For now, we don’t have the possibility to offer services for English speaking parents and their children. But, we know there is a growing need to help them out.
Memory aid for the intervention plan
Does your child have one ? It is a right that is ensured under the public instruction law of Quebec. It is never too late to establish an intervention educational plan (IEP).
Gifted children with learning disabilities
10 easy steps to make those elaborated meetings for an IEP a succes.
Adapted from the American model. Alison Hendrie
The Intervention plan describes the different kinds of services that a student receives at a given period of time. It is an efficient preparation tool that involves different intervention techniques to enable problem-solving, conflict resolution, and follow-up in educational, family, socially and academic issues. We need to acknowledge the child’s needs through observation and evaluation. Finally, an IEP (intervention educational plan), indicates in great detail the measuring tools that are needed to achieve both short and long-term goals for the individual.
The IEP is also a document that constantly evolves, and is subject to change in order to suit the child’s needs. A new IEP must, indeed be re-established at the beginning of every school year.
Working on this plan constitutes the close collaboration of the whole multi-disciplinary team (teachers, principal, resource, and childcare workers), which will be working with your child. Do no forget however, that your know your child best, and that your are his most precious ally in this step.
To make the most of the time your will be spending on the process of the IEP, please arrive well-prepared for the meeting. Inform yourself ahead of time and take note of questions your want answered.
1. Get familiar with your child’s case file
Examine all test results that will be analyzed during the meeting. Before the reunion, meet with the people that have proceeded to the evaluation (a specialist, or an external ally), to ensure that you clearly understand the results. Read all the documents referring to your child’s file. Acknowledge that the school personnel establish an outline of the plan before the meeting, in which you can also obtain a copy of.
2. Talk with your child
Determine what his / her strong points are and which are his / her weak points. Then determine which points are most important problem areas to work on and define what the means will be to resolve these difficulties by working together. During the meeting, invite his / her teacher in to suggest some solutions.
3. Plan some goals for yourself
According to your child’s evaluation that has been done, make a list of short and long term goals for yourself. Your objectives must be correlated to those proposed by the school personnel. If this is not the case, the whole team must redo the whole evaluation to re-establish the important points.
4. Assert yourself
Initiate the discussion by taking control of the meeting right from the beginning. Express yourself by doing the presentation. Indicate the order of the day that you have outlined for the day’s session. Be well prepared. Bring the notes that you took down, and be ready to get answers according to the issues raised. Don’t hesitate to ask many questions that you may have concerns on. Don’t forget that you have the right to invite an ally, a professional, of even simply a friend to support you during the meeting.
5. Take notes
Establish a personal report about the reunion and keep it somewhere secure (create a personal information log). If you find it difficult to listen and take notes at the same time, ask someone to take the notes down for you or you can bring a recorder to record the session’s discussions.
6. Inform yourself
Be updated with the recent version of your rights as parents and the legal responsibilities the school has. Read up on the public instruction law which was revised in 1998. If you don’t understand this major legislation text well, you can obtain a copy of our guide, “Obtaining services at school” by contacting your local sector, or by your provincial association.
7. Focus on your efforts
Prioritize your requests. Define the problems that are most crucial through stating your position with energy and clarity. If a suggestion seems unacceptable, defend yourself by backing up your point of view with examples and / or facts. Do demonstrate however, ready to consent to compromises made by others. Do not be afraid to disagree with others, nor wait or force all your requests to be attained at once.
8. Channel your anger
At times, anger is legitimate and sometimes indeed useful. Don’t forget however, when parents are furious they seem withdrawn or remote from the discussions. Thus, making them look less credentialed and risk of not getting heard or understood.
Listen attentively to the other interveners and take note of the issues that concern you. Your point of view needs to be similar as the reunion’s elaborated report; or similar to the IEP’s revision. In the case of contrary, you can explain your points in a separate letter which needs to be integrated in your child’s file. The major disagreements must be approached at the time of the subsequent IEP meetings.
10. Be patient
Never rush into signing any document. Bring them home with you, and calmly read them over again. If you feel overwhelmed by the events that occurred during the meeting, take a break. Do not forget that you can convoke an IEP meeting at any given time you feel necessary.
Follow-up of the IEP meeting
Establish an IEP file
Take note of everything that was said during the meeting and classify these reports is such a way that will be easily found when needed. Incorporate all other documents in the correspondent file (meeting notes, telephone interviews, etc.). All communications related to the IEP must be done in writing. Have the school transmit the information to you in writing in order to keep track of it in your files. If you find that the intervention plan doesn’t meet the requirements discussed in the meeting, create an agenda for the case file.
Be an active participant of school environment
Apply the school’s pedagogical program by being present in the school building. Provide support towards the teachers who take care of your child. Initiate to be a volunteer, to intervene as the responsible parent, participate to different excursions and get involved in after school activities. The more you make yourself visible and respected within the school environment, the more you will be able to help your son or your daughter. The time you take for your kids, do the same to encourage and praise the teachers, the school administration for the job well-done they bring into the school community.
Please remember that an IEP is a document that constantly evolves, and is subject to change in order to suit the child’s needs. On a regular basis, re-evaluate the short-term goals and objectives for your child. Make sure that the long term goals stay present and are realistic to achieve. If this is not the case, then feel free to convoke a meeting to revise your IEP.