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Special Education Tip # 12: Do Not Sign an IEP Without Reviewing it Carefully

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Special Education Tip # 12: Do Not Sign an IEP Without Reviewing it Carefully

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Do not sign an IEP without reviewing it carefully.  An IEP is an important document which specifies a school district’s obligations to provide special education services.  Every year, parents attend team meetings to discuss their child’s program, after which they are presented with an IEP which reflects the team’s decision concerning the child’s service and placement.  Despite the importance of the IEP, many parents sign it without fully understanding what the document means. Signing an IEP without a clear comprehension of each provision is one of the biggest mistakes a parent can make because it locks that child into a full year of services that may not adequately meet that child’s needs.

In order to avoid this common mistake, a good rule of thumb is to never sign an IEP at a team meeting. The law provides parents with 30 days to review an IEP, so there is no reason to feel pressured into signing on the day it is proposed. Even if parents believe that all of their requests were included in their child’s new IEP, it is important to take at least 24 hours to review the document before signing. An IEP is simply too detailed to fully digest during a team meeting.

Special education is a very complicated area of law, governed by multiple federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. For assistance in understanding and interpreting your child’s IEP, please contact an experienced special education attorney at Sankey Law Offices.

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