IEP and other fun acronyms!

Give us a call at 469-249-0425 Getting an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for your child can be intimidating. Luckily there are supports you can draw on that can help you through this process. On the show today we take a look at how to start the IEP process and share what we learned from going through the journey ourselves. One of the key things we learned about IEPs is that you can start the process without a diagnosis. So, if the lack of a diagnosis has been holding you back, we encourage you to get started as soon as you can! Another crucial element of this undertaking is feeling empowered, supported, and prepared. Hear how you can utilize the resources your school district has to offer and why getting in touch with advocates in your area can be so beneficial. We also take a look at the need for a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE), which is integral to constructing an IEP for your kiddo, and how to start that process. Tuning in you'll hear a breakdown of the timeline you can expect, as well as details on how it all works. While our experiences have largely been positive, there are plenty of horror stories, and we encourage you to thoroughly document the entire process, including a paper trail of your correspondence and potentially even recording your first IEP meeting. We cover a lot in this episode, from how to prioritize goals for your child, to making sure you're in a position where you can adequately advocate for your kiddo. Join our conversation on FIEs, IEPs, and other interesting acronyms now! Key Points From This Episode: A brief overview of Mikey’s story and constructing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Why it was important to have an IEP in place to get accommodations for Mikey after the family moved from a private school in Texas to a public school in Virginia. How the state or school you use can affect your options and your experience. A breakdown of why you need to go through the IEP process to get the accommodations you need for your child. How the IEP process is customized for your child and what you want as goals. Some of the information you can get from your school district’s website on special education. How they can help you feel prepared for the IEP process. Reasons why the IEP process can be emotional and difficult. The importance of documenting all your relevant correspondence during the IEP process. How you can and should start the IEP process even if you don’t yet have a diagnosis. The need for a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE), the timeline you can expect, and how it works. Why an FIE is integral to constructing an IEP for your child. An overview of the support you can get from advocates in your area. The benefits of having a coach or advocate attend your IEP meeting with you. Why you should consider recording your IEP meeting. Mikey’s IEP and why a self-contained autism classroom is important for him at this point. How your child’s IEP can change over time. Remember that you don’t need to sign an agreement at an IEP meeting. Tweetables: “The path to those accommodations is through an IEP and the IEP process is a process. So, your mileage will vary. It's very customized to your child. And it's very customized to what you want as goals.” — Mike [0:08:12] “District websites have a link for special education. And within that link, they're going to have all kinds of information.” — Heather [0:08:46] “The more documentation you have, the better you can advocate for your child if need be, down the line.” — Heather [0:23:38] “You don't have to sign the IEP at that meeting, even if you just want to think about it for a week. Go ahead. It doesn't have to be signed at that meeting. It's not a requirement.” — Heather [0:28:45] Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode: Call us at 469-249-0425 --- Send in a voice message:

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CALL US at 469-249-0425 Full show notes and episodes can be found at Autism, has impacted our family, and this is our journey. We are Mike and Heather, and we share stories! We will talk with Authors, Specialists, Doctors, Activists and legal professionals to gather insight on how to better prepare our kids for full integration into school, society and independent adulthood. Our goal is to INSPIRE other parents, a little bit each day, to help them be the best advocate for their kiddos' growth.