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When your IEP becomes I Don't: What to Do When Your Child's IEP Is Not Being Followed by the School

Every child deserves a quality education tailored to their specific needs. For children with disabilities, Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) are a crucial tool in ensuring they receive the support they require to thrive in the classroom. However, there are instances when a child's IEP is not being followed by their school. This can be frustrating and worrying for parents. In this blog post, we will explore the steps to take if you find yourself in this situation.

Below we will explore the steps you will probably need to take if your child's IEP isn't being followed :

1. Open Communication

The first step when you suspect your child's IEP isn't being followed is to initiate open and constructive communication with the school. Reach out to your child's teacher, the special education coordinator, or the school principal. Share your concerns, and ask for clarification about how the IEP is being implemented. A simple conversation may help resolve the issue. It is best to back up all verbal communications with a letter or email.

2. Document Everything

Keep a detailed record of your interactions with the school regarding your child's IEP. Document conversations, emails, and any relevant documents. This documentation will serve as evidence should you need to escalate the issue.

3. Request an IEP Meeting

If communication with the school doesn't yield the desired results, request an IEP meeting. During this meeting, discuss your concerns and work collaboratively to find solutions. The school should be willing to make necessary adjustments to meet your child's needs.

4. Seek Mediation

If the issue persists, consider mediation. An impartial mediator can help facilitate productive discussions between you and the school. This can be a valuable step in finding a resolution.

5. Contact the Special Education Director

If your concerns still haven't been addressed, it may be time to contact the district's special education director. Share your concerns with them and provide all relevant documentation. They can investigate the matter further and work with the school to ensure compliance.

6. Legal Action as a Last Resort

In rare cases, you may need to consider legal action. Consult with an attorney experienced in special education law to explore your options. This step should be taken as a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted.

7. Resources

The stress all of this can be extremely overwhelming, especially when its not just about you but about your child. Here are some resources that can help get through the steps needed to get your child’s situation corrected.

  • PASEN- Creates opportunities for students with exceptional needs. The purpose of PASEN is to impact the lives of students with exceptional needs and help them succeed by creating educational opportunities through the use of online training, school-choice programs, and low-cost advocacy services. They also have a Facebook group the can assist with answering IEP questions and other educational related needs.

  • Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute offers all of the parts and regulations of IDEA broken down into sections. This makes it easier to find the exact part of the law you need when arguing your case.

  • The IEP Strategist is another great resource. Kizito & Associates, LLC is a special education advocacy firm dedicated to helping parents of disabled students understand their rights and get the most out of the public school system. We provide one-on-one guidance and support to parents, helping them understand their child's IEP, navigate the special education process, and advocate for their child's needs. We have a network of trusted professionals and resources that we draw on to help our clients. We believe that all children should have access to a quality education regardless of their abilities. That is why we strive to provide parents with the knowledge and tools they need to make sure their children get the education they deserve.

  • Wrightslaw is an amazing tool for information. They too offer training and advocacy, as well as a plethora of information on special education and disabilities. The have an extensive law library, and it is organized in a way that makes everything easy to understand and look up.

There are also several other Facebook and Instagram accounts you can join and follow to get assistance and information. Some of our favorites are ADHD/IEP/504/Dysgraphia/Special Needs- Child Advocate to Assist Parents, IEP Parent Advocates, Special Education/IEP Support Group.

Ensuring that your child's IEP is being followed is vital for their educational success. While it can be frustrating and challenging when the school falls short in implementing the plan, remember that there are steps you can take to address the issue. Open communication, documentation, and collaboration with the school are the initial steps. However, if the situation persists, don't hesitate to seek assistance from district officials or, if necessary, legal support. Your child's education is worth the effort, and advocating for their needs is a crucial part of being a supportive parent.

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