IEP Meetings: A Teen and Parent Guide

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The annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting provides opportunities to define learning goals and challenges for the coming year. An IEP meeting is a time for the student, family and school staff to gather around a table to reflect on the past year and make decisions for the future.

A Postsecondary Transition Plan, or PTP, helps the student move into adult life after high school. In Wisconsin, the school must develop a written PTP as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) if the student is 14 or older.

Check out the Postsecondary Transition Plan (PTP) App: www.witransition.com

Planning

For Parents

Looking over the previous IEP document (if you have one) will give you a good perspective on the achievements you have seen in your child and the areas that you are still concerned. Make notes, and feel free to read from your notes in the meeting.

The insights that you and your child bring into the room are an important part of the process.

If you are able, schedule a time to join your child’s classroom and observe what is going on.

For Teens

Remember, the IEP is about helping you achieve your goals. Ask you teacher for a copy of your current IEP.

Consider the questions in our Teen IEP Meeting “Before the Meeting” section. Write down some of your ideas or questions.

  • How are you doing in school now?
  • What activities are you involved in?
  • What are your strengths and interests?
  • Do you have any concerns?
  • Do you enjoy doing things with friends?
  • Where do you want to live after high school?
  • Can you take care of yourself?
  • How does your disability affect your learning and participation school?

Participation

If you took the time to prepare, on the day of the meeting, you will be ready to participate! Make sure to listen to all perspectives about you or your child and give your own input. When everyone in the room is clear about their thoughts and ideas, this can be a productive and exciting conversation. Speak up and be specific in your hopes, challenges, and goals. What is written in this new IEP will be the foundation for the year to come.

Progress Checking

Progress Checking
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An IEP is more than a long document. It is the guide that the IEP team follows throughout the year. Teachers will be checking in to tell you how things are going and checking in on goals throughout the year. It’s also possible for you the parent, you the teen, or a teacher to ask to meet to talk about the IEP or make changes to the plan.

For more tips on planning for an IEP meeting, please see our Parent and Teen Guides below:

Still Have Questions?

FACETS
Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training and Support Services include Information & Referral; Parent Support Groups; Parent/Youth Leadership Development; and Training
www.wifacets.org
414-374-4645

WSPEI
Wisconsin Statewide Parent – Educator Initiative
Creating Partnerships Between Parents and Educators for Students with Disabilities
wspei.org
Local contact info: wspei.org/contact

Wisconsin Mediation
Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System For Wisconsin families of children with special needs and school districts Mediation, Facilitated Individual Education Programs (IEPs), Facilitation for a Resolution Meeting
www.wsems.us

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW)

A protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities.
www.disabilityrightswi.org

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