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Special Education Law

Advocating for your child: 4 steps when IEPs are ignored

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | IEP |

An individualized education plan (IEP) caters to your child’s specific educational needs.

There are many times your child may need additional learning support. For example, if they have autism. An IEP better ensures that child receives the emotional, academic and behavioral support they need. Or they may have dyslexia and benefit from a reading intervention program and specialized academic instruction (SAI). Whichever the case, you want to see your child make meaningful progress throughout the school year, which is why following the IEP is critical.

When your child’s educators fail to follow the IEP, you should address these concerns as soon as possible. However, it can be a challenging process and you might not know where to start.

What steps can you take if educators fail to follow your child’s IEP?

It can be frustrating when the IEP designed specifically for your child’s needs is not implemented appropriately. There are steps you can take to enforce it. These may include:

  1. Reach out to the teacher: First, you may want to have a conversation with the teacher who may be deviating from the plan. You might need to bring a copy of the IEP so you can both discuss the areas you feel are a problem.
  2. Include administration: You may also want to schedule a meeting with the school administrators. You can do this if you feel that the initial meeting with your child’s teacher is unproductive and the IEP is still not being followed. It might be a good idea to involve the administrators in finding a resolution.
  3. Gather the team: You may also need to meet with the entire IEP team so you can raise your concerns. They may have a plan that can help address the problem. They can also evaluate the existing plan and see if adjustments are necessary, and then you can schedule a follow up meeting to discuss how the new plan is working so far.
  4. Consider dispute resolution: If all else fails, you may pursue dispute resolution options. School districts typically want to resolve an IEP implementation dispute outside of a formal due process hearing. However, if a student is being denied a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), parents may want to consider the filing of a due process complaint. This process includes the parties participating in mediation, which oftentimes leads to an appropriate resolution.

IEPs help students meet their educational goals and make meaningful progress. If it is not followed, you may want to seek advice from an attorney to help educators get back on track in seeing the IEP through.