10 mistakes Made by Professionals in
Preparation for or an IEP Meeting

By Ruth F. Mathers, M.S., Director, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, Kansas City Campus

  1. Forget to get a general education teacher who is knowledgeable about the student to attend the meeting.
  2. Write the IEP before the meeting and expect it to be the final draft. (All paperwork done before a meeting should be considered a draft and should be clearly labeled as such.)
  3. Set meeting times which are inconvenient to the parent(s) and make it impossible for them to attend. ( i.e. during the school day for working parents)
  4. Do all the talking in the meeting. Do not allow the parent(s) an opportunity to talk about their own child and initiate a discussion about the items they want to be addressed in the IEP.
  5. Neglect to review objectives from the previous IEP and discuss student's progress or lack of progress on these specific objectives.
  6. Do not perform adequate assessments on student's performance prior to the meeting and document on the IEP. Do not explain the implications of the student's scores.
  7. Fail to give parent(s) consistent eye contact during the meeting.
  8. Focus on filling out the forms right rather than having a meaningful conversation about the student.
  9. Fail to introduce all participants at the meeting and then sit at the teacher's desk or at the head of the table rather than across from or next to the parents.
  10. Have low expectations for student's performance which are reflected in the objectives of the IEP.


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