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Involving Teens in the IEP

(1991)

Instructions

If your child is a preteen or teen, you need to involve him or her in the development of the IEP. This is important for two reasons. First, your child's own insights and observations about school are very important and should be incorporated into the IEP. In addition, LD students need to learn to begin to take responsibility for managing their own problems. They need to recognize that coming to grips with their learning disabilities is indeed their responsibility, as well as that of their parents and teachers.

Work the following puzzle with your LD teenager.

Then use the checklist which follows the puzzle to determine how you're doing as a parent of a teenager.

I'm a puzzle

Help your parents get to know you better. Work this puzzle together to give them information.

I'm good at…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

I need help with…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

My favorite time is…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

My favorite things are…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

I like to

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

This school work is easy for me…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

My favorite subject is

_____________________________________

This school work is hard for me…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

My best study time is…

_____________________________________

_____________________________________

I need quiet to study
Yes _____ No _____

I like to write what I study. It helps me remember.
Yes _____ No _____

Hey! It's my life, too!

Before the IEP meeting, have you…

Explained to your teenager the importance of the IEP meeting and what the meeting is about? YES NO
Asked your youngster to tell you what's good at school and what's not so hot? YES NO
Reassured your youngster that everybody is working together to help make learning easier?
("It's team work between the school and family.")
YES NO
Outlined your teenager's strengths?
(Everyone needs to hear the good stuff! Pointing out strong points builds confidence.)
YES NO
Asked your youngster to participate in the meeting? YES NO

After the IEP meeting, have you…

Set up a planned time for going over the program?
(Review the program even if your child attended the meeting, to clarify points and reexplain the plan.)
YES NO
Organized your home program for involvement including responsibilities for homework, classwork, etc.? YES NO
Shown your support for the program and IEP?
("At the meeting today everyone really worked together on this special program."
YES NO

Remember, your teenager needs to be a part of the decision-making. Involvement in the IEP is one step toward development of ownership of learning. It helps lay the groundwork for accepting responsibility. Make sure you answered YES to the questions above.

Understanding Learning Disabilities: A Parent Guide and Workbook can be ordered from the Learning Disabilities Council, Inc., P.O. Box 8451, Richmond, Virginia 23226. Ph. (804) 748-5012

Understanding Learning Disabilities: A Parent Guide & Workbook Learning Disabilities Council, Inc. Richmond, VA 1991