Hey there, amazing parents and caregivers! It’s Latina Nickelson, and here is my IEP tip to help you navigate the world of special education and ensure your child receives the best support possible. Today’s tip revolves around the crucial role of Parental Input in your child’s IEP.

I always advise parents to prepare a thoughtful and well-structured Parental Input for their child’s IEP. This input is a valuable opportunity for you to express your concerns and aspirations for your child’s education, as mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) under Section 300.324(a)(1)(ii). But here’s the catch – it’s essential to provide factual information and evidence-based recommendations rather than solely relying on emotions or using this as a place to bash the school & teaching team.

Recently, a parent shared their Parental Input with me, and while I appreciate their passion and love for their child, I had to remind them of the importance of presenting their case based on facts and professional recommendations. Let’s take a look at how the original input can be revised to be more effective:

Original Parental Input: “We feel he needs ABA therapy just like everyone else that knows anything about Autism! We feel the school is being unreasonable and not making us feel like equal Team members. We want him to have the BEST education he can get because we love him.”

Revised Parental Input: “Johnny is a child with Autism who requires Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and ABA therapy as recommended treatment by reputable organizations such as the AMA, APA, Surgeon General, and the National Autism Society. These scientifically peer-reviewed methods have proven to enhance skill sets and reduce behaviors that may hinder learning.

Dr. ABC of the (your state) Autism Clinic, along with Dr. Jones and Dr. Billy, has recommended 30-40 hours of ABA therapy for Johnny. As equal members of the IEP Team, we fully support and agree with these expert recommendations.”

By making these revisions, the Parental Input becomes a strong, evidence-based case for the services Johnny requires. It demonstrates that you, as parents, are informed advocates for your child’s education, and it invites the IEP Team to consider the facts and professional advice presented.

So, remember, while emotions are entirely valid and play a crucial role in parenting, when it comes to the IEP process, let’s focus on the power of facts and recommendations. Your informed Parental Input can truly make a positive impact on your child’s educational journey.

Stay tuned for more IEP tips, and remember – you’ve got this! Together, we’ll keep empowering our children to reach their full potential. Until next time!

From Chaos to Collaboration℠

Ms. T

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