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Expert Q&A

Can the school change the IEP after it is completed without the consent of the parent?

My daughter has been diagnosed with a Non Verbal learning disability. Until a neuropsychologist evaluated her she was not able to qualify for an IEP (despite the fact that she is failing 5th grade). She is two years below grade level in reading comprehension. Finally after all testing was done, she was given an IEP for reading comprehension. She needs this support. We signed all legal documents for the IEP. We were glad that finally she was going to get the help she needs.

We received an email today from the Special Ed teacher telling us she had made a mistake and that we need to change her IEP reading goal. The Special Ed teacher said my daughter only qualifies for written language. This is a joke! Both reading and writing go hand in hand. If she can’t understand what she reads how can she write about it? What are our legal rights? Can we protest the IEP and keep reading comprehension as one of her goals? Can we just add the written language goals?

The Special Ed teacher wrote it incorrectly. The principal, classroom teacher, my husband and I were all there to hear the IEP goals. We all agreed to them. The IEP was signed. We meet next Tuesday. I want to be prepared.


Dear Lori:
Your questions relates to whether an IEP can be changed after the IEP meeting based on a teachers determination that it was completed incorrectly or needs to be changed. Under the IDEA 2004, an IEP may be changed based on an informal agreement between a member of the school staff and a parent. However, it can only be changed based on agreement with you, not based upon the unilateral decision of the school staff or the entire school staff for that matter.

If the school and the parent wish to informally change the IEP, it is important for the parent to obtain a copy of the proposed change in advance and agree to the change in writing in order to assure that the proposed change is accurately recorded and carried out. On the other hand, if the parent does not agree to the proposed change, the school MAY NOT implement the proposed change without requesting a new IEP meeting. If the school district recommends a change at the new IEP meeting, the parent may request a due process hearing to object to the change.
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