< Children with Special Needs
Communicating with Your Child's
School and IEP Team
sure you know how your child is progressing in school by staying
in touch with teachers and the IEP team.
To find out how your child is doing in class and to monitor
the IEP goals, you'll need to communicate with the teachers
and the school. Make sure you know your child's rights under
IDEA (see Individualized Education Programs
and Academic Success), and check in often with your child's
IEP team to ensure that your child is on track.
Tips on Communicating with Your Child's
Teacher(s) and School
Some basic questions for meetings or conferences with your child's
teachers, school and other support providers:
- Keep in touch with your child's school and teachers. Attend
parent-teacher conferences, read your child's school newsletters,
and contact your child's teacher by phone or email if you
have questions or concerns.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions will
help you understand more about your child's learning needs.
- Start thinking about questions before a meeting or conference
at school. Consider making a list of questions to bring
with you so you don't forget anything important.
- Collect information about your child's disability, the
services available to him or her, and the specific things
you can do to help your child develop to the fullest extent
- If you have any specific concerns about your child's educational
progress, let your child's teachers know.
- Be aware of what's going on in your child's school (activities
- Continue to work with your child's teacher or school even
if you disagree with grades, scores or the way services
are being delivered to your child. Maintaining communication
with your child's IEP team will ensure that your child's
academic and social needs are being met.
- Remember to keep written copies of all documents from
physicians, teachers and therapists regarding your child.
- Visit your child's classes, ask questions and don't hesitate
to have your child's teachers or school staff provide a
clearer explanation of anything you don't understand.
The best parent-school relationships are trusting and open,
with a commitment to communicate about how to best meet your
- How is my child doing? Are there any problems I should
- How is my child's IEP working? Any problems or modifications
that we may need to consider?
- Is there a way that I can help at home?
- Are there any career courses, counseling or activities
that can help meet the needs of my child?
- What additional activities and services might my child
Departments of Rehabilitation
Departments of Education
Departments of Labor and Youth Services
Security Administration Regional and Field Offices
Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities--State
Federation of Teachers' Parents Page
Clearinghouse On Postsecondary Education For Individuals With
Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights
Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers
Students with Disabilities: Becoming the Mentor, Advocate
and Guide Your Young Adult Needs (GW Heath Resource Center,
How Parents and
Families Can Communicate Better with Teachers and School Staff
(American Federation of Teachers, 2004) PDF
It's Own Child: A Report on Special Education From the Families
Who Use It (Public Agenda, 2004)
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