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A Maryland State Department of Education Resource

The IEP Process

Family with a student with down syndrome in an iep meeting

Tips for Parents

  • Be prepared to describe your child. You know your child best.
  • Tell the IEP team what you think your child is capable of doing now, and what you see your child doing in the future.
  • Bring someone who knows your child to the IEP team meeting. If you wish to request the presence of someone who tested your child or whose input you feel may be helpful to the IEP team, share that information with the school prior to the meeting. If the person is available, he/she may attend.
  • Stay focused on your child’s educational needs.
  • Write down your questions and comments. Bring them with you.
  • Use other IEP team members as resources for you and your child.
  • Understand your options about attending the IEP team meeting: If you are unable to personally attend an IEP team meeting, another method of participation, such as conducting a teleconference, may be used to ensure your participation. In addition, for any IEP team meeting other than the annual IEP team meeting, you and your local school system can agree not to convene an IEP team meeting, and instead develop a written document to amend your child’s IEP.
  • Written parental consent is required in order to initiate special education and related services. However, a parent’s signature is not required on subsequent IEPs and a parent may revoke consent for special education and related services. A school system may request your signature to indicate your attendance at an IEP team meeting.

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