Preparing for the Initial IEP Meeting

IEP Guide

August 30, 2018

In the excerpt below from Individualized Education Programs: Summary, Process and Practical Tips, prepared for Autism Speaks by Goodwin Procter LLP, experts share tips to help you prepare for your child’s initial IEP meeting:

Prior to the initial IEP meeting, here are some important things to remember:

  • Do some research about the programs, placement options and supplemental aids that may be  appropriate to meet your child’s needs.
  • Don’t expect to become an expert overnight, but you are an expert on your child. The goal is to match your child with available resources, and some background knowledge will help you do that.
  • You can consult the Autism Speaks Resource Guide for helpful sources of information, including: Local autism organizations, attorneys and advocates, support groups and online resources
  • Write out a list of goals and possible programs you’d like to see on your child’s IEP. This will help you put all your thoughts in one place and give you something concrete to bring to the  meeting. An outline that includes goals, programs, placement options, related services and supplementary aids will help you communicate effectively with your school district.  You can obtain a form IEP from your school or school district.
  • You may want to consider consultation with a private educational consultant and/or a behavior analyst and if you choose to speak with one, bring him or her to the initial meeting.
  • Try your best to be positive. Assume that everyone in the room has the same goal – to provide your child with the  education that is in his or her best interest.

Read more about the initial IEP meeting and other steps in the IEP process in the Autism Speaks IEP Guide.