What to do when you disagree with an IEP

If you disagree with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that has been developed for your child, it’s essential to take proactive steps to address your concerns. Here are some actions you can take when you disagree with an IEP:

  1. Review the IEP: Carefully review the entire IEP document, including the goals, services, accommodations, and placement decisions. Make sure you understand all the details and how they align with your child’s needs.

  2. Communicate with the IEP Team: Schedule a meeting with the IEP team, which typically includes teachers, special education professionals, administrators, and possibly related service providers. Express your concerns, provide additional information about your child’s needs, and discuss any areas of disagreement. Maintaining open and respectful communication is important throughout the process.

  3. Seek Clarification: Ask for clarification on any aspects of the IEP that you do not understand or find unclear. Request explanations regarding why specific decisions were made and how they relate to your child’s educational needs.

  4. Advocate for Your Child: Be an active advocate for your child’s needs. Clearly and assertively express your perspective and present any supporting documentation or evaluations that you believe are relevant. Share your insights about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and any concerns you have regarding their educational progress.

  5. Request Reevaluation or Independent Evaluation: If you believe that the evaluation process or assessment results were inaccurate or incomplete, you can request a reevaluation. You may also consider obtaining an independent evaluation conducted by a qualified professional outside of the school district. This evaluation can provide additional insights into your child’s needs and can be used to support your position during the IEP process.

  6. Explore Mediation or Due Process: If you are unable to reach an agreement with the school district, you have the option to pursue mediation or due process. Mediation involves the assistance of a neutral third party to help resolve disputes. Due process involves a formal hearing where an administrative law judge makes a decision. Both options are avenues for resolving disagreements through a more formalized process.

  7. Consult with Parent Advocacy Groups or Legal Support: Seek guidance from parent advocacy groups specializing in special education or consult with an attorney who specializes in special education law. They can provide valuable advice and support to navigate the IEP dispute resolution process.

Remember, as a parent, you have the right to actively participate in the development and review of your child’s IEP. It’s important to remain focused on your child’s best interests and work collaboratively with the school to find solutions that address their unique needs.

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