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What rights do parents have regarding their child’s IEP?

| Jan 9, 2020 | Education law |

School can be difficult for some kids. If that’s the case, their parents may feel the traditional system doesn’t fit with their child’s learning style. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance they could have a learning disability like ADHD, dyslexia or autism spectrum disorder.

Kids with these conditions may feel inadequate in comparison to their neurotypical peers. Sadly, this may make some feel shame, anxiety and frustration for a condition they were born with.

Luckily, struggling students can receive academic support under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Under this act, children can get accommodation plans worked out through their parents, teachers and school administrators. One of the most common ones students can get is an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

What is an IEP?

An IEP is a legal document that implements the instruction and support kids need to do well in school. What makes IEPs unique is that they can get tailored to a student’s specific needs. Parents can often get these services for their kids through early intervention, starting as early as age three.

What are the parent’s rights when establishing an IEP?

Setting up an IEP can be stressful. That’s because some school districts may still be skeptical about their effectiveness. However, students and their parents have certain legal rights when going through the IEP process. These are some they should be aware of:

  • The right to participate in IEP meetings: When kids are receiving or getting adjustments to their IEP, parents have the right to attend those meetings. That’s because they deserve to advocate for their child’s educational needs. They can also request a meeting at any time and participate by phone if necessary.
  • The right to object to the school’s decision: If parents don’t agree with a teacher’s or school administrator’s decisions regarding their child’s IEP, they can ask for a due process hearing. Doing so can help formulate a contract that works better for their child. In many cases, parents can benefit from legal representation during this process.
  • The right to permit or deny consent: Typically, school districts have to get written permission from the parents before evaluating or providing their child with special education services. In these instances, parents have full consent over what services their child does or does not receive.

Kids deserve to have their learning preferences met

Parents who have children on an IEP know the system has many flaws. If the school district refuses to give their kids proper support, they could be violating federal education policies. Such actions could result in severe financial penalties for the district.