What Should You Not Say in an Arizona IEP Meeting?
What things should a parent or guardian not say in an IEP meeting?
First, I want to let you know that if you’re ever concerned about an IEP meeting, you have the right to have legal counsel. So, you can have an attorney with you if that’s what you decide.
If you decide you’d like to go on your own, these are just some tips you would not likely want to say in the IEP meeting. So, the first one is that parents often want to discuss what’s best for their child, and they’ll use the terms “what’s best for my child?”
Things Parents Should Avoid Saying
It’s natural for parents to want to advocate for their child at an IEP meeting. However, there are some things that you should avoid saying during an IEP meeting. These things can jeopardize your child’s chances of getting the necessary services.
Some of the things you should avoid saying at an IEP meeting are:
- Making demands
- Threatening legal action
- Saying that you don’t trust the IEP team
- Speaking in a negative tone
It’s also important to remember that an IEP meeting is not a place for you to vent your frustrations. Instead, it’s a place for you to collaborate with the IEP team to create a plan to help your child succeed.
Parents Should Say These Instead
It’s best if you say “need.” So, instead, you should say, my child needs, and then fill in the blank if it’s an accommodation, an evaluation, but your child needs these things. You must communicate to the group, and the school district, that your child needs these things. It’s not what’s best for them; they need to learn. And they’re granted by federal statutes. That’s why you’re here in the IEP meeting to start with.
Parents Shouldn’t Feel Pressured in Signing an IEP
Second, and this is the most common, I think parents don’t realize that an IEP is a legally binding document that the school must comply with. That means that after you sign it, it’s legally binding; therefore, it’s a little bit more difficult to go back and change.
Sometimes, parents say, “okay, I’ll sign the document today.”
I think that’s a mistake. I think it’s important to take time, sleep on it, have counsel, an attorney who specializes in education look it over, and maybe healthcare providers as well. But take your time before you sign it. You shouldn’t feel pressured, and you should never say, okay, I’m going to sign it right now. Read it over. And if you have questions, do your research.
It is crucial for your student because the school must adhere to these things. There’s no option. They absolutely must. So, if you have any concerns that they haven’t included something, or you don’t like how something is worded or the goals, speak up and make sure you let them know you have concerns. You should absolutely say that. And take your time before you sign it, don’t feel pressured to sign it right there on the spot. You absolutely can take time.
Parents Have the Right to Speak Up and Ask Questions
Another thing not to say is, “let’s just wait and see how my student does.”
That language, like I just talked about, an IEP is a legally binding document. It’s very difficult. Not impossible, but it isn’t easy to amend it after it’s signed. So, you don’t want to wait and see. You want to make sure everything is in order when it’s created and signed by you as a parent. Another thing, I think it’s not what you say but what you don’t say. I believe parents are nervous about asking for something. Again, speaking about evaluations, speak up if you don’t agree with the evaluation or the assessments.
The school absolutely must provide these things. Suppose you disagree with the school employees, maybe the psychologist the school employs. In that case, you have a right to speak up and ask for an independent education evaluation. And the school does have to pay for that and provide that to you. So, remember. I think the biggest takeaway here is parents and guardians don’t realize how much rights they have.
And so, being complicit in these IEP meetings and not speaking up or using consenting language even if you disagree. Not speaking up and saying, “I disagree with this”—I think those are the biggest things you need to worry about, what to say and not to say in an IEP meeting.
What are Team-Based Early Intervention Services in Arizona?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that helps to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate education. The law also requires states to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. In Arizona, these services are known as Team-Based Early Intervention Services (TB EIS).
TB EIS is a statewide system of services and supports designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers with developmental delays. The system is based on the belief that all children have the right to participate in meaningful activities in their homes, communities, and schools.
Is AZ IEP Free?
You might have a perception that education is expensive. However, the good news is that IEP is a free program in Arizona. The federal and state government have put in place adequate measures to ensure that all children with disabilities can access this form of education at no cost. However, the program is not entirely free. Families must still pay for some costs associated with IEP, such as travel expenses, books, and other materials.
How Do I Get an IEP For My Child in Arizona?
As a parent or guardian, you can request an IEP evaluation for your child if you think they might need special education services. You can make this request to the school district in which your child attends school. The school district must evaluate whether your child is eligible for special education services.
If the school district determines that your child is eligible for special education services, they will develop an IEP for your child. The IEP is a document that outlines the special education services that your child will receive.
What Are the Components of An IEP In Arizona?
The components of an IEP vary from state to state. However, in general, an IEP must include the following:
- A statement of the child’s present level of educational performance
- A description of the child’s special education and related services
- Annual goals for the child’s educational progress
- A description of how the school will measure the child’s progress
- The date by which the IEP will be reviewed and revised, if necessary
It’s essential to understand that an IEP is a living document that people can revise. As your child’s needs change, you can modify the IEP to address those changes.
What Is the Difference Between A 504 Plan and IEP In Arizona?
You might wonder whether your child needs an IEP or a 504 plan. IEPs and 504 plans help children with disabilities succeed in school. However, there are some critical differences between the two. IEPs are individualized education programs created for students who need special education services. IEPs must be reviewed and updated at least once per year.
504 plans are designed for students who do not need special education services but still need accommodations to help them succeed in school. For example, a student with a 504 plan might need extra time to take tests or have a quiet place to work. 504 plans do not need to be reviewed as often as IEPs.
What Is the Arizona IEP Timeline?
As a parent with a child in the Arizona IEP process, it’s essential to understand the timeline for each process step. This timeline can vary depending on your child’s individual needs and the school district in which you live.
However, in general, the Arizona IEP timeline looks like this:
- The parent requests an IEP evaluation from the school district.
- The School district evaluates the child to determine if they are eligible for special education services.
- If the child is eligible for special education services, the school district develops an IEP.
- The IEP is reviewed and revised as necessary at least once per year.
When Must an IEP Meeting be Convened?
You must understand that the team must convene an IEP meeting within 30 days of the child’s eligibility determination. The IEP team will meet to discuss the child’s needs and create an individualized education program. If they don’t meet the time frame for the IEP, you, as the parent, have the right to request a due process hearing.
Arizona IEP Progress Monitoring Basics
The IEP progress monitoring process is designed to help ensure that your child is progressing toward their goals. Progress monitoring can take many forms, but it typically includes regular check-ins with the IEP team. Progress monitoring might also include collecting data on your child’s progress and reviewing that data with the IEP team.
Arizona IEP Evaluation Concerns
You must know the evaluation concerns to have a successful Arizona IEP. It will help you ensure that your child gets the services they need to succeed in school. You must ensure that the evaluation team has the necessary information about your child to determine their needs accurately.
You must also ensure that the evaluation team uses a valid and reliable assessment tool. This assessment tool should be able to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Finally, it would be best to ensure that the evaluation team recommends services based on your child’s needs.
How Long Does a School Have to Respond to an Evaluation Request in Arizona?
Traditionally, schools have up to 45 days to respond to an evaluation request. However, due to the pandemic, this timeline has been extended to 60 days. You must keep track of the timeline by counting days, including weekends and holidays. The clock starts ticking the day after you submit your evaluation request to the school. If the school does not respond to your evaluation request within the 60-day timeline, you have the right to file a due process complaint.
Do You Need an Arizona IEP Attorney?
Understanding the Arizona IEP process can be complicated. If you’re concerned about your child’s education, you may want to consider hiring an IEP attorney. An IEP attorney can help you navigate the IEP process and ensure that your child’s rights are protected.
At Chelle Law, we understand parents’ challenges when advocating for their child’s education. We can help you understand your rights and options under the law. We will work with you to create an individualized education plan that meets your child’s unique needs.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Arizona Student Questions?
IEPs, School Discipline, Hearings and more!