8. "I don't have the authority to make that decision



There might be some good discussion going on in your child's IEP meeting, but unless these discussions actually get written down in the IEP, the services will not be required by law to be implemented. The reason the members of the IEP team are defined in the law is so that the provisions decided upon by the team members can be documented and implemented. This is a great complaint among many families who attend IEP meetings. If the team member who says this has a legitimate reason for needing to get additional information before writing the service down on the IEP, establish clear protocol on who and when they will "get back to you" on this.


"This is a really important service/goal for Spencer that we are discussing. Who do you need to talk to, to get additional information, how will it influence the decision we make here as a team, and exactly when can you get the information back to me on what it will take to get this written into Spencer's IEP."

"I really don't feel comfortable with delaying this decision about Mary Kate. If we feel as a team that this service/goal needs to be included in Mary Kate's IEP, let's go ahead and write it in, and then we can meet again about how this will be implemented. If you disagree that what we are talking about is not necessary for her, then let's go over this again, and make sure we are either agreeing or disagreeing about this consideration."

The Law:

The reason the law defines the members of the IEP team that must be present at the IEP meeting, is so that the representation needed to make decisions is there.

20 U.S.C. 1414 (d)(1)(B) Individualized education program team. The term 'individualized education program team' or 'IEP Team' means a group of individuals composed of:

(i) the parents of a child with a disability;

(ii) at least one regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);

(iii) at least one special education teacher, or where appropriate, at least one special education provider of such child;

(iv) a representative of the local educational agency who

(I) is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;

(II) is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency;

(v) an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team described in clauses (ii) through (vi);

(vi) at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and

(vii) whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

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