When your child needs extra help in learning to read because of their dyslexia, or needs emotional, academic and behavioral support because of their autism, you want to see your child make progress through the school year. That’s why you and educators have established an individual education plan (IEP) for your child, which should be followed.
However, at some point, your child’s educators may not follow your child’s IEP and you may feel at a loss as how to address this. You know you need to be your child’s top advocate, but you are not sure how.
Here are the steps you can take when educators aren’t following your child’s IEP:
- Meet with the teacher. If there is a specific teacher not following your child’s IEP, you can request a meeting. Bring a copy of your child’s IEP with you, so you can specifically address areas you feel are a problem. Leave the copy with your child’s teacher, so you know they have the IEP to follow.
- Schedule a meeting with school administrators. If you feel after your initial meeting with your child’s teacher, the IEP still isn’t being followed, you need to meet with school administrators. You want their involvement in finding a solution.
- Meet with your child’s IEP team. You may need to meet with your child’s whole IEP team to address your concerns. This team can include special education teachers, a school counselor, the principle and other teachers. You’ll want to come up with a plan to address the problems as well as schedule a follow-up meeting to evaluate how the new plan is going.
- Have your child assigned to a new teacher, to see if that will make a difference.
- Pursue dispute resolution options, such as mediation, a due process hearing or filing a lawsuit. Most often, school districts want to resolve an IEP dispute out of court. Yet having an attorney involved can help assure educators truly get back on track in following your child’s IEP.
When you have a child with special education needs, it can feel overwhelming to ensure your child is getting the tools and support they need to succeed. As your child’s parent, you are the person who wants to see them grow and flourish most. Ensuring educators follow your child’s IEP is one of the best ways to do that.