So, your child has an IEP, it is in place, but it isn’t working so what do you do? Getting an IEP in place can feel like the hugest win and a huge source of support for your child and for you. I mean let’s be honest, it’s a relief to know that your concerns have been heard and that there is this team working together to support your child. It is written on paper, theoretically it is written who will implement it and how it will be implemented, and its real world. [Notice the use of the statement theoretical because this may not be the case].
Then 4 weeks in, because remember it takes time for an intervention to take demonstrate effectiveness and we want to look at consistency rate of at least 3 days in a row, you notice that it isn’t working. You feel that your child is not improving, and that the situation is not improving. So, now we are frustrated all over again. We are sad, or mad, but more importantly we are racking our brain for how to fix it. Trust me I have been there. I thought this would solve everything, we have tools in place now for him to be successful, why isn’t it working? So, lets start with some questions you can ask, and they are not in any specific order:
How do you know it isn’t working?
a. Is it shown in the data?
b. Their grades?
c. Their behavior?
d. Their reports home?
e. An increase in phone calls?
f. A decrease in positive comments or days?
Why could it not be working?
b. Changes in staff, routine, classwork, expectations
c. Changes in the home routine, activities, and interactions with family and friends
Where is it not working?
a. General ed classroom
b. Special ed classroom
c. Lunchroom or recess
d. Specials classroom, i.e., Art, P.E., Music
What does the team thing?
a. Have you spoke with the teachers, counselors, psychologists, every member of the IEP team and are there concerns on their fault as well?
Lastly, what does your child thing?
a. What are they feeling?
b. What are they thinking?
c. How do they feel it is going?
Once you have asked and answered the questions mentioned above that apply to your child’s situation you are one step closer to finding a solution and one step closer to easing that sadness, frustration, and anger. You are also one step closer to easing that frustration for your child because they can feel our frustration and they can feel when things are not going well. So, what do you do now? Well, you can:
Draft a parent concern letter
a. What are your concerns? (What have you noticed?)
b. How do you feel it can be addressed?
c. Have they noticed it as well?
d. Have they already determined ways to address it, are they intending to implement them, are they already tracking it with the data?
Request a collaborative meeting
a. Request in writing as a part of the parent concern letter a meeting to collaborate and discuss concerns
b. Provide some dates and times of availability for you and your support
These are ways to help address concerns, implement change, and allow every team member to provide valuable input and implement real change to help your child be the best them they can be not just in the classroom setting but in the real world.
Need help, want some assistance, have questions, feel free to reach out via the website or via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to assist!
Remember support is available the first step is reaching out!