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Minimize the Stress of an Exit IEP

It’s that time of the year; school is ending and many of us are have kids that are transitioning out of their current schools. An exit IEP is the culmination of a transition plan for a student either graduating from high school or aging out of the services provided to him by his school system.

The preparation for the meeting can be very stressful, but the goals are very straightforward. It includes the plans for post-secondary education, vocational training, employment or living independently, depending on a student’s skills, strengths, needs and interests. It also is an opportunity to check the status of the student’s graduation status to make sure that he/she is on track.  

A few useful facts and tips to prepare for the meeting: 

  1. As an IEP is a legal document that the school must follow, by law, the parent has to agree to the terms of the IEP and also its termination.  
  2. Despite the best intentions, your child’s educators do not know your child as well as you do and may not be as invested. Therefore, if you do not understand or agree with any part of the plan, you must speak up, ask questions and request a change or clarification.  
  3. Make a written list of questions or items you wish to discuss, so you can be always be on target. Don’t be shy to ask to record the conversation or take detailed notes. 
  4. Don’t be shy to share your views and philosophy on your child’s transition and the future, if possible, ahead of the exit IEP meeting.   
  5. If you can have a spouse, another parent or a friend accompany you, it can help the discussion or simply help you feel confident. Share with them your expectations so they can support you. 
  6. Lastly, always remember that you are your child’s champion and you have the final say.   

Useful Links: 

  • https://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/faq-special-education-esy-services 
  • https://www.niche.com/blog/how-to-make-an-iep-transition-plan/ 
  • https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/transition-planning-for-students-with-ieps/ 
  • https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/iep-transition-planning-preparing-for-young-adulthood 
  • https//sites.ed.gov/idea/files/postsecondary-transition-guide-may-2017.pdf 

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