Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Guide for Parents

Written and compiled by the Parent Program
Designed by Community Relations
July 1997
Reprint permission granted by Judy Presberg
Administrative Liason for Family Services
Special School District of St. Louis County
12110 Clayton Road
Town and Country, MO 63131


  1. About the Individualized Education Plan (IEP):

    1. Beliefs that should guide the development of the IEP
    2. What the IEP is, is not
    3. Sequential steps and required considerations
    4. Components of a quality IEP
    5. Transition planning
    6. Who develops an IEP
    7. Special education services
    8. Frequently asked questions - what does IDEA say about IEPs
    9. Program placement recommendations
    10. Timelines for the IEP process
    11. Definitions/acronyms
  2. Before the IEP meeting:

    1. Preparing for the conference
    2. What to bring with you
    3. IEP preparation and participation form for parents
    4. Checklist of adaptations/modifications/supports to consider for your child
    5. Keep good records
    6. Self-advocacy/student participation
  3. At the IEP meeting:

    1. Hints for the meeting
    2. Meeting planner/seating chart
  4. After the meeting:

    1. Evaluating the IEP meeting
    2. After the conference
    3. Due process rights
    4. Forms
    5. Parent resources
  1. About the IEP

    1. Beliefs that should guide the development of the IEP

      • All children belong to the community where they live and the responsibility for their education rests with the school districts within that community
      • The goal of education is to enhance the pursuit of a meaningful life
      • The family is the foundation of lifelong planning for and with the child
      • The success of children is built, in part, on the natural support systems developed to encourage lasting friendships in educational and community settings
      • Teams working through collaborative relationships are essential to ensuring that each child's educational experience is a success
      • Planning by teams needs to be based on trust and respect for each person's experience, which, in turn, supports flexibility of roles
      • The use of problem-solving methods and intervention-based services will support the accomplishment of long-term goal planning for children
      • Special education is a series of individually designed services and supports; it is not a place to which children are assigned
      Adapted from Individualized Education Program: A Road Map to Success — Celebrate the Journey, State of Ohio Department of Education (1995)
    2. What the IEP is, is not

      The IEP is:
      • A meeting where parents, students when appropriate, and school personnel jointly make decisions about an educational program for a student with a disability.
      • A document; a written record of the decisions reached at the meeting for a student who will receive special education and related services.
      • A management tool in implementing an educational program.
      The IEP has a number of purposes and functions:
      • The IEP meeting serves as a communication opportunity between parents and educators and enables them, as equal participants, to jointly decide what the student's needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated outcomes may be.
      • The IEP process provides an opportunity for resolving any differences between the parents and the school concerning the special education needs of a student with a disability — first, through the IEP meeting, and second, if necessary, through the procedural protections that are available to the parents.
      • The IEP sets forth in writing a commitment to provide services and resources necessary to enable a student with a disability to receive needed special education services.
      The IEP is not:
      • The IEP is not a daily lesson plan — but it does cover a whole year.
      • The IEP is not an evaluation report — an evaluation report describes your child's strengths and needs. The information from an evaluation report is used to help write the IEP.
      • The IEP is not a contract — it does describe things you and the school have agreed to do for your child, but it cannot guarantee that all the special help will be successful.
      • The IEP is not a comprehensive curricula, but relates to special considerations within your child's overall education.
      • The IEP does not last forever; as your child grows and learns and changes, the IEP will need to reflect these changes.
      Adapted from Florida Department of Education Parent Information Series: The Individualized Education Plan, and Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services' Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    3. Sequential steps and required considerations

      The IEP development process is comprised of sequential steps and required considerations that are needed to produce the written IEP document.
      As part of this process, the following questions are answered:
      1. Where are we going (what is the vision for this child)?
      2. Where are we now (what he or she knows and does well; i.e. present level of performance)?
      3. How far can we get this year (what will be this year's annual goals and objectives)?
      4. How will we get there (what services will be provided)?
      5. What route will we take (how services will be provided)?
      Adaptations and modifications:
      1. How much will the child participate in general education testing and assessment programs or will progress be tracked other ways?
      2. If the child is between 3 and 5, are there specific procedures for moving from an early childhood program to a school age program?
      3. If the student is 14 or older, was a plan developed for meeting the transition needs of the student?
      4. Did the team develop a plan to address behaviors if the child has behavior that significantly interferes with his or her learning?
      5. Were the physical education needs of the child addressed?
      6. Was the need for extended school year services discussed?
      7. If the child has a visual impairment, was it determined if Braille instruction was needed?
      Adapted from Individualized Education Program: A Road Map to Success — Celebrate the Journey, State of Ohio Department of Education (1995)
    4. Components of a quality IEP

      1. Parent participation:
        Parent involvement is crucial. Student participation is also important when appropriate.
      2. Your child's present levels of performance/assessment:
        • learning profile (how your child learns best)
        • performance level and growth (what the student is learning or has recently mastered related to typical students or functional skills)
        • current interventions (methods, techniques, strategies that have proven successful or have not worked)
        • areas of concern (should be addressed by a goal or objective)
        • career education/transition planning (call the Family & Community Resource Center at 569-8460 for a copy of Transition Planning: Through the Doorway to Adult Life)
        These statements of what your child can and cannot do are based on assessment information, teacher input and parent observations, and may include: academic, social, language, psychomotor, self-help, pre-vocational and other areas.
        The statements should describe the way your child performs, and may not only report test scores (e.g. Mary can match the basic colors; Bobby can recognize coins).
      3. Your child's annual goals and objectives:
        Annual IEP goals are the targets toward which your child's special education program is directed. Goals reflect growth that can take place over the course of an entire academic year. They should be general, yet specific enough to focus on individual instructional areas. Objectives are written for each goal. They describe the steps (milestones) that must be accomplished to reach your child's goal. Objectives are written in easy-to-understand language and are measured in a given time period. They serve as a guide for planning and carrying out learning activities in the classroom. Samples of goals and objectives:
        • Read traffic safety signs
        • Improve reading comprehension
        • Be able to restate what is read
        • Read a book
        • Read sight words from grade level text with 80% accuracy as measured by teacher checklist
        • Print name and address
        • Spell name and address
        • Write a book report
        • Improve spelling
        • Be able to use equations
        • Count by tens
        • Tell time to hour, half hour, etc.
        • Learn multiplication tables
        • Count mixed coins to $1 with 80% accuracy as measured by weekly work samples
        Motor skills:
        • Swim
        • Cut with scissors
        • Play basketball
        • Drive a car
        • Eat with a knife and fork
        • Bring belongings home from school
        • Ride the bus
        • Buy appropriate items at the store
        • Display good manners
        • Play with peers without supervision
        • Participate in group activities
        • Be on time
        • Listen and follow instructions
        • Complete job or task
        • Fill out a job application
      4. Special education (see Section I.G.) and related services to accomplish the goals and objectives:
        Related services may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, transportation, vision or hearing services, etc.
      5. Program adaptations and modifications (see Section II.D):
        These are statements of supplementary aids, services, supports and equipment your child needs to help him or her be successful in school.
      6. Dates:
        When special education services will begin, how long each service or special program will be offered, the date the IEP is written. It could include a review date when you will plan to meet to talk about your child's progress, make changes in the IEP and review your child's placement.
      7. Procedure for evaluation of IEP:
        Reviewing the total plan — when and how your child's performance and the effectiveness of the plan will be evaluated.
      8. Program placement recommendations:
        How your child will receive his or her special education services (see Section I.I.).
      9. Signatures: Indicates attendance at the meeting.
      10. Transition Planning:
        Required for students age 14 and older (see Section I.E.).
    5. Transition Planning

      When a student reaches age 14, transition planning becomes a required part of the IEP.
      This process will assist families in identifying post school outcomes and developing action plans to reach the identified goals. Families will be asked to become active participants in transitioning their children from school to adult life.
      The Transition Planning process includes the following steps:
      1. Transition Planning Assessment
        This process identifies a student's needs in the 13 areas of transition identified through IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act):
        1. Career/Vocational Educational/employment
        2. Post Secondary Education
        3. Leisure/Recreation/Socialization
        4. Transportation
        5. Living Arrangements
        6. Medical
        7. Self-Advocacy
        8. Personal Management
        9. Social Skills
        10. Insurance
        11. Financial Assistance/Income
        12. Advocacy/Legal Services
        13. Other: Case Management, Family Support, etc.
      2. The teacher will use one of five assessments in an interview format with your child. If and when your child is unable to answer a particular question, the teacher will call you or send the form home for completion. This form will need to be completed before the IEP. The information from the assessment will generate a list of needs which the transition planning team will decide how to address. The needs indicated as important to address for this year will be written as action plans and/or objectives in the IEP.
      3. Action Plans
        Brief action statements are written in the IEP with responsible parties and timelines. They are evaluated every year and may indicate the student, parents, teacher, adult agency provider, case manager, etc., as responsible parties. Examples of how specific needs could be addressed as action plans:
        1. Contact a Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) counselor for information.
          Responsible Party (RP) John (student) and Mrs. Smith (parent)
          Timeline (TL): 6-1-97
        2. Contact Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis to be placed on mailing list for newsletter.
          RP - John and Mrs. Smith TL - 4-30-97
        3. Contact Bi-State for Call-a-Ride card and bus schedules.
          RP - John and Mrs. Smith TL - 5-10-97
          An action plan may occur outside of the school day, and will vary as to how long it will take to accomplish.
      4. Transition Services Planning Page
        This page documents the student's projected graduation date, the transition areas to be addressed, justifications for services not needed at this time, and the transition planning present level of performance.
      5. Transition Planning Guide (TPG)
        This document is on card stock and will track your child's transition plan for four years. Two of these may be needed if your child stays in school until age 21. Also included on this document is a checklist identifying desired post school outcomes. This section will be completed during the IEP with input from the transition planning team. The original TPG will be given to the student when he/she graduates as a record of transition planning.
      6. Transition Portfolio
        Every student age 14 and older will have a portfolio (folder) where pertinent transition-related information may be housed until the student takes it with him/her upon graduation. Some examples of items to be placed in the portfolio could include resumes, self-advocacy statements, letters of recommendations, agency referrals, etc.
    6. Who develops an IEP?

      Your school is required to notify you in arranging an IEP meeting at least annually. Those who will participate in the meeting should include:
      1. A representative of the district, other than your child's teacher, who is qualified to make special education decisions.
      2. One or more of your child's teachers (special education and general education).
      3. One or both of the child's parents or a representative selected by the parent.
      4. Your child, when appropriate (your child must be in attendance at age 14 and older for transition planning).
      5. Other individuals at the discretion of the parent or school (friends, relatives, people from outside agencies who know your child or who may work with your child after school-age programs have ended).
    7. Special Education Services

      What will special education do to help my child in school? This is a question commonly asked by parents whose child will be receiving services. Once the IEP has been written, it is the responsibility of the special education teacher to choose appropriate strategies and techniques to implement the goals and objectives that have been designed for your child. From elementary to high school you may find any number of the following activities going on to accomplish this task:
      • Teaching in small instructional groups as a pull-out
      • Small instructional groups in the general education classroom
      • Co-teaching of special and general education teachers
      • Consultation between special and general education classroom teachers regarding
        Curricular modifications
        Classroom adaptations
        Behavior modifications
        Testing modifications
        Crisis intervention
      • Behavior feedback sheets (home and school)
      • Helping with
        Organization of Material
        Locker or desk organization
        Checking homework assignment sheets before going home and upon arrival
      • Helping with the organization of school work
      • Teaching social skills groups
      • Teaching study skills such as learning strategies
      • Working with individual students on social skill development
      • Conferencing with general education classroom teachers in relation to evaluation of goals, parent conferences and report cards
      In addition:
         Elementary School—
      • Providing input and assistance for outdoor education programs
      • Providing input and assistance for field trips
      • Transitioning students from early childhood programs into elementary schools and from elementary schools into sixth grade centers, junior highs or middle schools (conferencing with staff, making sure classes are appropriate, accompanying students and parents to orientation activities)
         Junior High/Middle School—
      • In addition to the activities listed under elementary school, the following may occur:
      • Teaching learning strategies classes
      • Teaching study skills classes
      • Working with a team of teachers
      • Providing input and assistance in extra curricular activities
      • Scheduling students by means of the school computer, collaborating with the guidance counselor or person responsible for scheduling
      • Transitioning students from eighth grade to the high school (conferencing with the staff, making sure appropriate classes are taken and schedules are accurate, accompanying students and parents for orientation activities)
      • Transition planning (becomes a part of the IEP at age 14 and until your child graduates)
         High School—
      • In addition to the activities listed under middle school, the following may occur:
      • Designing and implementing programs so students will be able to achieve a high school diploma
      • Working with other departments in relation to GED, college selection or vocational training
      • Sponsoring after school clubs
      • Inviting appropriate community agencies involved in transition as needed
      • Preparing students to participate in the IEP
      • Insuring that the appropriate adult agency supports are in place before the student graduates
      (For more detailed information, call the Family & Community Resource Center for a copy of Transition Planning: Through the Doorway to Adult Life)
      Adapted from Harbor Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Citizens, Inc.: Parents, Team Up With Your School, A Handbook to Help Your Special Child
    8. Frequently asked questions - what does IDEA (The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act) say about IEPs?

      Must IEPs be reviewed or revised at the beginning of each year?
      No. The basic requirement in the regulations is that IEPs must be in effect at the beginning of each school year. IEP meetings must be conducted at least once each year to review and, if necessary, revise the IEP of each child with a disability. However, periodic reviews may be held anytime during the year, including at the end of the school year, before the new school year, or just on the anniversary date of the last IEP meeting.
      How frequently must IEP meetings be held and how long should they be?
      IDEA says that each school system must hold a meeting not less than once a year to review and, if appropriate, revise each child's IEP. The legislative history of the law makes it clear that there should be as many meetings a year as any one child may need.
      There is no prescribed length for IEP meetings. In general, meetings will be longer for initial placements and for children who require a variety of complex services, and will be shorter for children who require only a minimum amount of services. It is expected that agencies will allow sufficient time at the meetings to ensure meaningful parent participation.
      May IEP meetings be tape-recorded?
      The use of tapes recorders at IEP meetings is not addressed by either IDEA or regulations. Although taping is clearly not required, it is allowed at the option of either the parents or the school system.
      If a child with a disability is enrolled in both general and special education, which teacher(s) should attend the IEP meeting?
      In general, the teacher at the IEP meeting should be the child's special education teacher. At the option of the school system or the parent, the child's general education teacher might attend. If the general education teacher does not attend, the school could either provide the teacher with access to a copy of the IEP or inform the teacher of the contents. In addition, the school system should ensure that the special education teacher, or other appropriate support person, is able, as necessary, to consult with and be a resource to the child's general education teacher.
      Must related services personnel attend IEP meetings?
      No. It is not required that they attend. However, if a child with a disability has an identified need for related services, it would be appropriate for the related services personnel to attend the meeting or otherwise be involved in developing the IEP. The school system should ensure that a qualified provider of that service either attends the meeting or provides a written recommendation concerning the nature, frequency and amount of service to be provided to the child.
      Is the IEP a commitment to provide services?
      Yes. The IEP of each child with a disability must include all services necessary to meet the child's identified special education and related service needs. All services in the IEP must be provided in order for the school system to be in compliance with IDEA.
      Does the IEP include only special education and related services or does it describe the total education of the child?
      The IEP is required to include only those matters concerning the provisions of special education and related services and the extent that the child can participate in regular education programs.
      If adaptations and modifications are necessary for a child with a disability to participate in a general education program, must they be included in the IEP?
      Yes. If supplementary provisions to the general education program are necessary to ensure the child's participation in the program, they must be described in the child's IEP.
      Can the school system personnel have the IEP completed when the IEP meeting begins?
      No. It is not permissible for a school to present a completed IEP to parents before there has been a full discussion with the parents of the child's need for services and what services the school will provide to the child. IDEA defines the IEP as a written statement developed in any meeting with the school system representative, the teacher, the parent, and if appropriate, the child. It would be appropriate for staff to come prepared with evaluation findings, statements of present levels of educational performance, and a recommendation regarding annual goals, short term instructional objectives, and the kind of special education and related services to be provided. However, the school personnel must make it clear to the parents at the beginning of the meeting that the services proposed are only recommendations for review and discussion with the parents.
      What does IDEA say about Transition Planning?
      IDEA now requires that the IEP include a statement of the needed transition services, beginning no later than age 16, and if appropriate, a statement of interagency responsibility or linkages (or both) before the student leaves the school setting. Transition services should be based on an outcome-oriented activity (i.e., post secondary education, vocational training, independent living) by considering the student's needs, preferences and interests. In addition, if services will not be needed in one of the areas specified, then the basis upon which the determination was made will be identified.
      Adopted from Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, ECAC News Line, Fall 1995.
    9. Program placement recommendations

      Following the completion of your child's IEP, a placement recommendation will be made. The placement recommendation must be made at least annually by a group of Special School District staff in conjunction with the local district staff involved in the development of the IEP. The placement recommendation is to be based upon a consensus of those engaged in making the determination. While parents are not directly involved in making the placement recommendation, the process should work to include the parents in the development of a consensus as to the placement.

      By law, each student should be given an education in the least restrictive environment. The team must first consider if your child can remain in the general education classroom and achieve the IEP goals and objectives with the help of supplementary aids and services. If the team agrees this cannot be achieved in the general education classroom, it then must decide the route that will allow your child to be integrated with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible. Preference is to be given to placement options available in your child's neighborhood school when feasible.

      The following should be considered as the team works toward making the placement decision:
      • the nature and severity of the disability
      • the diverse learning styles that would require your child to be educated in a setting other than the regular classroom
      • the need for specially designed materials, supplies, or equipment that would prohibit access to the curriculum and goals of the regular education class
      • significant modifications to the regular curriculum that would have an adverse effect on the educational program and learning environment for other students in the class
      • the extent to which your child is distracted
      • the inability of your child to engage appropriately with other students in academic or social interactions
      • the degree to which your child would not benefit from placement in the regular education class
      The team should not solely base the placement decision on any of the following:
      • the category of the disability
      • the inflexibility of established programs
      • the availability of educational or related services
      • budgetary factors
      • the severity of the disability
      • administrative convenience
      Placement options listed on the Annual Placement Recommendation form are:
      General education with:
      • Consultative/collaborative, class-within-a-class special education services, etc.
      • Itinerant special education services
      • Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education
      • Resource special education services
      • Special Non-Public Access Program (SNAP) special education services
      • No special education services (termination of services)
      Special education placement in:
      • A self-contained program in a general education school
      • A self-contained program in a special education school
      • A homebound or hospital setting
      • Other institutions
      • An approved contractual service
      Inclusion refers to students with disabilities who receive all or almost all of their special needs and education services in an age appropriate, general education classroom in their neighborhood school. Supplemental aides and services are brought into the classroom to support the students' educational needs. An inclusion philosophy will guide placement decisions as specified by Special School District's Board of Education Policy on Inclusion:
      Special School District supports the inclusion of children with disabilities as members of the community and of regular education classrooms, participating, learning, belonging and working with age-appropriate peers. The decision to utilize inclusion will be considered on an individual basis and will be the result of a decision by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Committee. Inclusion is to be a part of the continuum of placement options available to all students. Special School District will continue to fund all the special education requirements for the continuum of placement options. Thus, Phase I, II and III programs will be maintained and are also options available to all students. Special School District will continue to provide for the staff development and inservice training of both special and regular education staff members concerning the implementation of options on the continuum of service. The inclusion of children with disabilities requires the support and collaboration of the staffs of Special School District and the Local Education Agencies, parents, students and the community.
      Information taken in part from Missouri Innovations in Special Education, Vol. 23, No. 2: "Making Sense of LRE," by Sherry Rush, director, School Improvement, Nov. '95.
    10. Timelines for the IEP

      A meeting to develop an IEP must be held within 30 calendar days of a determination of an educational diagnosis that the child qualifies for special education and related services.
      It is expected that student's IEP will be implemented immediately following their IEP meeting and is specified on the IEP form. Exceptions would be when the meetings occur during the summer or a vacation period, or where there are circumstances that require a short delay (e.g. working out transportation arrangements). There can be no undue delay in providing special education and related services to the student.
      An IEP must be in effect before special education and related services are provided to a child. The appropriate placement for a child with a disability cannot be determined until after decisions have been made about what the child's needs are and what will be provided.
    11. Terms & acronyms for the IEP process

      As you go through the IEP process, read reports, talk to professionals and attend various meetings, there are many terms and acronyms with which you will need to become familiar.
      Please refer to the Glossary of Terms and an Alphabet Soup of Acronyms in the Special School District Parent Handbook to assist you in understanding the language of general and special education.
  2. Before the IEP meeting:

    1. Preparing for the conference

      1. A parent information form should be sent to you before the IEP conference (see Section II.C). Take some time to fill this out. The form is designed to follow the IEP and will help you gather your thoughts so you can share what you know about your child and have meaningful participation throughout the meeting. You may want to ask for a blank copy of the IEP form to follow along during the meeting.
      2. Talk to your child. Involve your child in the process and get his or her understanding or agreement as to the things you will be addressing at the meeting. Find out what his or her feelings are about school, home and friends. Ask what he or she thinks are his or her strengths, what he or she wants to learn, or if there is something he or she would like to do or to do better.
      3. Become knowledgeable about your child's disability and how it may affect his or her education.
      4. If you have concerns, review your child's files. You can make an appointment with school prior to the meeting and review what is contained in your child's record. Make sure you understand what it contains. (The Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) insures your right to examine school records, receive an explanation of the contents, challenge the contents and obtain copies of all records.)
      5. Review any previous IEPs for your child.
      6. Make an outline of what you believe your child needs to learn. Examine long-range goals you have for your child and rethink them if necessary. Consider annual goals that will have value for your child and your family, and which will help your child accomplish his or her long-range plans.
      7. Prepare a list of questions. Many of these may be answered as the conference progresses, however, don't hesitate to ask questions that have not been addressed.
      8. Talk to other parents of children with disabilities and learn as much as you can from them about their IEP experiences.
      9. Feel free to invite anyone you feel can provide information for the IEP committee. This may include any therapists, counselors, or doctors who may be working with your child outside of school. In addition, you also may want to invite someone to attend, relative or friend, who can provide moral support or who makes you feel more comfortable participating in a group. Remember, this is a team effort and everyone working with your child needs to be working together in order to produce the best results.
      10. You should be notified in writing who will be attending the conference beforehand. If you are not, call your child's teacher or area coordinator. Be sure to inform the teacher if you plan to bring someone to the conference. A copy of your legal rights should be included in the written notice.
      11. If you are unable to attend, call the teacher to reschedule the meeting. You are an important part of the committee and your input is valued.
      Material for this list was taken from LDA "How to Participate Effectively in the IEP Process"; Child Advocacy Center "Parent to Parent Newsletter," Mar./Apr. 1995; and the MPACT Parent Training Manual
    2. What to bring with you

      • Goals you have for the coming year - put your child's needs and preferences at the center of any discussion
      • Examples of strategies and interventions that have and have not worked
      • Last year's IEP—if you can find it!
      • Parent participation form—if not already turned in
      • Positive mindset and willingness to try new things—look at the meeting as an opportunity for growth and a chance to make things better
      • Realization that not everyone may agree—try not to be judgmental or defensive
      • Commitment to collaboration—acknowledge and respect each team member
      Adapted from Individualized Education Program: A Road Map to Success — Celebrate the Journey, State of Ohio Department of Education (1995)
    3. IEP preparation and participation form for parents

      This form is designed to help you and your child's teacher in planning to meet the needs of your child. Completion of this form is optional; feel free to complete only the questions you feel apply to your child's educational needs.

      Student name:
      Parent name(s):
      Date completed:
      1. What do you feel your child has accomplished this year at school, at home, in the community?
      2. What are your child's strengths, gifts and talents?
      3. How does your child express feelings?
      4. What best motivates your child?
      5. What therapies, interventions or approaches do you feel work best for your child?
      6. What do you feel are your child's educational and emotional needs?
      7. Do you have any fears or concerns you would like to share?
      8. What modifications in your child's program or changes in the school day would you suggest to ensure success for your child?
      9. What are your hopes and dreams for your child, either now or for the future?
      Additional comments...
    4. Checklist of adaptations and modifications

      Adaptations and modifications are any changes or adjustments made in the educational program to meet your child's unique needs and compensate for difficulties. Think about the changes that might be helpful to your child and build competence and independence in learning. These changes are decided on by the IEP team and may be made in the following areas:
      • Give both oral and visual instructions
      • Vary working surface (floor, board, other)
      • Simplify/shorten directions
      • Provide sequential directions
      • Have student repeat directions
      • Check for understanding
      • Use manipulatives
      • Teach calculator use
      • Modify lesson or unit — partial participation (adapt materials, multilevel curriculum, curriculum overlapping, substitute curriculum)
      • Teach functional tasks
      • Highlight relevant words/features/sections
      • Use rebus (picture) directions
      • Increase prompts and cues during guided practice or increase amount of guided practice
      • Increase allocated time
      • Reduce required classwork or homework (%, evens, odds) and provide alternative practice opportunities of important skills
      • Use reinforcers
      • Increase or decrease wait time
      • Provide tutor
      • Provide peer tutor
      • Provide peer reader
      • Provide frequent review
      • Have student summarize
      • Provide mnemonic devices
      • Use color coding
      • Tape record directions
      • Tape record lessons
      • Preteach vocabulary or concepts
      • Provide discussion questions before reading
      • Use of index cards
      • Assign only one task at a time
      • Provide daily or weekly assignment sheets
      • Shorten project assignment into daily tasks
      • Use verbal cues ("Don't write this." "This is important." "Write this.")
      • Provide unsupported study time
      • Partner activities
      • Cooperative groups
      • Community-based instruction
      • Seat in front
      • Seat near teacher
      • Seat away from glare of the window
      • Reduce visual distractions
      • Provide a slant board
      • Scheduling considerations
      • Supervised lunch periods
      • Minimize transitions
      • Provide consistent structure
      • Provide time-out/personal space
      • Locker location
      • Study carrel
      • Seat near someone who will be helpful and understanding
      • Change groupings
      • Alter location of supplies for easy access/minimum distraction
      Test taking/student response
      • Needs extended time
      • Needs test read out loud
      • Needs vocabulary explained
      • Allow use of calculator
      • Assist with recording of answers
      • Short answer (no essay)
      • Allow creative spelling
      • Limit choices in multiple choice
      • Provide work bank
      • Fill in first letter of answer or cue
      • Provide examples of test questions and answers on the test
      • Indicate number of letters in answer
      • Provide formulas
      • Allow notes
      • Provide notes
      • Allow multiple retakes
      • Allow sample or practice tests
      • Allow taped responses
      • Allow the test to be taken orally
      • Allow use of taped reading materials for book reports, etc.
      • Mark on test, not computer form
      • Minimum distraction testing setting
      • Provide tests in segments/allow breaks
      • Allow test to be taken in a separate room
      • Use alternatives to testing (oral reports, bulletin boards, poster, demonstration, audiotape, etc.)
      Supplemental aids/tools and/or services
      • Calculator
      • Multiplication table
      • Spellchecker
      • Dictionary
      • Vocabulary list
      • Essential fact list
      • Study guide
      • Tape recorder
      • Taped reading materials
      • Second set of texts for home
      • Provide written detailed instructions
      • Access to a computer/word processor/typewriter
      • Special grip pencils
      • Use of a timer
      • Brailler
      • TTY (teletypewriter)
      • FM amplification system
      • Interpreter
      • Note taker (a buddy with carbon paper)
      • Larger type
      • Needs daily/weekly home contact
      • Provide time-out area
      • Provide positive reinforcement
      • Provide choices
      • Emphasize positive vs. punitive measures
      • Reduce/minimize distractions
      • Define limits (behavioral/physical)
      • Individualized contract
      • Post rules and consequences
      • Give verbal cues/prompts and non-verbal signals/prompts before problems
      • Teach behavior skills
      • Regular bus
      • Special lift bus
      • Special equipment
      • Special assistance
      • Smaller bus
      • Air conditioning required
      • Seat belts or shoulder harness
      • Aide on bus
      • Positioning
      Self help
      • Assistance for bathrooming
      • Assistance with grooming
      • Assistance with dressing
      • Assistance with eating/drinking
      • Assistance in class
      • Accessing lockers
      • Assistance going to classes
      • Extra time to go to classes
      • Use of elevator
      • Proximity considerations in scheduling
      School-related extracurricular activities/programs that may require adaptation/modification/planning
      • Clubs
      • Driver's education
      • Sports programs
      • Extended day programs
      • Social events
      • Work experience
      • Field trips
      Other considerations
      • Monitoring of medication
      • Special equipment
      • Special supplies
      • Positioning
      • Emergency plans (medical, fire)
      • Health issues
      This list was adapted and compiled from the following: Kailua Intermediate School, Kim Sherman; Klein High School 504/Student Services Team; Nebraska Network for Children & Families Checklist; Classroom Accommodations for LD Students, Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland, 1984
    5. Keeping good records

      As the parent of a child with a disability, you will have gathered a tremendous amount of information about your child from various professionals and service agencies. Each time you seek services for your child, you will be asked to supply this information.

      As the primary decision maker, observer and advocate for your child, it is to your benefit to keep good and up-to-date records. Here is a way to keep your information organized. Purchase a loose-leaf binder with tabbed dividers. Sections may include:

      • Background information
      • Developmental history
      • Your child's medical history and medical reports
      • Family health history
      • Educational history
      • Educational, psychological and therapy reports
      • Samples of your child's IEP and school progress reports
      • Samples of your child's past and present work
      • Copies of records from outside agencies
      • Copies of letters you have written and received
      • A record of your contacts with schools and agencies (personal visits, phone calls)
      • Your long-term goals and short-term objectives
      You may want to take your notebook with you when you go to your child's school for an IEP meeting or when you visit a new agency or service provider.
      So remember...KEEP YOUR NOTEBOOK UP-TO-DATE If you have lost or misplaced records, you may review the school's records. The district will make one copy of items in your child's file for you so you can have a complete record.
      Adapted from Harbor Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Citizens, Inc.: Parents, Team Up With Your School, A Handbook to Help Your Special Child
    6. Self-advocacy: Student participation in the IEP process

      It is important to encourage your son or daughter to take part in, or even take charge of, his or her IEP meeting. It is important for your child to realize that it is his or her plan and that his or her opinions are valued.

      By law (IDEA), students must be invited to participate in their own IEP beginning no later than age 16, and younger, when appropriate. Students can be involved at younger ages, and it makes good sense to do so.

      What students gain from participating:
      • Learn more about their strengths and skills and how to tell others
      • Learn more about their disability and how to talk about it to others
      • Learn what accommodations are and what might help them succeed
      • Learn how to speak for themselves
      • Develop skills necessary for self-determination and decision-making
      • Learn about the goals and objectives that form the basis of their education, and why they are important for them
      • Motivation by meeting goals and the development of future goals that are important to them

      Make certain your child knows exactly what the purpose of the IEP is and that he or she is expected to put forth their best effort in reaching the goals of the plan.

      You may want them to practice before the meeting describing their disability, their strengths, their needs, the accommodations that would help them achieve in class, their goals for the future and the goals and objectives they feel are most important for them to work on.

      The forum can be a positive experience when your child understands that he or she can have some input in the meeting and that growth in self-confidence may occur as a result of participation. The more times your child is able to speak for her or himself, the easier it will become in the future.

      If your son or daughter has some long- or short-term plans, encourage him or her to communicate these to the IEP team.

      From PACER Center, The Pacesetter "IEP: Involving the Student is Important For a Successful Plan," Jan. 1996; and NICHCY "Helping Students Develop Their IEPs," Dec. 1995
  3. At the IEP meeting:

    1. Hints for the meeting

      1. Remember, diagnostic tests do not present the total picture. Your most important job is to make sure that the others at the IEP conference never forget that you are talking about a real child. Make sure the focus of the discussion is on your child's strengths as well as needs.
      2. Usually your child's special education teacher or administrator will act as chairperson or group leader for the IEP meeting.
      3. Ask for introductions if the person chairing the meeting doesn't have everyone introduce themselves. If you aren't sure what each person's role is at the meeting, ask him or her to explain. Use the Special Education Meeting Planner (see section III.B.) to assist you in remembering names and roles.
      4. Each person has something to share and should have a chance to say what he or she thinks. Stick with the issue at hand — your child's education. Don't be sidetracked by irrelevant issues such as your past experiences or the district's lack of funds.
      5. If you don't understand something that is said, ask to have it explained. Do not hesitate to ask for clarification of any detail.
      6. You are free to disagree with any part of the IEP. If you disagree, try to do so in a helpful way; make suggestions instead of getting angry or upset.
      7. Be flexible enough to accept minor revisions, but be firm about the major issues.
      8. The program for your child should be built on services that relate to strengths and abilities, special problems and learning needs...not to his or her category of disability. If you don't agree that this is what the program does, speak up. Changes can be made if you state your views and ideas.
      9. Share relevant information about your child using the parent participation form, which has questions relating specifically to the various components of the IEP. Inform the committee of any activities or significant events that may influence your child's performance in school.
      10. Make sure your child's medical history is up-to-date and that the committee knows if there are any special needs or services provided by other sources.
      11. Participate in developing your child's goals and objectives.
      12. Take note of what non-academic school activities are included in the program of your child. Don't forget areas such as lunch and recess and other areas such as art, music and physical education.
      13. Be sure all services that are necessary to implement your child's educational program will be written into the IEP.
      14. Ask yourself if what is planned corresponds to your knowledge of your child's ability and needs.
      15. Make sure that team members talk with, rather than about, your child, if he or she is in the meeting. Maybe your child can suggest a goal and/or objective and take responsibility for it.
      16. When you feel teachers and school personnel are doing a good job, compliment them. Praise, when deserved, is a great thing!
      17. You can expect the teachers to carry out informal assessment on a continuing basis. They should be willing to keep trying new methods if your child is not making progress.
      18. You have 10 school days in which to make a decision if you are not sure you are in agreement with the IEP. You may ask for the IEP to be reconvened, or see Section IV.C. for information on due process procedures.
      19. If the group needs more time to complete the IEP, there can be more than one meeting.
      20. Your child's progress must be reviewed at least once a year. You can also request a review at any time.
      21. have the right to ask questions and request changes either during the conference or later.
      Compiled from Florida Department of Education,; PACER Center, Inc.; MPACT Parent-to-Parent Training Manual; Midwest Regional Resource Center; Federation for Children with Special Needs
    2. Special education meeting planner

      Even though the input of many people is necessary to create a good educational plan for students with disabilities, meeting with six or more strangers can be very stressful. It may be helpful for to you to write the names of each person at the meeting in the box that represents their seat at the table.

      Write the date and purpose of the meeting in the space that represents the table. You may need this information later to help you recall what was said at the meeting or you may need it during the meeting to help you focus your thoughts or comments.

      In the spaces marked "participants" put the name and number of the person seated in chair No. 1, etc. Add their title on the next line and-if you do not know it, feel free to ask.

      On the line marked clue, put anything that may help you remember who's who. (For instance, "red blouse" or "gray hair.") The number of the seat has already been filled in for you. If the person sitting in the No. 1 chair is the resource room teacher, you might fill in the first line as "Mrs. Jones," and on the second line "resource room teacher," and on the third line, "purple suit."

      Parkway Parents Advisory Council for Children with Disabilities (PACCD)

    Meeting Planner
    2 3 4 5
    1 Date: _____________
    Goal of Today's Meeting:

    7 8 9 10

    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________     
    Clue: (1)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (6)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (2)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (7)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (3)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (8)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (4)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (9)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (5)_________________________
    Name:___________________________ Ph.#___________
    Clue: (10)_________________________
  4. After the meeting:

    1. Evaluating the IEP meeting

      The following is a checklist designed to assist you in evaluating the quality of the IEP developed for your child at the IEP meeting. (Not all of these questions may apply to your child)

         YES   YES  NOT
      1. Do I understand where my child presently functions in relation to each goal and objective?      
      2. Are written goals and objectives clear and understandable?      
      3. Are written goals and objectives reasonable and realistic?      
      4. Can I answer each of the following questions for each objective:
      • What is to be done?
      • When will it be done?
      • How will I know when the objective is completed?
      5. Does it appear that the individual needs of my child are reflected in these goals and objectives?      
      6. Did I provide input into the development of such goals?      
      7. Are the written goals and objectives the ones I feel are most important?      
      8. Do the teachers who will be working with my child agree with and support the written goals and objectives?      
      9. Will my child receive appropriate related services, supplementary aids and adaptations?      
      10. If any of these services are written into the IEP, is the beginning date and estimated duration of the services specified?      
      11. Has a date been set to review my child's progress toward the objectives?      
      12. Have other major agencies or persons who provide services to my child been notified of the IEP meeting?      
      13. Have I signed release forms and requested that copies of my child's IEP be mailed to other persons or agencies that serve my child?      
      14. Has some effort been made by members of the IEP team to coordinate the school plan with other outside agencies that provide services to my child?      
      15. Have professionals developed a communication plan to make sure that instruction is coordinated and not duplicated for my child?      
      16. Have all appropriate school placement alternatives been considered (consultation, inclusion, resource, self-contained)?      
      17. Have I visited the classroom that is being recommended for my child? Or, have I made some effort to become familiar with the recommended placement?      
      18. Does the recommended placement allow my child the greatest interaction with children in general education classrooms? Or with children who have milder disabilities?      
      19. Do I feel my child might learn more in a different classroom or type of program? Why?      
      20. Do I agree with my child's diagnosis?
      • evaluation?
      • placement?
      21. Is the educational programming (IEP) being carried out?      
      22. Has Transition Planning been addressed for my 14 year old or older son/daughter?      

      If you have answered "yes," the IEP committee has been successful in creating the most beneficial program for your child. If you have answered "no" or "not sure," you need to ask questions and further inquire to relieve your doubts in order to reach a definite "yes" answer. If you have any concerns about numbers 20 and 21, you may want to talk to administrators and teachers in charge of your child's program.
      Harbor Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Citizens, Inc.: Parents, Team Up With Your School, A Handbook to Help Your Special Child
    2. After the conference

      • Maintain close contact with your child's teacher. Two-way communication is a key to making any program work. Some families have regular meetings, some have a daily or weekly notebook, and some have regular telephone calls. Share information and suggestions. Be supportive. There should never be any surprises on your part or on the school's.
      • Ask for suggestions on how you can continue to practice and reinforce what is going on in school.
      • If you think teachers or other team members are doing a good job, tell them. Let them know when they have done something you appreciate.
      • You've known your child a long time. If you've discovered hints that help your child learn, share them. Offer to help teachers and others adapt materials or programs.
      • Remember that other people such as the school bus drivers, janitors, lunchroom workers and secretaries may help your child in informal ways.
      • Get involved in your child's school. Join the PTA/PTO, go to school plays and other activities, volunteer in the library. The more you are involved and the more people see you, the better you will get to know each other. This sometimes makes it easier to work together for your child.
      • Go over your child's IEP every few months. Are the services stipulated in the IEP being provided? Are you satisfied? Is your child happy?
      • Talk with your child's teacher if you have any questions or if there are any problems. If the IEP is not working, ask for a meeting of all the people involved. If you feel it is necessary, ask for a team meeting to change the IEP. You may do this at any time.
      • Check out the resources listed at the end of this section. Become familiar with the services and agencies that can assist you in making your child as successful as possible in school and the community.
      • Participate in training sessions or workshops offered by the school district or other agencies. SSD's Parent Education offers a monthly Orientation for Parents to Special School District in addition to approximately 50 other workshops during the school year designed especially for parents.
      • Find out who the parent liaison is in your building. He or she should be able to help you with questions and networking within your school.
      • Ask for additional items from the Parent Handbook menu.
      • Contact the Parent Program and visit the Family & Community Resource Center at SSD Central Office.
      Adapted from Federation for Children with Special Needs in collaboration with Exceptional Parent: Advocating for your Child; and Harbor Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Citizens, Inc.: Parents, Team Up With Your School, A Handbook to Help Your Special Child
    3. Due process rights

      If you disagree with your child's IEP or placement, you have the right to due process.
      Resolution Conference
      Informal, first step of due process held between parents and district administrators.
      • The resolution conference is optional.
      • It will be conducted and a decision will be rendered within 10 days of receipt of your written request
      • It must be held at a time and place that is convenient to you.
      At the resolution conference:
      • The district will tell you about and permit you to review all of the information it has about your child.
      • The district will fully explain to you each reason for the action it proposes or refuses.
      • You or your representative may present any information you have that pertains to the proposed action.
      • Questioning of witnesses is permitted.
      A voluntary form of complaint resolution that protects the child's interests while helping parents and educators reach a mutually agreeable decision. Less formal than a due process hearing and generally takes less time.
      Mediation will be offered upon request with the following provisions:
      • You and the school will need to agree to mediation
      • You and the school need to agree on a mediator from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) list
      • Mediation will be scheduled within 15 days of agreement to mediate
      • Mediation must be completed within 30 days of agreement to mediate
      • Mediation agreement must be in writing
      • Mediation is non-binding
      • You and the school may bring 3 persons each to the mediation session, or more by agreement
      • No attorneys can be present at mediation session
      • While mediation is pending, the due process hearing timelines will occur simultaneously (the panel will be empowered and the hearing date and location scheduled despite the fact that mediation is occurring)
      • Cost of mediation session is borne by DESE
      Due process hearinga formal meeting held to settle disagreements between parents and schools in a way that is fair to the student, his or her parents and the school.

      Parents and schools both have the right to ask for a due process hearing at any time. It is meant to settle disagreements, however, it should be used only when schools and parents have tried other ways to solve problems.

      The due process hearing is a meeting. It is not a trial or court.

      The due process hearing is conducted by 3 hearing officers:

      • One hearing officer is chosen by the parents
      • One hearing officer is chosen by the school
      • The chair is chosen by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
      • The cost borne by DESE
      • Panel members not chosen by 10 days will be chosen by DESE

      The hearing officers are not judges. The hearing officers make decisions after a hearing. However, as in a court, these rules apply:

      • You have the right to have a lawyer or other person to help you
      • The school may have a lawyer
      • You and the school may have witnesses to help explain things to the hearing officers
      • You and the school may have evidence or written records to show to the hearing officers

      At the hearing:

      • You and the school will be asked to tell the hearing officers exactly what the problem is and what you want to happen
      • You will explain your side, ask your witnesses questions, and show your evidence
      • The school will explain its side, ask its witnesses questions, and show its evidence
      • You will ask questions of the school's witnesses; the school will ask questions of your witnesses
      • The hearing officers may ask questions of anybody and look at the evidence
      • You and the school will have another chance to explain your point of view
      • A transcript is made of the hearing

      After the hearing, the hearing officers will make decisions and put them in writing. It may take up to 45 days from the time you ask for a hearing to get a decision. The hearing officers' written report will list the facts, give the reasons for the decisions and state the decisions made to solve the problem.

      If you do not agree with the hearing officers' decision, or if you feel the hearing was unfair, you may ask the District Court of Appeals to review the hearing record. You must file a written notice of appeal within 30 days of the time you get a copy of the hearing officer's decision.

      During the time it takes to get a decision from the due process hearing, your child will stay in his or her present class or school. If your child is not already in school, the school system must find a program for him or her. Your child will be placed in this program until the hearing officer makes a decision.

      Hearings can be very complicated and can take a lot of time and work. There are many rules about how things are done in hearings. If you and the school district agree, try mediation before having a due process hearing.

      Child Complaint Process
      Process to resolve issues that concern the violation of regulations or statutes relating to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

      Each state must have written procedures for receiving, investigating and resolving such complaints regarding the administration of programs funded through the U.S. Department of Education. Complaints should be filed with:

      Assistant Commissioner
      Division of Special Education
      Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
      P.O. Box 480
      Jefferson City, MO 65102

      Upon receipt of the complaint, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has 60 calendar days to investigate and resolve the complaint After assigning staff to review the complaint, notifying the districts against which it is filed, collecting data and possibly visiting the site, DESE will issue a letter of its findings and a review of the investigation results. If the investigation leads to a finding that the local district is out of compliance, and that voluntary corrective action has been refused, DESE will take administrative action to disapprove the local district's federal funding under IDEA-Part B.

      The finding of the Commissioner of Education is the final decision of DESE. Either part may submit it for review to the U.S. Department of Education.

      Information for this section was reprinted with permission from Booklet 4—Rights and Responsibilities from the Bureau of Student Services and Exceptional Education, Florida Department of Education.; and Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Division of Special Education.
    4. Forms

      Many forms have been developed by parents and educators to ease the transition into special education and to assist in the communication from school to home and home to school.

      You might want to work with your child's teachers to develop such forms, or contact the Parent Program at 569-8460 for the following forms developed by the Wisconsin School Inclusion Project:

      IEP At-A-Glance
      Parent Preferences for Home-School Involvement
      Student Profile
      Adaptations Profile
    5. Parent resources — after the IEP

      1. Parent Program at Special School District — includes Parent Education and Family Services.
        Through Parent Education, Orientations for Parents to Special School District are held monthly. Other workshops, based upon parent needs surveys, also assist families with their concerns and provide resources to link parents to district staff and agencies in our community.
        Parent workshops include: Behavior Management Strategies, Parenting Strategies, Understanding Learning Disabilities, Understanding Speech & Language Disorders, Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder, Helping Children Develop Friendships, Sexuality Education for Children with Special Needs, Transition Planning, Building Self-Esteem, Summer Recreation Opportunities, Self-Advocacy and Peer Support, Sibling Support and more.
        The assistant administrator/parent educator can be reached at 569-8108.
        The Family Services area of parent program includes the Family & Community Resource Center and the Parent Liaison Committee.
        Family & Community Resource Center — provides information, research and referral on every disability and disability-related area for parents, students, teachers and other professionals and community members. The center houses approximately 800 books, 45 videos, 70 notebook binders filled with hundreds of "take-along" articles, newsletters, disability awareness curricula, posters, resource packets, pamphlets and brochures from support organizations, and catalogs from various vendors. Publications include the Parent Handbook, Transition Guidebook and IEP Guidebook for Parents.
        Parent Liaison Committee — created to assist parents in networking, becoming informed about their child's special education services and Special School District, improving communication between SSD and the local district, and creating a positive awareness for students with disabilities in each building. All of the schools in the 23 local districts and SSD buildings are asked to name parents to serve as liaisons to Special School District. Parents meet regularly with their region's administrators to receive updated information about SSD programs and resources in their district and the community. A representative from each liaison group meets monthly with the SSD superintendent.
        The administrative liaison for family services can be reached at 569-8438.
      2. MPACT (Missouri Parents Act) — Missouri's Training and Information Center for Parents of Children with Disabilities provides information, networking, workshops and other services for parents to assist them to become more active in decisions regarding their child's special education. Call 997-7622 for more information.
      3. Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services (P & A) — organization has trained advocates and a legal staff to assist you with information and referral, counseling/professional assistance, administrative remedies, negotiation/mediation and legal services at no charge. Call 725-1550 for more information.
      4. The Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis — a clearinghouse for information regarding recreation and leisure opportunities for St Louis area residents with disabilities. Call 726-6044 for more information
      5. Learning Disabilities Association of Missouri-St. Louis Affiliate (LD A) — organization provides phone referrals, parent support groups, seminars and symposiums, resource library, newsletter and workshops. Call 966-3088 for more information.
      6. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder of Greater St Louis (CHADD) — local chapter provides support groups at various locations, educational support, inservicing, workshops and conventions. Call 758-7506 for more information.
      7. Attention Deficit Disorder Association of Missouri (ADDAM) — provides support and information for parents and professionals with monthly support and educational meetings. Call 963-4655 for more information.
      8. St Louis Regional Center/Missouri Department of Mental Health — provides evaluation and case management services to residents who have mental retardation or some other developmental disability. After eligibility is determined, arrangements are made to obtain services (certain therapies, training, residential placement, resources, respite and more) within available resources of the division. Call 340-6500 for more information.
      9. Family Mental Health Services/St Louis County Department of Health — services include evaluation and assessment, counseling, support groups, parent education, information and referral, consultation. Call 854-6770 for more information.
      10. Technology Access Center — connects individuals to assistive technology options, provides current information about products and services, assists individuals in locating funding, provides in-service presentations. Call 569-8404 for more information.
      11. Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Metropolitan St Louis — provides support, education, advocacy and research for families and friends of people with serious mental illnesses. Call 966-4670 for more information.
      12. Information Network for Missouri's Children with Special Needs (INFORM) — resource center maintains up-to-date listing of all agencies, services and programs within the state that serve children with disabilities and their families. Call 800-873-6623.
      13. Missouri Developmental Disabilities Resource Center — information and referral service assists individuals and families in accessing services, current research and ideas that address specific needs. Provides computer searches, copies of printed materials, resource packets and materials on loan. Call 800-444-0821 for more information.
      14. National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) — national clearinghouse provides prepared information packets and publications on current issues to parents, educators, care givers, advocates and others. Call 800-695-0285 to request a copy of NICHCY's publications list.
      15. Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) — a national information system designed to provide users with ready access to an extensive body of education-related literature. Call 800-LET-ERIC for more information.
      These are just a few of the many resources available in our community, statewide and nationally. Please refer to the Resource section in the SSD Parent Handbook for a more comprehensive list of resources in our area.


A tremendous amount of information exists on the IEP process and we wish to acknowledge the following organizations in providing information used in the creation of our guide:
Child Advocacy Center of Ohio, Parent to Parent Newsletter, Mar/April '95
Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, Newsletter: What Does IDEA Say About Individualized Education Plans?
Federation for Children with Special Needs in collaboration with Exceptional Parent Magazine: Advocating for Your Child
Florida Department of Education, Parent Information Series: The Individualized Education Plan, & Rights and Responsibilities
Harbor Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Citizens, Inc.: Parents, Team Up With Your School, A Handbook to Help Your Special Child
Kailua Intermediate School, Kim Sherman: IEP Checklist Form
Learning Disabilities Association: How to Participate Effectively in the IEP Process
Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Division of Special Education: Procedural Safeguards for Children and Parents, & New Special Education Due Process System and Mediation System
Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services: Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland: Prompting Successful Mainstreaming: Classroom Accommodations for LD Students, 1984
MPACT Parent Training Manual
Nebraska Network for Children & Families: Checklist
NICHCY: Helping Students Develop Their IEPs
PACER Center, The Pacesetter Newsletter: IEP Involving the Student is Important for a Successful Plan, & What Makes a Good IEP for Your Child?
Parkway Parents Advisory Council for Children with Disabilities: Special Education Meeting Planner
State of Ohio Department of Education: Individualized Education Program: A Road Map to Success—Celebrate the Journey, 1995
University of Southern Mississippi Resource Manual for Parents: The Future is in Our Hands