Everthing IEP

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Updated 3-13-19


Parents want the best for their children. We do, too. For the first time ever, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey.

With the right support, parents can help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. With state-of-the-art technology, personalized resources, free daily access to experts, a secure online community, practical tips and more, Understood aims to be that support. 

• The IEP Meeting: An Overview
• What to Bring to an IEP Meeting
• 5 Important Things to Do Before an IEP Meeting
• 5 Important Things to Do During an IEP Meeting
• 5 Important Things to Do After an IEP Meeting 
• At a Glance: Who Might Be at Your Child's IEP Meeting
• 10 Defusing Phrases to Use at IEP Meetings
• When and Why Teachers Can Be Excused from IEP Meetings
• How to Create a Parent Report
• Will a School Provide a Translator at an IEP Meeting if I need One?
• 5 Ways to Politely Decline the School's IEP Draft
• What to Double Check on Your Child's IEP
• Can I ask to Have Self-Advocacy Goals Included in My Child's IEP?
• Can an IEP or 504 Plan Include Something About Emotional Support at School?
• FAQs About Having Your Child Attend IEP Meetings
• Questions to Ask Before and During an IEP Meeting
• How to Create a Parent Report

“May I see a copy of the written policy?”Click this link  (10 Defusing Phrases to Use at IEP Meetings)
Someone from the school might say, “This is how we’ve always done something.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a policy. Defuse any arguments about it by asking to see in writing that this is how they handle the situation.

Sample response: “I understand this is how you do things. May I see a copy of the written policy that outlines this procedure?”

Advocate for your rights and those of your child –Click this link  (5 Important Things to Do During an IEP Meeting)
Don’t allow others to gloss over IEP details that involve your rights. For instance, if you’re told that the district won’t cover certain services, ask to see the section of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that supports that. 



Questions to Ask Before and 
During an IEP Meeting 

Even if it’s not your first one, IEP meetings can still be confusing at times. Asking questions can help you be more informed, prepared and confident as a member of the IEP team.

Download PDF Form



The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans

Both Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans can offer formal help for K–12 students with learning and attention issues. They’re similar in some ways but quite different in others. This chart compares them side-by-side to help you understand the differences.

To view or print, click on the image to the left.


Ten Steps to a Successful IEP Meeting

Ten ways to successfully prepare for your IEP meeting:

. Request a draft agenda, draft goals, assessments prior to the IEP
. Visit your child's classroom
. invited a trusted individual (relative, friend, neighbor) to join the IEP
. Draft a brief parent input to be included in the IEP documents
. Take the IEP home for a final review before signing

To view or print, click on the image to the left.


Download a Free PDF Copy – Click on the Image

NCLD has created the IDEA Parent Guide to help you become an informed and effective partner with school personnel in supporting your child’s special learning and behavioral needs. Use this guide to understand:

  • How the federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), generally works in most states;
  • What the law requires to determine whether your child has a learning disability;
  • What is new to IDEA since Congress last updated the law in 2004;
  • What questions you should ask and what information you should prepare in order to be a full and active advocate for your child, and
  • What resources are available to you.

In developing the IDEA Parent Guide, we worked with parents of students with learning disabilities from around the country. NCLD is thankful to these parents for their invaluable input. Together, we have tried to address the questions, challenges and barriers parents face as they navigate their way through the special education process. Parents have also contributed their own personal stories so that you can hear firsthand that you are not alone in this journey.


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Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. 

Special Ed Advocate  – Signup for FREE online newsletter.

Online Store – You'll find answers to questions, increase your knowledge, and sharpen your skills.


Click on the map to find resources for Northern and Southern California. 
To find resources for other states, Click Here or the image above.



California Protection & Advocacy System | Publications & Resources
We envision a barrier-free, inclusive, diverse world that values each individual and their voice. 
In this world, all people with disabilities enjoy the power of equal rights and opportunities, dignity, choice, 
independence and freedom from abuse, neglect and discrimination.

FREE PDF Download

 The Complete IEP Guide
How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child
Lawrence Siegel | July 28, 2017 | 9th Edition

Whether you're new to the IEP process or entering it once again, this user-friendly, plain English guide is your outline for an effective educational experience for your child. This edition of The Complete IEP Guide provides key forms, sample letters and resources you need at every stage of the IEP process. This book also covers:
  • eligibility rules and assessments
  • working with outside experts
  • developing your child's ideal educational program
  • preparing for and attending IEP meetings
  • develop a blueprint of program and services
  • resolving disputes with school districts.
Available for purchase at the following stores:

Amazon Prime – paperback   

Barnes & Noble – paperback and Nook



About Us

The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), founded in 1979, is a leading national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities.

DREDF services include: