Supporting Students with IEPs

Navigating the educational landscape of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) can feel like a massive undertaking. The IEP, often exceeding 20 pages, can be overwhelming for both parents and teachers. Here we offer a few strategies to streamline and enhance support for your child.

  1. Know the Accommodations: Within the IEP document, the “accommodations” page is most important. (For Seattle Public Schools, it’s usually on or around page 10, and is in a formatted in a table/chart). The accommodations page lists the specific adjustments and supports your child is entitled to receive.

    [OUR TIP] For elementary students, consider creating a condensed one-page document for teachers. This summary should include key points such as diagnoses, general triggers, common escalation factors, supports and strategies that generally de-escalate, and key ways to support your child. Providing teachers with this snapshot can significantly aid in better understanding and meeting your child’s needs. (Need help wiring this? We can do it for you through our School Support Package.)

  2. Visual Aids for Middle and High Schoolers: Many older students with IEPs do not know the content of their IEP or what accommodations they are entitled to! In addition, teachers often have 180 students a day and may not recall specific supports for each student. We suggest ensuring that older students understand the accommodations they are entitled to (i.e., extra time on a test) so that they can better advocate for their IEP accommodations to their teacher, making them active participants in their educational journey.

    [OUR TIP] Clearly lay out your middle school/high school student’s IEP accommodations in a visually accessible format. Ensure your child understands the accommodations listed in their IEP. Consider creating a digital version they can keep on their phone or a physical copy for their binder.

Remember, supporting students with an IEP is a collaborative effort. By distilling the key information into accessible formats for teachers and empowering students to advocate for themselves, you create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment. These proactive steps not only facilitate a smoother educational journey but also instill valuable skills that will serve your child well beyond the classroom.

Want individualized support in creating a one-page document to support your child’s IEP? Check out our Educational Consulting packages!

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