Preparing for Student Led IEPs

Academic researchers believe that through participation in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, students develop a sense of responsibility and learn self-advocacy and self-determination. Students may participate in their IEPs beginning at the elementary level (Virginia Department of Education, “I’m Determined”, 2005). Most students were unprepared and lacked the social skills necessary to participate in or lead his or her IEP meeting. Attempts to remedy the situation focus on seeking additional support from home. After reviewing the current data and research, the author perceived a need for a parent manual to help families prepare students for their IEPs. An introduction to the IEP document, contents of the IEP, a comprehensible template to complete with the child, and additional resources are all provided within the manual. More specifically, the template provided for parents to review with their child is written in laymen’s terms to help parents to better explain the IEP process and sections to their children. This manual encourages parents to become more involved in assisting their children in achieving academic success, learning personal responsibility, and developing self-advocacy and self-determination skills.