I did a survey recently asking parents what they found to be the MOST frustrating part of the IEP process. You know what they said?
It wasn't the number of meetings they had to attend.
It wasn't the paperwork, the signatures, or the reports.
It wasn't even the sometimes-spotty communication from their school team.
It was that they felt like they had to explain, and convince, and TEACH their child's team about their child and his or her challenges. Year after year, with every new therapist or paraprofessional or special educator. Parents are tired of educating their child's educators about their child.
Does this sound like you? If so, you may love our Free Resource Friday offer: the One-Page Profile.
This is a short, single-page document that includes all of the most important information about your child. Sometimes called a "cheat sheet," "student summary," or "student resume," this document does the educating for you whenever a new member is added to your IEP team. And contrary to your student's IEP, it features what is most important to them and includes a list of their strengths. Because this is what defines your student, not their challenges.
Following this information is a box to summarize your student's academic accommodations and lastly, some advice about how to help your child if they become escalated.
While this information can come directly from the IEP (and should, at the very least, be informed by your last meeting), you also have the opportunity to get your student involved by asking them to help prepare this document.
What is important to them?
What do they know they're good at?
What helps them calm down when they're feeling stressed or anxious?
Having these conversations with your student will not only help you create a great Profile, it will begin the process of strengthening your student's self-advocacy muscle. Allowing students the chance to think about and talk about what they need is always a beneficial exercise.
Want to see an example? Check out Tommy's one-page profile.
Want to get a blank copy for yourself? If you're already on our list, it's already on its way. New here? Subscribe to our IEP Guru mailing list using the button below. You'll get this template AND a new free resource every Friday. Why wait? We are so excited to share.