7 Questions to Ask During Your Child’s Annual IEP Meeting
The annual IEP meeting is critical – this annual meeting is a way to guarantee your child’s individualized education program is effective. As your child’s best advocate, it is up to you to attend these meetings and ask the right questions to ensure your child is getting the most out of his/her classroom experience. To help you prepare, consider asking the IEP team these questions:
- What is the best time and way to contact you?
Teachers are busy, but your ability to communicate with them is a priority. However, if you want to communicate openly with your child’s teacher, you need to figure out the best way to contact the teacher and the best times. For instance, some teachers are not able to respond to parent emails until after school.
- What are my child’s strengths?
It is a promising idea to begin your meeting by discussing your child’s strengths. Asking this question will help as you start to discuss the areas your child is struggling in. As you identify your child’s strengths, ask the team about ways you can “play up” these strengths in the classroom and at home.
- What changes in goals do you recommend and why?
Your child’s needs are changing, so you should not expect the IEP goals to stay static. Instead, you should ask what changes in the goals the teachers recommend and then for their reasoning for these potential goal changes.
- What does my child’s support look like on a daily basis?
To gain a better understanding of how your child’s IEP is being implemented daily, you should ask the team to describe what his/her support looks like on a daily basis. Have the team explain what/when/how support is given.
- What support is my child’s classroom teacher provided to meet these goals?
Try to remember that you are all there to support your child. You are on the same team as his/her primary teacher; therefore, you should identify what support the classroom teacher receives to help your child succeed in the classroom.
- How do we plan to measure progress and communicate this progress?
Goals should be measurable. Ask the team to explain how progress will be measured. Additionally, speak with the team about how you will communicate about your child’s progress with each other as well as how this will be related to your child.
- What can I do at home to support these goals?
Directly ask the team what you should be doing at home to help your child achieve these goals. It may even help to ask the team what they would do at home if this were their child.
Again, you are all at this meeting to find the best ways to support your child in and out of the classroom. However, as your child’s parent and number one advocate, make it your duty to understand your child’s rights and speak up at the meeting when these rights are not being recognized.