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Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Aug 27, 2020

Episode 52: Implementing The IEP With Guest Anna Distefano

In this episode, we discuss the nitty gritty of implementing your child's IEP. Guest Anna Distefano noted that a child can be "flagged" for special education in preschool. Before even having an IEP meeting, the child's teacher is supposed to take data, gather information, observational and anecdotal information and get a sense for where the child is having difficulty and then bring that information to the parent. During the IEP meeting, parents should ask what their child's day looks like. Parents should make sure that it is a day that the child can actually handle. Sometimes, when children are in special education classes, their days are very busy because they are not only in classes, but they are in numerous therapies as well, with lots of transitions.

The teacher and specialist should have an idea of what setting would be the most apporpriate for the child. In an inclusion classroom, the teacher should be able to provide differentiated instruction and scaffolded work to make sure that the child can access the information. This works best when the general education and special education teacher work together. When there is an aide in the classroom, the goal is that the aide should make sure the class is set up to let the child be as independent as possible and the aide should jump in as needed. Inclusion is more difficult in upper grades because the curriculum and content becomes more difficult. Therefore, the child may benefit more from being in a special education class for some classes and in inclusion classes for other subjects. The purpose of inclusion classrooms vary by child. This could be to learn academics, social skills, gross motor skills, or something else.

You have the right to observe your child in his/her classroom to see if your child is appropriately accessing their education in their self-contained or inclusion classroom. Schools and teachers should be taking consistent data on the child for the IEP goals. This can help the parent and team see if the IEP is being implemented properly and to see if it is working. Each teacher that works with the child should be taking data for the child in some way. However, there are many ways to take this data.
Teacher should have the training to be able to implement the IEP.

Parents should be getting progress reports every quarter. These reports should show progress on each goal. If not, it may be helpful to call an IEP meeting to figure out what to do. If the child has mastered a goal, it can also be helpful to call a meeting to update the goals to go to the next level.

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Show Music:
Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple

Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2020 Jessica and Lewis Temple