Parents often tell me that over the summer, they want nothing to do with IEPs, behavior charts, and home/school communication notebooks. I get it — truly I do. It’s a full-time job to be your child’s “case manager” and to be responsible for overseeing, facilitating, generating, and coordinating virtually everything related to your child’s educational needs.
Now the reality check. If you have not carefully reviewed your child’s IEP while sitting on the beach or relaxing at the mountains, now’s the time to do it. School is underway…your child is adjusting to a new teacher, new class, new peers, and likely a new routine. It’s time to review the IEP from last year if being carried over to this year *or* to review the IEP that was developed at the end of last school year *for* this year to be sure it meets your child’s needs today.
Your child has changed over the past few months and things that may have been needed in April may not be needed any longer. Or visa versa. The IEP is a “living document” and as you know, living things require attention.
So…look at your child’s present levels in reading and math particularly if he/she received ESY services and see if progress was made over the summer (or if regression is an issue) and make certain the goals meet current needs.
Review your child’s behavior plan (if one existed) to ensure that current behavioral needs are addressed. Review your child’s therapies and ensure that you have an opportunity — no, *make* an opportunity — to meet with the speech therapist, OT, PT or any other therapist to introduce your child (from your perspective) and to ensure that you are receiving ongoing communication from them (make sure this is also written into the IEP) about their work with your child this year.
Just as you do a checkup annually for your health, the same applies to the health of your child’s IEP. Current and relevant…this is what’s important.