Now is the time where parents are getting final copies of their child’s IEP. There is always so much emotion that goes into the planning, the meetings and then living with the results. For many families, this will be business as usual. Maybe for you, there will be changes in your child’s IEP Changes can make anyone nervous, especially for a child with extra needs.
Just because you are experiencing IEP changes with your child and his/her education plan, doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. It may mean though, that you will have to keep a closer eye on how the year starts to unfold once your child goes back to school in the next academic year.
How To Deal With The Emotions of IEP Changes With Your Child
Many children with special needs are very much attuned to and comfortable with their daily school schedule. If your child has had the same special education routine at school for a number of years, making changes can cause a stir. Anxiety may be on the rise with how they envision their next year when you let them know that changes are coming.
The important thing about initiating a conversation about IEP changes with your child is starting off on a positive note. Positioning change as bad news (and it may even feel like bad news to you) is going to set the stage for tension and anxiousness. Find a positive to start off with and go from there. Maybe the change means they’ve made significant progress in an area that no longer needs required services. This can be great news -highlight it!
This change can mean that they have have more classroom integration than they had in the past. There can be two ways that your child may respond to this new format. Either they will be relieved to stay in their own classroom more or they will be unsettled about services being delivered to them in the same setting with the rest of their peers. You may want to talk to whatever learning specialists will be entering the classroom to work with your child as to how to address this new change with both your child and their new teacher. Making IEP changes work with your child means proactive solution seeking. Don’t wait until the first week of school to start communicating new changes. Work with both your child and the school so they feel comfortable with new strategies and formats.
Keep A Close Record Of How New IEP Changes Affect Your Child
The first month of your new school year is really when it is so important to keep an eye on how the new IEP will unfold. There are some active steps you need to take as parent in this critical time of the new IEP rollout:
- Ask your child how they feel the new learning format is going
- Make note of behavior changes around the start of the school year
- Keep their new teacher and the special education team apprised
- Keep good records of how things are going and what feedback you receive
What To Do If IEP Changes For Your Child Are Not Working Out
Sometimes what is good on paper doesn’t end up translating to success in real life. Keep track of what you are experiencing with your child as much as possible. Note any behavior issues, night-time schedule changes, no matter how small they are, and let your special education team know as early as possible.
Ask for next steps, follow through, and keep track of what rolls out over the next few weeks. It’s okay to over communicate. It’s better than the alternative. Make sure you are accurately recording everything.
How To Keep Track Of Notes, Pictures And Other Artifacts
You can do things the old fashioned way; random papers, pictures and things in a manilla folder or you can try something different. eCare Vault is the first application to take that worn-out folder of yours and make it digital, sharable and collaborative.
Do you wish that your school’s special education team could see notes and feedback from your child’s therapist? Now you can. Keeping notes and sharing them over the summer? Yes, you can. eCare Vault solves the problem of keeping track and getting the right information to the right people at just the right time. Don’t stress about IEP changes with your child, manage them witheCare Vault.