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Newsletter: How to make sure your Individualized Education Plan is ACTUALLY Individualized (April 12, 2024)

Here are 2 things that parents who ACTUALLY get an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) do…

Parents who don’t do these things often get a “cookie cutter” IEP that is mainly copied and pasted from another IEP by an overworked, underpaid special education teacher.

Wondering what they are? Keep reading…

Number 1: They Get Regular Updates on IEP goals

Kids who get real value from their IEP plan have parents who understand the IEP goals and know how to identify if their child is progressing toward them.

Many parents do not understand the IEP goals they have been “given,” but are too afraid to challenge the school team by asking questions, getting clarification, and adjusting those goals to reflect their parenting expertise.

Then, the parents don't hear anything about these cloudy goals until a year later when the next mandated IEP meeting occurs.

What parents can do instead of staying silent...

Instead, parents can ask for regular progress updates on how their child is progressing toward the IEP goals (at least once per semester) and make sure to ask HOW the progress is being measured.

If you want a template for how to ask for these updates, check out this article.

Number 2: They Get Clear On The Accommodations

The other thing parents who get lots of value from the IEP process do is make sure their student is aware of their IEP accommodations and can advocate for them.

So many kids have beautifully written, thoughtful accommodations written in their IEPs, and use them a total of 0 times throughout the semester.

How parents can help their kids get clear on their accommodations

Start the semester by:

  1. Sitting down with your student

  2. Reading through their accommodations together

  3. Helping them craft an email to their teachers sharing a bit about their learning style and what accommodations they would like to use that semester.

If you would like an example email that is already drafted and ready to use, check out the downloadable resources in this article:

Final words

Don’t forget…

There is a reason it is called an “Individualized” Education Plan.

Make that IEP sweat a little bit, rather than collecting dust.

Got questions?

Drop them in the comments below.

About the author

Sean G. McCormick is a former public school special education teacher who founded Executive Function Specialists to ensure all students with ADHD and Autism have access to high-quality online executive function coaching services. 

With this mission in mind, he then founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains schools, educators, and individuals to learn the key approaches to improve executive function skills for students.

He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a business with a mission to provide adults with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, access to high-quality executive function coaching services that can be accessed through Self-Determination funding.

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EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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