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#1 May 2024

Welcome to

The IEP Parent Newsletter #1

 What Parent's Should Do When The IEP Isn't Being Followed + More 

In the next 5 minutes, you'll learn:

  • TRIVIA: What Should Parents Do If The IEP Isn't Being Followed?
  • KNOW WHAT'S WRIGHT: When Can Your Child Get Compensatory Education?
  • HERE'S AN IDEA: What Comes Next?
  • LEARN IEP LINGO: IEP & IDEA
  • IEP POWER MOVES: One Important Thing You Should Know Before You Go To The IEP Meeting
  • IEP STRUGGLES & SOLUTIONS: General Ed Teachers
  • SELF-CARE REMINDERS: Why Parents Need To Stay Hydrated
  • THE TRIVIA ANSWER IS:  No Cheating! Scroll Way Down To Find Out!
  • NEXT MONTH'S FOCUS: IDEA Law

Disclaimer: As a parent helping parents, by offering advocacy support, I strive to offer valuable guidance and accurate updated information. However, please note that this newsletter is not intended as legal advice nor medical advice. It's presented for informational purposes and entertainment only. Always conduct your own research and seek legal counsel when necessary. These newsletters aim to empower parents by shedding light on the IEP process, preparing for IEP meetings, and so you can evaluate the effectiveness of the IEP for your child's needs.

Key Points Summary From The Document: Compensatory Education When IEP Services are NOT Delivered by Robert K. Crabtree, Esq. Published on Wrightslaw.com

As a parent, you may wonder what you can do when the IEP isn't being followed, and if your child can be compensated for that lost time. Here are the steps for you to follow, according to Robert K. Crabtree, Esq. in an article printed on Wrightslaw.com.

[1]
Address your concerns with teachers/IEP Team. Confirm that it isn't being followed. Consider the severity and how long it's been happening. If it's a one-time occurrence vs continuous.

[2] Keep written track of service delivery by observing, communicating with teachers, maintaining a journal, and talking to other parents for insights.

[3] Be certain you're interpreting the IEP the same as the service providers. Gain clarity on this.

[4] If the school's interpretation conflicts with the IEP or if services aren't adequate, consider formally challenging their position. Professional evaluation may be necessary to support your claim.

[5] If the school starts to implement the IEP once again and you're satisfied at this point, continue to monitor implementation closely. If you're not seeing the changes you expect, then it may be time to escalate this by filing a complaint or requesting a due process hearing. Seek guidance from the state's Department of Education, parent advocacy agencies, or special education lawyers.

[6] If the school acknowledges the lapse, discuss compensatory measures. These can include doubling services temporarily, providing services during breaks, or seeking reimbursement for private services utilized due to the school's failure. Hold them accountable and make up any lost time.

[7] Be open to creative solutions if simply adding more service hours doesn't suit the child's learning style or capacity. Options might include banking lost services for later use or negotiating extended services post the eligibility age.

​[8] Regularly monitor the IEP implementation to prevent prolonged service gaps. Rectifying non-compliance is easier early on than months later.​

Now What? What Comes Next?

You're a parent that has discovered that your child's IEP hasn't been followed. You've brought it to the attention of the school/teacher/service provider/IEP Team, trying for an informal resolution. NO LUCK! You've been certain to document in writing all instances of your child's IEP not being followed and all of your efforts for dispute resolution, and have brought this to the schools attention. NO LUCK STILL!

So... what can you do now? You feel stuck, discouraged, and on your own.

We'll lucky for us parents, IDEA law outlines steps we can take! Before I list these, know that parents can seek advice from special education advocates or attorneys who specialize in IDEA law. Legal professionals can guide parents through the process and represent them in formal proceedings if necessary. Also, as stated in the section above: If it's determined that the school has failed to provide services outlined in the IEP, parents can request compensatory services to make up for the missed or inadequate services.

That being said, here's your next steps according to IDEA:

[1] Formal Written Complaint: Parents can file a formal written complaint with the school district or the state education agency. This complaint should detail the specific aspects of the IEP that are not being implemented and request corrective action.

[2] State Complaint Procedures: States have specific procedures for handling complaints related to IDEA violations. Parents can file a complaint with the state education agency, which will investigate the matter.

[3] Mediation: Mediation involves a neutral third party who helps facilitate discussions between the school and the parents to resolve disputes and reach an agreement. It's a voluntary process and can be less adversarial and more collaborative than due process.

[4] Due Process Hearing: If informal methods fail to resolve the issue, parents can request a due process hearing. This is a formal legal procedure where an impartial hearing officer listens to both sides and makes a decision regarding the dispute.

[5] Mediation: Following an unsuccessful due process hearing, the next step could involve mediation.

[6] Appeal to State or Federal Court: If mediation doesn't lead to a resolution, parents have the right to appeal the hearing officer's decision to a state or federal court. This legal action involves presenting the case to a judge who will review the evidence, arguments, and the hearing officer's decision.

IEP

Individualized Education Plan- a personalized plan developed for students with special education needs. It outlines specific educational goals, services, accommodations, and modifications tailored to meet the unique requirements of a student with a disability or learning challenge. It is a legally binding document.

IDEA

Individuals Disability Education Act- is primarily designed to protect the rights of children with disabilities and ensure they receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) tailored to their individual needs. However, IDEA also incorporates provisions that indirectly protect and empower parents in advocating for their children's education: Parental Involvement, Procedural Safeguards, Information & Resources, and Advocacy for your Child's Needs.

One Important Thing You Should Know Before You Go To The IEP Meeting:

Go Into The Meeting With Correct Expectations: The IDEA law gives eligible children with disabilities rights to the specially designed instruction and individualized services and supports they need to benefit from public education. IDEA does not promise to give your child "THE BEST IN THE WORLD" or "WHATEVER YOU SAY, YOU GET, MOM & DAD!". So, go into the meetings with your expectations set correctly... and be prepared to advocate as an IEP Parent!

General Ed Teachers

Have you ever stopped to consider the challenges general ed teachers may face when it comes to the IEP? Every teacher shows up with their own level of IEP experience. Some teachers are brand new; some are seasoned veteran’s. Some teachers love working with our disabled population, and others may fear it. Some may not care about pay, some may feel they don't get paid enough. Some may have control over their classrooms and are organized with their methods of IEP implementation and documentation, while others may be disinterested and disorganized. Some may have one IEP child; others may have several IEP children. Some may feel that they have a talkative and stressful classroom, and others may not.  Some teachers are 1st year inexperienced teachers, others have been there many years.  Some may stress over the IEP document; others may be cool as a cucumber! As you can see, there are many internal and external factors that can influence the general ed teacher with their general preparedness for the IEP meeting, as well as their genuine interest in having IEP kids, as well as knowing about your child's specific disabillity.

​Every year, your child changes general ed teachers and that means starting a new relationship with a new general ed teacher on your child's IEP Team. So, something that can help parents is to have a conversation with your child's teachers early in the school year and ask them about their ability, knowledge surrounding your child's disability, and what's their confidence to implementing your child's IEP. Be supportive and let them know you'd like to work with them by being available to support the teacher in every way possible. This might be having a conversation about your child and what they can expect.  This may mean providing the teacher with information about your child's disability.  By quickly establishing yourself early on as a caring, concerned, involved, and supportive parent, and finding out what your teacher needs and how you can support them,  your child is more likely to have more successful school year experience.  This will also be a bridge to having an open line of  communication with that teacher throughout the school year.

Why Parents Need To Stay Hydrated

In the chaos of parenthood, self-care often takes a backseat. Yet, staying hydrated isn't just a personal indulgence; it's a necessity for navigating the beautiful chaos of raising a family. By ensuring you're well-hydrated, you're better equipped to tackle the challenges and cherish the joys that come with being a parent.

In the whirlwind of parenting, amidst the juggling acts and endless to-do lists, it's easy for one crucial aspect to slip through the cracks: hydration. While it might seem like a mundane concern, staying adequately hydrated isn't just a personal need; it's a cornerstone of well-being, especially for parents. Here's 4 reasons why we need to hydrate:

[1] The Parenting Marathon:
Parenting is an endurance sport—a marathon of multitasking, late nights, and constant motion. From the early mornings to the late-night cuddles, the energy demand is ceaseless. Amidst diaper changes, school runs, IEP meetings, therapist appointments, doctor appointments, work commitments, and managing household chores, it's simple to overlook the fundamental necessity of drinking enough water.

[2] Vitality Starts with Hydration:
Picture this: You're exhausted, drained by the day's activities, and your mind is scattered. Often, this state is not just due to lack of sleep but also dehydration. Water is the elixir that fuels our bodies and minds. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining energy levels, clarity of thought, and overall well-being, which is specially important for your IEP meetings.

[3] Leading by Example:
Children learn by observation and imitation. By prioritizing hydration in your daily routine, you set a precedent for your kids. Demonstrating the importance of drinking water not only instills healthy habits but also showcases self-care as a vital aspect of life.  Kids also like to see their parents making good choices, so they don't have to worry about you!

[4] A Healthier You, A Happier Family:
Dehydration can manifest in various forms, affecting mood, concentration, and physical health. Being well-hydrated improves cognitive function, helping you make better decisions and handle the rollercoaster of parenthood more effectively. Moreover, it positively impacts your physical health, potentially reducing the likelihood of headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

Practical Tips for Parental Hydration:

- Water Bottle Buddy: Keep a water bottle handy at all times, making it a constant companion throughout your day. Become known as a person who always has a water bottle in hand!

- Routine Reminders: Set alarms or reminders on your phone to take sips of water periodically.

- Hydration Stations: Create designated water stations around your home, encouraging everyone in the family to drink water frequently.

- Infuse Some Flavor: If plain water isn’t appealing, infuse it with fruits or herbs for a refreshing twist.

​Parents... Consider this YOUR reminder to hydrdate... Do It! Do It NOW and Feel Better NOW! Grab your water bottle and fill it up!  Your Kids Are Counting On YOU!

What Should Parents Do If The IEP Isn't Being Followed?​

The Answer Is:

Notify the school in writing,
Advocate for your child,
Verify the IEP discrepancies,
 Initiate meetings & discussions for a swift resolution,
Get advocate or legal support if needed.
Address ALL conversations with documentation,
Take action to provide oversite of implementation,
Engage continuously.

IDEA LAW

We're going to DEEP DIVE into IDEA! We're talking:

​WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, & WHY IDEA Law was ever created!

Tracie Kelly, IEP Advantage Course
& Community Creator

I hope you enjoyed this month's
IEP Newsletter for Parents!

Thanks for stopping by! Hopefully, you enjoyed this newsletter and will come back next month to read our newest edition of The IEP Advantage Newsletter for Parents!

​​If you're ready to get started right now by diving deeper into IEP meeting prep, I invite you to head over to The IEP Advantage community to look around. Be certain to check out the tool every IEP parent needs, which is the ultimate course for parents to learn IEP meeting prep, which is called The IEP Advantage!

Remember, when parents get the IEP Advantage, your child gets The IEP Advantage in school & in life!

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