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ND parent struggling to prep for first IEP meeting



Tl;dr: I’m an AuDHD parent going into my first ever IEP meeting and I’m struggling to feel ready for it. I need help. 

Hi there. My son is 5, entered K in September, was evaluated by a psychologist over the summer and Dx’d with ADHD-C, has had the psych report and input from my partner and me and his pre-K teachers reviewed by the IEP team at his school, and we have the IEP meeting scheduled for Monday (4 days away). 

I’ve been reading this blog and other sources for months as we try to figure out how to support him. I have ADHD (Dx as an adult) and traits of autism (self-identified) and I’m finding myself feeling so deeply lost. I thought I’d be ready after months of trying to understand, but I just don’t feel confident that I know what’s coming, what to expect on Monday, and whether all the blog advice applies to me since I’m not in an adversarial position with the school at this time – we’re just getting started and they seem great so far. 

I don’t know what more anyone can tell me other than all the wonderful information that’s available at my fingertips on the internet already, but I need help to understand and not drown here.

My ask: Is there someone here who can tell me, in very precise language, the essentials of what to expect on Monday and what to spend my time and energy on in the 4-5 days I have left?

(If this is in a blog post and I’ve somehow missed it, I’m sorry, and I’d welcome links.)

Thank you so much for any support.

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Let me know if this helps. If not, I'll try to be more specific. (but we're dealing with covid here and I've had a headache for DAYS)



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Is the upcoming meeting an evaluation/eligibility meeting (where they will go over the evaluation reports and decide whether your son qualifies for special ed service), or is it a meeting to write his new IEP?

These are 2 separate team tasks and can be combined into one meeting or split into two meetings.

Either way, you can request a draft copy of the meeting documents so you can read them over prior to the meeting. If it's the evaluation meeting you'll ask for the evaluation reports. If it's the IEP meeting you'll ask for the draft IEP.

At the meeting if it's the evaluation meeting:

  • the different team members will go around and talk about what their evaluations revealed
  • you will have time to give input on how he's currently doing
  • the teacher will give input on how he's doing
  • the team as a group will decide whether he qualifies for special ed, based on the input and on the evaluation findings
  • there will be paperwork saying whether he qualifies, which you'll be asked to sign
  • if you disagree with the team decision about eligibility, you should say so and tell them why

At the meeting if it's the IEP:

  • they will talk about his strengths
  • you'll have time to give your input and name your concerns. You can come prepared with notes if that helps.
  • they will talk about how he's currently doing - this should include data like test scores, reading measures, etc.
  • they will share goals for each area of specially designed instruction he qualifies for (for example, reading, writing, social skills). The goal should include what he can do now (read 6 words per minute), and what they want him to do 12 months from now (read 24 words per minute).
  • they will say how much time he will receive help from special ed during his day or week. You want to know whether this will be in a separate setting like a special ed classroom, or within his general education classroom.
  • they will say how much time he'll get help from related services like speech, occupational therapist, etc.
  • they will go over the accommodations that the general ed teacher will do with him in the general ed setting. Ask questions if you don't know what they mean.

In the next few days all you really need to do is read the draft documents once they share them, and talk about it with a partner/supporter if you can. It helps to process. Write a list of questions and bring it to the meeting.

I hope this is helpful! Best of luck.



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