Most of us are not happy campers when it comes to long meetings, especially at IEP time. Did you know that you can cut the amount of time you spend in an IEP meeting with a few simple steps?
First, two weeks prior to the meeting, write an email to the IEP team indicating what your concerns are. If you provide this information in advance, the school can review it and find some answers before the meeting happens. This will help the meeting be more productive. The email should be straightforward with little emotion.
Next, at the end of that email, ask for a draft copy of the IEP to be sent home at least three (3) days before the meeting, so you can review it in advance and ask any questions that you may have prior to the meeting. This again will allow the school to find answers for your questions by the time the meeting happens.
Finally, on the day of the meeting, the district will read through the IEP with you and ask if you have any questions. Most, if not all, of your questions should have been asked prior to the meeting, so it’s the school’s job to provide you with their responses. This will assist in a productive dialog because you are not trying to understand the IEP for the first time at the table.
When you follow this method, you will have a more productive meeting because you will have more information when making decisions. You can research any questions that you have in advance and ask at the meeting about the draft if you do not ask beforehand. This will lead to shorter meetings with more results, which is what we all strive to accomplish.