California parents know their children better than anyone else. This is why they should be a valued and informed part of the process of developing an effective Individualized Education Program (IEP) for their student with special education needs. School administrators, education professionals and others should take the time to keep parents informed during the IEP process and properly consider and value their opinions regarding their child’s education.
What Should Happen in a Meeting?
An IEP meeting can be intimidating for a parent if they are unsure of how the process works and what they should be expecting. The meeting can be emotional and daunting, which is why it is important for parents to have a complete explanation of all the legal, medical and educational jargon in their child’s IEP. They have the right to know what type of support their child is receiving and is entitled to under the law.
Parents have the right to ask questions and be informed about all aspects of their child’s IEP. In an IEP meeting, school staff should allow time for parents to ask questions and obtain the answers they need to feel confident. The leaders of an IEP meeting should also account for the parents’ needs as well.
Advocates for Their Kids
California parents of children with special education needs are advocates for the needs of their children. They have the right to fight for what their kids need for an appropriate educational experience. It is imperative for parents to know their rights as they attend IEP meetings and speak for their kids at every step of the IEP process.