Can you give me information on working with the school IEP for my child with Aspergers?
When you have a child with Asperger’s, IEP negotiations are extremely important. As the parents, you hold a vital position on the IEP team and unfortunately, many parents often feel undermined and in some cases, bullied into accepting the opinions and terms decided by the educational staff. Your input is not only important, but also necessary in the development of a well-rounded IEP for your child.
In the days and weeks before your child with Aspergers’ IEP meeting, there are several things you can do to make the experience more pleasant and the outcome more positive. This IEP is imperative to your child’s future. Here is a list of suggestions for IEP preparation.
- Schedule private evaluations, if you desire. Medical evaluations, including medically referred psychological testing, will present a complete diagnostic picture. Educational evaluations are primarily geared towards diagnostics that affect only the specifics of the education process. These two diagnoses can be different. Without a medical evaluation and official medical diagnosis, your child may miss vital services.
- Request access to all updated evaluation reports before the IEP meeting in order to prepare for the meeting. You should not have to settle on glancing over the reports or hearing the results second-hand during the meeting.
- Know your child’s strengths and weaknesses so there are no big surprises during the IEP meeting. If you know your child’s abilities and weaknesses, you will be better prepared to request additional services when needed and not offered.
- Represent yourself as an equal member of the IEP team. Dress respectably, speak intelligently, and do not feel inferior. Yes, the other members are education professionals, but you are an expert in your child.
- Make notes, ask questions, and request clarification before and during the IEP meeting. When goals are set, be sure you understand the wording and that your thoughts are taken into consideration.
- Request time to review the IEP before signing. There is no reason to rush through this process. Take the IEP home, read over it, and make changes if necessary. Do not sign until you are sure your child has the best IEP possible.
When you have a child with Asperger’s, the IEP should be treated as the important document and process that it is. The IEP is the backbone to your child’s educational assistance. If you have any questions about appropriate goals or specific questions about the IEP process, there are many great resources available. This one, “How Well Does Your IEP Measure Up?” by Diane Twachtman-Cullen and Jennifer Twachtman-Reilly, is just one example.