8 steps to help parents of special needs children create a solid IEP – or individualized education plan – with support people and school staff. As most parents of children with special needs know, your child has the right to a free and appropriate public education. Make sure you are thoroughly prepared to effectively advocate for the services, supports, modifications and accommodations your child needs to thrive with these strategies.
TAGS children with special needs, education advocate, parents, pediatrician, special education services, Special Needs.
Ask your pediatrician, neurologist, medical specialists, therapists and other providers about the diagnosis, disability, treatment, progress and prognosis. Engage in frequent communication with your child’s teachers, therapists and other school service providers.


You may want to consult with a special education advocate or special education attorney to plan your next steps.
What: Mosaic in Northern Colorado, provides 82,000 hours of services per month in Larimer, Weld and Boulder counties to adults and children with intellectual disabilities.
Next week Sarah Jane Kyle will share her volunteer experience with Touchstone Health Partners, formerly Larimer Center for Mental Health.
If you expect it to be contentious, consider taking a special education advocate or an attorney who specializes in special education issues with you.
Recommend changes you’d like, backing them with data about your child and current research. Read the entire IEP before signing any document that indicates that you agree with its contents.


If school staff tells you they’re pressed for time and need to end the meeting, ask for a photocopy of the IEP and request to schedule another meeting to complete it.
Take pre-written goals you would like to have included in your child’s IEP with you to the meeting.
And if you disagree with any aspect and officials aren’t willing to modify it, write a dissent that states your objections.
For more information attend a “Discover the Possibilities Session,” a one-hour tour of the heart and mission of Mosaic, told by those who know it best: the individuals we serve, their family, volunteers and staff.



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