Are you dreading your next Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting? Are you already in disagreement with your IEP team or your school staff over needed services for your child? If so, you are not alone. Below are some "conversation stoppers" that parents may hear when advocating for their children. Knowing what the "real" issues might be, some respectful but effective responses, and what the laws say about educating children with disabilities can assist you in getting your IEP team meetings moving again in a more positive direction!
Click on the quote to see possible responses and support for those responses.
|1. "It is not reasonable to expect the classroom teacher to describe everything to your child. She has 30 other students."||2. "We were excited to discover how well your child can see!"||3. "We think the cane could pose a hazard to other students. We’d like your child to leave it at the door or in the locker."||4. "Your child doesn’t seem to want to use any specialized devices,” (e.g., a cane, braille, optical aids, assistive technology, etc.)."|
|5. "We don’t normally recommend a cane for children this young."||6. "We’re sorry. We are not going to be able to provide a one-on-one aide to care for your child like you do.” Or “Of course your child will need a personal aide. We can’t expect our teachers to do all that extra work."||7. "We are concerned about your child’s safety. We can’t let him/her be involved in that activity because we don’t want him/her to get hurt."||8. "Don’t worry, she’s doing fine. It’s normal for children who are blind to be a year or two behind."|
|9. "Sorry, our school is not equipped with and does not have the money for the assistive technology your child needs."||10. "We can’t get a certified teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired/orientation and mobility specialist (TVI/O&M) to come way out here!” or “Since our TVI/O&M has a large caseload, we can only provide _____ hours/minutes of services per week. "||11. "We don’t do things the way they did in your old school, and so we have to rewrite the IEP."||12. "We did our best to schedule everyone, but the general education teacher is unable to attend."|
|13. "These are the only job training opportunities we offer at this school."||14. "Some of the braille textbooks haven’t come in yet, but we’re getting them translated as fast as we can."||15. "We don’t feel your child needs braille."||16. "We don’t normally write that into the IEP."|
Collabortive effort between the
National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Copyright © 2008 National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
Copyright © 2006 National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities
Permission to use for educational purposes granted.