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Seven IEP Tips for Parents of Neurodiverse Kids!

Stop the Overwhelm!

But DJ... IEP meetings are so daunting...

They don't have to be! Be prepared and informed on what it is that YOUR CHILD needs for learning success!

Here are seven (random number, right?!) essential things you should know and ask for at your neurodiverse child's IEP meeting. And don't forget to grab The Parent Playbook to guide you along the way!

Understand the Specifics:

Before attending the IEP meeting, take the time to fully understand your child's strengths, challenges, and unique learning style. Consider seeking input from teachers, therapists, and other professionals who work with your child regularly. Having a clear understanding of your child's needs will empower you to advocate more effectively during the meeting.

Review Your Child's Current IEP (and Know What You’re Looking At!):

Familiarize yourself with your child's current IEP, including their goals, accommodations, and any modifications that are in place. Reflect on what has been effective and where improvements can be made. Use this information as a starting point for discussing your child's progress and setting new goals during the meeting.

Set Clear and Measurable Goals:

Work collaboratively with the IEP team to establish clear, measurable, and realistic goals for your child. These goals should be tailored to address your child's individual needs and should align with their strengths and interests. Remember to advocate for goals that focus not only on academic achievement but also on social and emotional growth.

Explore Assistive Technology Options (It's not Just for Communication!):

Advances in technology have opened up new possibilities for supporting neurodiverse learners in the classroom. Advocate for access to assistive technology tools and resources that can help your child overcome barriers to learning and enhance their academic performance. This may include speech-to-text software, text-to-speech programs, or specialized apps for organization and task management.

Request Accommodations and Modifications:

Advocate for the accommodations and modifications that will best support your child's learning and success in the classroom. This may include adjustments to the curriculum, extra time on assignments or tests, preferential seating, or access to assistive technology. Be prepared to explain how each accommodation or modification will benefit your child and help them reach their goals.

Address Social and Emotional Needs:

Don't overlook the importance of addressing your child's social and emotional needs in their IEP. Advocate for supports and interventions that will help your child develop social skills, build relationships, and manage their emotions effectively. Consider requesting access to counseling services, social skills groups, or peer mentoring programs.

Emphasize Collaboration and Communication:

Encourage open communication and collaboration between you, your child's teachers, and other members of the IEP team. Share insights about your child's strengths, interests, and preferences, and listen attentively to the perspectives of others. Establishing a collaborative and supportive relationship with the IEP team will benefit your child in the long run.

Starting to feel a bit better? By understanding your child's needs, setting clear goals, and advocating effectively for accommodations and services, you can help create an environment where your child can reach their full potential. Your commitment to your child's education and well-being is invaluable! When you are knowledgeable and confident in what to ask for, you are an integral part of the IEP team!

Need help in navigating all of this? To snag a spot on my calendar for a FREE consultation on how to best support your neurodiverse child's learning, CLICK HERE!

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