- Know what you want.
Write your requests in a letter. Unfortunately, if it is not written down, it did not happen! If you have concerns, ensure you are clearly conveying these concerns and offer proposed solutions to the team. Did you answer the following questions:
a. What do you want?
b. What specific actions do you want the IEP team to take?
c. What facts support your request?
- Do not blame or criticize.
Please remember to stick to the facts and refrain from criticism and blame. When emotions are involved, it is difficult to remain focused on the concerns and finding solutions for these concerns.
- Protect the parent-school relationship.
Ensure you separate the parent-school relationships from the problems. Remember the goal is to solve problems and work together as a team for the best interest of your student.
- Seek win-win solutions to problems.
It is important to work towards mutually acceptable solutions to your concerns. When everyone agrees on the solutions and work toward common goals, each team member shows their commitment in working toward the success of these goals.
- Understand the school’s position.
While this is often a difficult task, it is important to be able to step into the shoes of each team member in order to visualize yourself in their role. Ask yourself the following questions:
a. What are their perceptions of the issue?
b. What are their interests? What do they want?
c. What are their fears? What are their concerns if your solutions are agreed upon?
Credited Resource: “All About IEPs” written by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq., Pamela Darr Wright, MSW, and Sandra Webb O’Connor, M.Ed.