2/25/13

Great FETA discussion group meeting with awesome parents sharing IEP experiences and encouragement!!

The FETA Group Sacramento recently got together for a truly great meeting.

A few HIGHLIGHTS:

 (1) Being an effective parent advocate = PREPARATION. Always go to the IEP meeting as prepared as possible. If you feel that your child's IEP meeting was rushed, you can meet again with the IEP team. You do not have to sign the IEP document at the meeting. Don't feel pressured. If you have any hesitation, tell your team you need more time to review everything. You also have the right to receive copies of all assessments and IEP goal progress reports to review prior to the meeting so that you are fully prepared for the meeting. Be sure to put your request in writing.

(2) Parents often feel frustrated with a lack of communication about how their child is doing in school. As a parent, be actively involved in monitoring and observing your child's progress. Parents also reported that the more involved they are at school, the better the communication is, as well as (Read more....)

their understanding of how their child is doing. (Examples: taking the child to school, picking the child up from school, volunteering in the classroom, dropping in on RSP, speech, or OT appointments, regularly checking in with teachers and therapists,  reviewing child's completed work and sharing with all parties, etc.) The parent is the main link between all parties to ensure the needs of the whole child are being met. Being actively involved helps a parent to address concerns in a timely manner, rather that wondering and waiting for someone from the school to make contact.
(The parent is the main link between all parties to ensure the needs of the whole child are being met.)

 (3) Also, make sure it is written in the IEP how often goal progress will be reported...and follow up. If you have not received the goal progress reports, ask for them in writing.

PARENTS WHO GET IT!!

Often the most beneficial support a parent of child who receives special education can have is getting together with other parents. Parents who understand can help each other by sharing their experiences and giving real life examples that will help others in their situations. 

WRIGHTSLAW BOOK: 

If you have not read it yet...pick up a copy of this helpful book:  Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, The Special Education Survival Guide by Pam Wright and Pete Wright, Founders of the Wrightslaw website. The Wrightslaw book is packed full of vital information! I found it very helpful to read this book before IEP meetings and also whenever I have a question. It's a great resource!

FETA Web is also great:  http://fetaweb.com/

FETA STUDY GROUPS:
If you would like to join a FETA discussion group in Sacramento, in your area, or online, contact me -- Angie Sutherland at corngie @ gmail dot com. I am happy to discuss my experiences in starting a group and to share resouces that have been developed. It's fairly easy to start a group on your own.