Autism Speaks just released a new 26 page guide, “Individualized Educational Plan (IEP): Summary, Process and Practical Tips” to help parents navigate the IEP process. Developed by a group of pro bono lawyers at Goodwin Proctor, this guide is available online and incredibly informative, especially to first time parents going through the process. The information is clearly mapped out and diagrammed, using layman’s terms to be helpful to parents.
Having sat on both sides of the table during the IEP process, I can tell you that this guide is invaluable. Share it with parents before their first meeting and hopefully they will be less intimidated when they are handed their first booklet (of many) explaining their rights. The guide includes a timeline, several checklists for parents to prepare for the different steps in the process, parents’ rights, the process to dispute an IEP, helpful websites, and questions to consider.
Although the guide is prepared for Autism Speaks, the information is helpful for parents of children who don’t have autism and are seeking to educate themselves on the process.