Here are some terms used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act which you will hear frequently:

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEP: Individual Education Plan

Public Agency: this usually refers to the child’s school system.

According to IDEA, it is the responsibility of the child’s school system to determine when it is necessary to conduct an IEP meeting. There will be an IEP Team that is responsible for reviewing the child’s IEP periodically and revising it if appropriate. The IEP team should review the IEP annually AT LEAST if not more often.

Note: The parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an IEP meeting at any time.

Effective communication is key during these meetings to reach agreements. However, it is true that – sometimes – disputes are inevitable. After the annual IEP review has taken place, if a parent has concerns about their child’s progress or placement, it is acceptable for the parent to request that the IEP team meet again. This will give the parent and IEP team a chance to discuss any concerns and create a plan for a solution.

Your child’s IEP team will likely be their team for their entire school career. So, it is important that parents and members of the team form a habit of communicating respectfully with each other.

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