If you’re a parent of a child in school and that child has a special need, you have experienced the IEP – Individual Education Plan - meeting. Endless information about IEP documents and meetings can be found at conferences and in magazines, books and websites. Unfortunately, there are many horror stories about IEPs. Anxiety, fear and dread would probably be on most people’s list of how they feel about the meeting. I don’t dread IEP meetings anymore. I believe they can lead to creating successful goals for your child and the meetings can be done with little stress and anxiety. Here are six suggestions based on what I’ve learned from researching and participating in IEP meetings for the past 16 years: Treat them to food. Donuts, muffins, cookies and juice and/or coffee make friends. Food puts everyone in a good mood, and it makes the atmosphere less tense. And in some cases, it may serve a very practical purpose - teachers and other school staff do not get much time to eat during
These stories describe our journey with Ben, our oldest son. Ben is a sweet and energetic redhead, born with a rare genetic mutation. My husband, Ryan, and I try to keep up with Ben and his two younger brothers. I intend to shed insight into raising a child with disabilities and pass on the wisdom we’ve earned over the past two decades.