TIPS FOR PARENTS
During the PPT Meeting
✓ Take notes or have someone take notes for you. Consider tape recording the meeting to share with your partner or review what was discussed. If you decide to record the meeting, notify the school ahead of time, because they may also want to record.
✓ Make sure all required team members are present. Only consider consenting to the excusal of a team member if his or her input has been submitted in writing and the member’s area of service is not being modified or discussed.
✓ Be a good listener. Listen to the staff’s professional opinions about your child. School personnel may be good advocates for your child, too.
✓ Remember, you are an expert in your child’s development. Be prepared to share your observations of your child’s functioning in areas such as: activities of daily living, movement, communication, social relationships, behavior, independence, preferences and problem solving.
✓ Consider presenting your opinions to the team members in a prepared written statement that you have developed prior to the meeting.
✓ Be prepared to share your observations about the way your child learns best. He or she may learn best by: touching, moving, holding, drawing or writing (kinesthetic learner); seeing, looking or watching (visual learner); working in groups with other children; working alone or with one friend; listening, hearing, repeating or talking about new things (auditory learner); or singing.
✓ Be prepared to share your educational expectations for your child and what outcomes you would like to see him or her accomplish during the year. It is helpful to share your vision for your child’s future with the team: your child’s strengths and challenges, types of supports that may be beneficial and pre-vocational and vocational needs. It is important that everyone is heading towards the same goal. Be sure to include the extent of progress you would like to see your child make during the year.
✓ Be sure to consider all supports and services to help your child succeed, such as assistive technology, supplementary aids and services, related services, adapted or modified curriculum, special equipment or an educational consultant.
✓ Request a copy of the Frequently Used Accommodations and Modifications list from the school.
✓ Consider a variety of different ways and times for integrating services into your child’s program.
✓ Consider the potential benefits and risks of services that take your child away from the regular education classroom. More is not always better.
✓ Who will provide the services and what are his or her qualifications?
✓ What will the services entail?
✓ Will the service be delivered individually or in a group?
✓ Will the service be provided in the general classroom?
✓ How will the therapists and teachers communicate with each other and how often?
✓ How will you receive information concerning your child’s services and his or her progress: daily reports, phone calls, a weekly journal, monthly meetings, e-mails?
✓ If you do not understand something, ask that it be restated.
✓ Familiarize yourself with the IEP form. Make sure everything in the IEP document is clear, specific and accurate.
✓ Make sure your input is included in the Parent and Student Input and Concerns section of the IEP document: Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance.
✓ If you make requests that are refused, make sure they are included under the Actions Refused section of the IEP document: Prior Written Notice.
✓ When differences of opinion arise, talk them out.
✓ Use an IEP Matrix to present objectives, supports, staff and activities in a visual, easy-to-access format.
✓ If you feel pressured or overwhelmed, it is okay to take a break. Leave the room, take a walk and reconvene. If you don’t feel you can continue without time out to think about what you have heard, you may ask that the meeting be continued at a later date. In addition, if you believe that the meeting and/or IEP goals are incomplete, you may adjourn the meeting and reconvene at a later date.
✓ No signatures are required on the IEP document itself.
✓ The IEP will be implemented five days after you receive it, unless you formally disagree at the PPT meeting. So, if in doubt, speak up.