TIP: Beware the IEP!

May 15, 2012

BEWARE THE IEP!

The Individualized Educational Program or IEP is a legally binding document between you, your student and the school. It is filled with accommodations, modifications and other ways to help your child be as successful as he can be in school. Among those “other ways” are goals. If your IEP is anything like my son’s, there are pages and pages of goals.

And this is fine. I’m all for a structured environment with benchmarks. But my focus this week is what happens after high school graduation? There are no more IEPs. And if that also means no more goals for your child, well, you may want to re-think that.

Pomp and Circumstance may be a long way off for some of you, but like I said last week: PLAN AHEAD. It’s never too early to begin a system of goal-setting at home. During the school year, I center my son’s “goals” on grades/report cards. Then to begin each new school year, I incentivize him to try new social situations, join a club, attend a football game or a dance, etc.

The idea is to make goals a part of your life – with or without the help of an IEP. Because there will come a day when the IEP is done. You and your child should be prepared for that day.

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