Special Education Parents and Teachers... We simply can't know where we are going with confidence if we don't start using the Parent Input statement effectively.
As a former special education teacher, I know first hand that this section is often glanced over. Yes, it's filled out. Yes, parent concerns are summarized. However, it's definitely not given the time and attention it needs considering what a critical change it can make in the IEP process.
Being a special needs sibling I watched my mom struggle to have her voice heard. She never gave up, but honestly, she didn't always take a diplomatic approach. (I totally get WHY, but if I can help a parent avoid that level of frustration, I will!)
It's time to take the BOLD IEP APPROACH and make the parents voice a significant driver in the IEP process.
Each and every Parent Input statement should include the parent's concerns and desired outcomes for....
By January 1st, I'm determined to have as many parents as possible creating a solid Parent Input statement for 2018. We don't need a formal IEP meeting to make this happen. Eventually we can get the updated statement into the document, for now, let's just get it on record with the team how we all need to work together in these areas. This is more than hopes & dreams. It's more than a parent just wanting their child to be happy. It's about defining outcomes that we can visualize for the big picture of what we need.
Teachers, I promise, if you start to learn these strategies to help parents voice their desired outcomes, your job becomes more fun and fulfilling. You get to weed out the miscellaneous stuff that drags down the special education process and dig in to the good stuff that you know will impact a child long term.
Let's get started!
Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed
Parents... I'll teach you how to write an effective parent input letter here, in this private Facebook group and give you 4 advocacy courses that BUILD (not break) the IEP team.
Teachers, Therapists, Advocates... you can get the courses and learn how to Become an IEP Coach (Parent Input Statement training included). Enroll to be an IEP Coach HERE.
If you sit at an IEP table, this checklist is for you! Parents, teachers, therapists and support team members... you can all use this tool for your next IEP meeting!