Guest: Crystal Sanford, M.Ed., M.A. CCC-SLP
As a fellow Autism parent, I am honored to empower Autism moms with IEP advocacy, personalized coaching, and hope for your journey! I am also a contributing author at TheMighty.com regarding all things Autism.
After my own daughter was diagnosed with Autism, I soon after opened Sanford Autism Consulting. My goal is to help Autism moms move from overwhelm and uncertainty to confidence and hope while advocating alongside them through the IEP process. Using my 20+ years of experience in special education, guiding families into academic success is my pleasure.
Are you a clinician, therapist, doctor, parent, etc. serving clients or impacted by Autism yourself? Let’s connect! I believe that collaboration can lead to increased Autism awareness and acceptance
“Crystal says that a hallmark of a great IEP is that you, as a parent, can explain it. An IEP that will be appropriate and effective is one that makes sense to you.” – Crystal Sanford
What is an IEP? IEP stands for “individualized education program.” An IEP is a written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting in keeping with certain requirements of law and regulations.Nov 9, 2017
Some topics that were discussed include:
- Prepare a short, written statement before the meeting that includes your child’s strengths, their challenges, and what you’d like to see them achieve.
- Crystal reminds parents that you want to have your child’s “buy-in” on the IEP, not just yours
- IEP teams are required to show measurable evidence (data) of how your child is doing in the areas of need.
- Crystal notes that data can look like test scores, rating scales, rubrics, direct observation notes, and/or a portfolio of work.
- If you feel overwhelmed and a little intimidated ask for the document prior to the meeting and you don’t have to attend alone. Bring someone with you for support.
- The data needs to provide evidence that the present levels of performance (your child’s current level of achievement), goals, and classroom placement are appropriate and necessary.
- The communication plan needs to be meaningful to you as the parent, not just to your child’s teacher, Crystal notes, so that you can gain “insight into the good progress being made.”
- Whatever your strategy, make sure it’s included in the accommodations or supplementary aids and services section.
- Crystal says that a hallmark of a great IEP is that you, as a parent, can explain it. An IEP that will be appropriate and effective is one that makes sense to you.
- A parent does not have to sign the document on that day. They can choose to sign later or they can sign on one item and not all.
- Consider your “whole” child. Think about their strengths and any areas of weakness. The goal of the IEP is to locate what challenges may appear and suggest a path to address them.
Contact Crystal Sanford:
References & links mentioned:
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