Meier & Barlow
Reason. Respect. Grace
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Stay Positive: Establishing Your Contribution to Your Child's IEP Team

This is the fifth in a series of posts about the role of the parent in the IEP meeting. Read the previous post on the importance of being organized at an IEP meeting.

Stay positive. 

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It is important to advocate for your child, and as we discussed in the previous posts this week, effective advocacy takes information and organization. Armed with the tools previously discussed, you’ll find that positivity comes far more naturally. 

You won’t get as frustrated if you are prepared. You won’t reach an impasse when you have been using different strategies. You won’t doubt the school staff when you have seen them in action and have mentioned tweaks to your child’s schooling as you notice them. 

Staying positive does not mean avoiding conflict. Conflict is good. When we articulate differences of opinion, we yield change. Staying positive does mean, however, that whenever possible, parents should be respectful and graceful in their advocacy. 

Sure, it’s tempting to vent on social media or to appear at an IEP meeting bearing your teeth and wearing boxing gloves. That sort of advocacy will get you far less results than approaching your child’s planning with a positive, collaborative, conflict-resolution oriented outlook. 

Read the other posts in this series:

Part 1: Go to School

Part 2: Progress Monitoring

Part 3: Be Prepared

Part 4: Be Organized

Ashley Barlow