Monday, September 16, 2019

IEP Team Members & Their Roles: Who Attends an IEP Meeting?

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All about the IEP team, including answers to the question who attends an IEP meeting? You'll learn who makes up the IEP team and the roles of these members in the IEP process.

The other day a local mom asked me what was involved in an IEP meeting (or specifically an IIP meeting where we live) since her autistic child just started school and the whole process is completely new to her.

I, too, was once in her shoes and had no idea what these meetings would involve.

And I'm guessing if you're reading this, you're in the same boat too.

I know it can be completely overwhelming to learn all about this stuff on the how about we just take a closer look at who attends an IEP meeting? You know, dig deeper into who makes up the IEP team for your child.

I'll also share some useful resources to help you fully under the roles of the IEP team members and, if you're a local parent here in Saskatchewan, there are a couple of useful PDFs specifically for you too.

IEP team members and their roles

The IEP Team: Who Attends an IEP Meeting?

In short, the IEP team members include you (the parents), your child's teacher, the special education teacher, your child (when appropriate), and other professionals or specialists that make sense.

This collective group of individuals who attend the IEP meetings is called the IEP team.

While the IEP team will vary from child to child in terms of size and composition, they will always be made up of the following group of individuals, as outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:

  • Parents
  • At least one of your child's general classroom teacher(s)
  • At least one special education teacher
  • A representative of the school system (this may be the special education teacher)
  • Relevant professional(s) or specialist(s) who can interpret evaluation results (this may be the special education teacher)
  • Other specialists or advocates who have knowledge or special expertise about the child
  • When appropriate, the child

We Don't Have IEPs Here - We Have IIPs Instead

Where I live (Saskatchewan, Canada), we have what's called an IIP instead of an IEP. The IIP acronym stands for Inclusion and Intervention Plan.

Despite the slightly different name and acronym, the composition of our team is basically the same as what's outlined in the IDEA act. Our team members have always included us (the parents), my son's general classroom teacher, and the French Immersion resource room teacher (resource room = special education).

Occasionally, the school principal has joined meetings, but usually it's only when the principal is new to our school. And we've had a few different principals and resource teachers over the years...

At this point, my son hasn't been included in the IIP meetings, but as he gets older, he will certainly be involved. And we always discuss the goals with him even if he isn't included in the actual meeting itself.

It's Important to Know Your Local IEP/IIP Guidelines

I highly recommend learning about your local equivalents to IIPs or IEPs and the guidelines set forth by your local ministry of education. It's important to be fully aware of the program, how it works, who should be involved, your child's rights, etc. Here are a couple of resources for my fellow Saskatchewan families:

IEP Team Members & Their Roles

Now that you know who should attend an IEP meeting, it's best to learn what their roles will be in the IEP process. Now since I'm no expert on IEPs, I have instead included some resources that go deeper into this topic. These resources will help you better understand the roles of the IEP team members.

  • The IEP Team Members from Reading Rockets - If you want to go into depth about the roles of each team member, this is a great article.

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All about IEP team members and who can attend IEP meetings and the roles of those team members