Tips To Have A Successful Student-Led IEP Meeting

Allowing students to run their own meetings can be a very effective way to ensure that they are included in the IEP process. Approximately 80% of students attend their IEP meeting; however, they speak only 5% of the time. This discrepancy shows that there is a greater opportunity to invite students to have a more powerful voice in their own education. Allowing students to lead their own IEP meetings will provide a greater understanding of their disability and modifications afforded to them. This increased knowledge can lead to more self-confidence and an increased likelihood of self-advocacy. 

In order to have a successful student led IEP meeting, everyone involved will need to dedicate additional time to prepare. This could potentially be an adjustment for the student, who may or may not have spent much time preparing for previous IEP meetings. This adjustment can be managed by giving adequate notice to the student, so that he/she can prepare during appropriate times while at school (i.e. - study halls, after completing a test, etc.).

It is also important that teachers provide students with an appropriate level of support during the preparation process. Because students' needs can vary to a significant degree, the level of assistance needed from the case manager will differ. Case managers can assist students in considering what information should be prepared, who the student should be going to for help, and what content will be covered during the meeting.

An important factor to consider when planning to hold a student-led IEP meeting is the communication needs of the student. If this is a consideration, the student should be allowed to communicate in the manner which is most appropriate for his/her needs. This can include written language, pictures, or assistive technology. If he/she is anxious about speaking, a video can be recorded and played for the IEP team at the meeting.

Students can be involved in every step of the IEP process, from mailing invitations to facilitating the meeting. While it make take more time and planning to coordinate, the benefits of allowing students to run their own IEP meetings can be great!

Learn more about facilitating student-led IEPs here or about planning & implementing student-led IEP meetings here. To learn more about EmbraceIEP® click here!

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