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Student-Led IEP Meetings

Instructor: Lori Sturdivant

Lori has a specialist's degree in Instructional Leadership/Mild Moderate and currently serves as the Lead Teacher for The University of Southern Mississippi's Autism Project.

In this lesson, you'll learn how students can lead their Individualized Education Program meetings. This involves required annual meetings, review/revision meetings, re-evaluations, and initial placement meetings.

Student-Led Individualized Education Programs

When students lead their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, they're not only demonstrating self-advocacy, but also showcasing many academic and functional life skills. This includes speaking to an audience, active listening, collecting information, organizing materials, setting goals, and receiving constructive criticism. Legislation states that students should participate in their meetings 'whenever it is appropriate.' And while it's not always appropriate to have students lead their own IEP meetings, there are ways to include most students despite their disabilities.

Student-Led with Minimal Support

In this type of meeting, the teacher should serve as an advisor.

The student may actively lead by preparing for the IEP meeting in the following ways:

  • Invite committee members to the meeting.
  • Determine meeting date, time, and place.
  • Analyze teacher collected data to determine if progress on previous goals and objectives have been met.
  • Determine their own academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify goals and objectives to work towards.
  • Select accommodations or modifications needed to be successful.
  • Choose classes for the school year.
  • Determine their least restrictive environment.

The student can actively lead by facilitating the meeting in the following ways:

  • Introduce the committee members.
  • Create a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation.
  • Distribute all paperwork to committee members in the meeting.
  • Read each section to the team and ask for questions, comments, or concerns.
  • Take notes from the team for revisions, if needed.
  • Send committee members the final draft.

Student-Led with Moderate Support

In this type of meeting, the teacher should serve as a partner, collaborating with the student.

The student may not have the skills to write goals and read the IEP, but they can lead by telling the teacher what they want and why. The teacher will use this information and create the IEP by the student's guidelines.

The student can facilitate the meeting with teacher support. The teacher can prompt the student throughout the meeting. For example, you might ask, 'Johnny, could you please introduce everyone?' or 'Johnny, why did you choose art as an elective?'

The student may be able to do some of the other tasks mentioned above, like distribute all paperwork to committee members.

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