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Encouraging Family Involvement in the IEP Process Video

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  • 0:04 Introduction to IEPs
  • 0:41 The Parent's Role
  • 1:52 Encouraging Family Involvement
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amanda Wiesner-Groff

Amanda has created and taught English/ESL curricula worldwide, has an M.Ed, and is the current ESOL Coordinator for the Saint Louis Public School District.

Going through the IEP process can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming for everyone involved. This lesson focuses on the role of parents as well as providing tips for encouraging their involvement throughout the IEP process.

Introduction to IEPs

Becoming familiar with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) can become quite frustrating and sometimes even overwhelming because of the various steps and processes involved. For family members, this can be even more difficult as paperwork and meetings include unfamiliar language, acronyms, and goal-setting measures.

In this lesson, we go over the different roles parents can and should take in the IEP process. We also discuss methods for encouraging family involvement throughout the entirety of the process so everyone is on the same page when it comes to advocating for the student's best interests.

The Parent's Role

The parent's role in the IEP process is extremely important because they are the expert in understanding the student as a person, which is different from how they appear in class or on paper. The parent is there to support not only their child, but also the team members who may not know the child personally.

Throughout the IEP process, the parent's role is to:

  • Communicate openly with the student about the individualized program and show united support with the IEP team
  • Provide information about the student's behaviors, weaknesses, strengths, and interests so that team members are aware of areas with which his/she are unfamiliar
  • Provide details about the student's self-regulating skills, such as any assistance or modifications the student may need in order to achieve tasks or goals, or any assistance the student may need to reach anticipated post-school goals
  • Attend all meetings, provide all requested documents, complete all requested questionnaires and assessment forms, be honest and forthcoming with details pertaining to the student's behaviors and skills outside of school
  • Be a committed equal partner in all areas of the IEP planning, dialogue, and decision-making

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