ASD – Managing the IEP Process

The IEP is at its core, an individual plan that should be specifically tailored to meet the needs of your child and how they best learn. There are many methods for helping children with special needs learn, including Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA); Ziggurat; or something customized, and your child has a right to learn using a method that works for them.

Children on the autism spectrum present some unique and often difficult challenges for school districts. Getting FAPE for your child requires you to work with the school district to assemble an IEP, and to make sure that the district follows the plan. Please look at my article on Building a Better IEP, which has strategies to help parents inform educators about their childs’ needs earlier in the process. Some IEP teams have seen only a few kids on the spectrum, and may believe that what worked for the last child will work for yours. This could be right, but is often wrong. Educating the school district employees about how your child best learns is crucial to making this process work. If the school district will not provide the necessary services, your efforts to identify and clearly present what your child needs will be of great help when it comes time to explain to an impartial hearing officer why the IEP put in place does not meet your child’s needs.

I am available to attend IEP meetings with you, or if necessary, to help you bring a case against the district, and to represent you in front of an impartial hearing officer (IHO), or in the appeal of an IHO decision to a higher court.