When you begin the process to get your child an Individualized Education Program (IEP), it can be an overwhelming, emotional, confusing, stressful, and frustrating time. While Illinois does provide a guide to help parents navigate special education services, you still may feel lost while everyone else involved has been through the process many times and is using all sorts of jargon and acronyms.

The special education parent blog, A Day in Our Shoes, has a useful post on the ten common parent mistakes during the IEP process. Those mistakes are:

  • Not understanding that if you don’t write it down, it didn’t happen.
  • Not valuing yourself as an important and equal member of your child’s IEP team.
  • Not understanding the value of, or taking advantage of, the parental concerns portion of the IEP and the parent letter of attachment.
  • Being too nice.
  • Getting the procedural safeguards and tossing it on to the pile.
  • Going to an IEP meeting without an advocate.
  • Blindly requesting more services.
  • Accepting the “Jiffy Lube” version of the IEP process.
  • Comparing your child’s IEP to others’ IEPs.
  • Not remaining child focused.

A Day in Our Shoes goes into a lot of detail for each of these points, so if you are headed into an IEP meeting, be sure to read the whole article to avoid these common mistakes.