 7-10 days prior to the IEP meeting you will receive an invitation.

If you have not been given adequate notification you have the right to request a date and time change.

Once the date and time are established, you will be given a copy of the Individualized Education Plan.

The IEP should include: goals, a review of improvements made, what needs to be worked on and any changes that need to be made.

Review IEP Invitation

Review the IEP invitation, be sure you understand the purpose of the meeting and what is the intended results.

Be sure you are aware of how many people and what their position is in regards to your child.

Being aware of the number of people will help you not feel intimidated at the meeting.

You have the right to bring someone with you to assist you with the meeting.

It is important to write down any names of people you plan to bring with you to prepare the school.

Once that is sent into the school, you should receive a copy of the IEP to review.

Review IEP Paperwork

After you have been given a copy of the IEP it is important that you read over the entire thing.

There will most likely be things you will not understand, simply write those down.

Create your agenda by writing down any concerns, questions or issues that you feel need to be discussed.

Be sure to write down improvements you have noticed in your child.

It is really important to write down all the positive things in regards to your child.

Another tip for preparing for the year end IEP is keeping all paperwork together.

An important part to staying organized and help you be prepared is creating an IEP notebook.

Putting together your IEP notebook.

Creating this IEP notebook to keep all important documents in one place.

What to include in your notebook.

  • current/past IEP
  • report cards
  • work samples (writing, drawing, coloring)
  • evaluations
  • progress reports
  • IEP goals
  • FBA (Functional Behavior Assessments)
  • BIP (Behavior Intervention Plans)
  • medical records and reports

Having these items with you enables you to be prepared for just about anything.

This IEP notebook will keep you organized and put together.

Empowering you for any meetings in regards to your child’s education.

Put together a goal for your child’s IEP.

One thing that always tripped me up in the beginning with IEP meetings was setting goals for my child.

I never really knew what to say for a goal for my child.

After several meetings I began writing down goals based on expectations for the upcoming year.

These goals will change as your child and expectations grow.

Put some time into thinking about realistic goals for your child .

Have those goals prepared for your year end meeting.

Putting together a goal for your child’s school year prior to the IEP meeting, will help you feel at ease.

Prepare to advocate in your child’s best interest and be comfortable with the entire process.

Thinking Ahead

The purpose of the end of year IEP meeting is to set up your child’s plan for the next year.

Sometimes thinking in those terms can be difficult for parents of a special needs child.

It is often hard to imagine what the next year may bring.

Take plenty of time and educate yourself on what the educational requirements will be for your child the next year.

Don’t feel you have to have it all figured out prior to the meeting.

Use that information to help you figure out what should be included in the plan.

Anytime you need to make a change or need to discuss something in regards to your child’s IEP, you can request a meeting.

These tips for preparing for year end IEP meetings will have everything put together for you to feel prepared.

Till next time,



Sonya Burgess

Sonya is graduate of Guilford College and a preschool teacher who lives at the North Carolina coast with her husband of 25 years, their three children ages 19,18,12 and their rescue dog Goldie. Her youngest child was recently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum and she has a heart for encouraging other special needs mamas. One of her favorite out door activities is hanging out at the beach with her family searching for sea glass. She also enjoys doing diy projects and decorating her home on a budget. Sonya blogs at encouraging women to create a beautiful, intentional life and home.

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