Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Register Your Objection to an Inappropriate IEP

I wish I had thought of this great tip myself.  But since I didn't, I want to give credit to and heartily thank Pete and Pam Wright, adjunct professors of law at the William and Mary Law School, and their excellent Wrightslaw website, for the following tip on how a parent may register his or her objection to the IEP Team's decision to implement what s/he believes is an inappropriate IEP.  Although in Iowa and some other states, parents are not asked to sign the IEP, when provided with a copy of the finalized IEP that will be implemented, a parent may still take the following action:

"When the team asks you to sign consent to the IEP, pick up a ball point pen and put the IEP on a hard table top. Write this statement on the IEP:

I consent to this IEP being implemented but I object to it for the reasons stated during the meeting.
(Sign Your Name)

Do not be surprised if someone gets upset and claims that you are not allowed to write on the IEP because it is a legal document. This is not true - you can write on your child's IEP (although the person who objects may not know this). You are a member of the team and a participant in the IEP process. The law requires you to make your objections clear. The IEP is the best document to use when you need to make your objections clear.

If someone tries to stop you, continue to write. If someone tries to pull the IEP out of your hands, press down hard with your ballpoint pen and continue to write. If someone yanks the document away from you, continue to write as the IEP tears.

Stay calm. Take your copy of the IEP (whatever is left), stand, say 'Thank you. I guess this meeting is over.' Extend your hand to shake theirs. Pick up your tape recorder and leave.

The IEP team has a problem. You have advised them in writing that their proposed program is not appropriate for your child. You also consented to their implementing the program so they should implement it."

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