IEP Toolkit: Helping Families of Children with Down Syndrome Become Knowledgeable, Prepared, and Empowered Partners in the IEP Process
August 27, 2010
IEP Toolkit final version.pdf (170KB) [download]
THE IEP TOOLKIT: Helping Families of Children with Down Syndrome Become Knowledgeable, Prepared, and Empowered Partners in the IEP Process
The special education system can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming. The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is the written document that outlines your child's specific educational program. We know a strong IEP is necessary for our child's individual needs to be met. Yet it is common for us to feel insecure and unprepared during our child's IEP meeting. Surrounded by teachers, administrators, and special education personnel, our voice can get lost. This toolkit was written to help you find your voice.
As family members of a child with Down syndrome, we come to IEP meetings with love for our child and a commitment to his or her education. We must also come with a strong understanding of the IEP itself, detailed information about our child's specific needs, and an understanding of appropriate goals. This IEP Toolkit is designed to help you gather the necessary information. Focused preparation is essential to the development of an effective educational plan, and a strong IEP leads to improved educational success for your child.
The toolkit is structured very much like your child's IEP. To help you prepare for your child's IEP in a purposeful way, important sections of the IEP will be discussed and you will learn helpful ways to prepare for each section. Examples of weak and strong IEP components will also be provided. Most importantly, you will have an opportunity to write down specific information to be included within the various sections of your child's IEP. Your completed toolkit can then be used to guide you as you engage in your child's IEP meeting, increasing your knowledge, preparedness, and confidence.