On Monday, I did indeed advocate in my jammies.
The Hands & Voices IEP Webinar was AWESOME. Hands & Voices is a resource for parents. I had never participated in a webinar before, so I didn't know what to expect. One thing I have learned? There is never enough time to talk about the IEP process! The webinar ran for an hour and a half and we still ran out of time. There were about 40 participants.
I won't go into too much detail, but will share a few key points from the experience:
"It's funny. You have this EI (early intervention) team with you for the first three years of your childs life, sometimes less. Then, one day, things magically change and your just supposed to hand your child over to a whole new team of people?" -Quote from one of the presenters
*Be prepared! You are the BEST advocate for your child.
*IEP's are written with the purpose of what your child will need to function in a school setting. It is written much different than an IFSP.
*You are a member of your child's team. Don't be intimidated!
*Establish what you think your child needs and what goals you'd like him/her to meet before the IEP.
*Write EVERYTHING down. If its not written, it DIDN'T HAPPEN.
*Research and come to understand the federal and state level laws regarding your child's right to his/her education.
*Ask for a draft of the IEP before the meeting...so you can review and make notes as necesary.