IEP eligibility meetings help make procuring special education for your child much easier. The meeting allows you and the school to evaluate and assess your child’s eligibility for an individualized plan that will help them succeed in their studies.
However, if the meeting does not produce your desired outcomes, and the specialists do not think that your child meets the special education criteria, do not lose hope. There are other steps you can take, and we will look at four such options below.
If You Are Unsatisfied, Write Down Your Concerns and Sign the Statement
Even if your child fulfills the eligibility criteria for IEP, you might be unsatisfied with the quality of services being offered. If that is the case, don’t panic. Understand that you are the decision-maker. The IEP does not start unless your consent is given.
Document your disagreement, and do not sign the consent form for the services. If your signature is not required, you can write down your concerns or reasons for disagreeing next to your name on the attendance form.
Request a Review
Reviews differ from mediations because, in a review, the team reconsiders their initial verdicts, and you do not meet to come up with compromises.
Some schools also have an eligibility manager, and you can request that they review the decisions of the IEP specialists. If you are unsure about how to proceed, you can reach out to your school’s special education department and ask who you need to get in touch with.
Be Aware Of Your Rights
Before your child’s IEP meeting, be aware of your rights and the type of questions you can ask the IEP team. Knowing your rights helps you understand what actions you can take as you proceed with the IEP meetings. For instance, be aware that you are entitled to see your child’s assessment reports 48 hours before the IEP meeting.
If Nothing Else Works, File a Complaint
As a last resort after nothing else has worked in your favor, you can try to get a due process hearing. This is a proceeding between you and the school, with both sides offering evidence in front of the presiding officer.
The officer then decides whether or not your child is eligible for the IEP services. For these hearings, you might need the advice of an attorney, as well.
If your child’s IEP meeting goes according to your expectations, that is great. The next step is then developing an effective IEP that meets all the needs of your child. You can use various applications to start getting the IEP set up.
However, if the outcome is not what you expected it to be, there are various actions you can still take. Knowing your rights and the steps you can take can contribute to the IEP team changing their decisions and help ensure that your child receives the best special education they deserve!