A parents guide to ARD or Individual Education Planning Meeting
A parent’s guide to previsions for
resolving differences with schools
according to IDEA
Teacher & Mother of a very
special girl…Katie Bennett
So you don’t like your child’s IEP
• Try to resolve the issues the “nice” way.
• Educators are people too.
• It’s in your child’s best interests for everyone
to agree and work together.
• Here are some suggestions that may work….
Is everything happening as it should?
You were informed about your child’s suspected
disability in a language you understood.
You gave your consent to have your child evaluated.
Your child was assessed in all areas of suspected
The results of the assessments were explained to you.
Your input was considered in the Individual Educational
Accommodations were made for you if you have any
What can I do now?
The best way to resolve disputes is to
communicate. Attempt to build good
relationships with your child’s
educators. Many times there are
factors at work that your child’s
educator is unable to share with you.
Don’t assume your child’s educator
doesn’t agree with you.
Put everything in writing..
• Speak with your educator then follow up with a
note or email.
• Make sure all correspondence contains the date!
• Keep excellent records!
You will be taken seriously.
Think, it didn’t happen unless it’s in writing.
Explain to your child’s educators why
you disagree with their decisions.
My child is experiencing severe regression at
home. She has begun displaying great
frustration such as smearing feces and temper
tantrums. She needs the structure a school
setting can provide. Please reconsider providing
Extended Year Services for her.
Provide specific examples of why you feel
your child’s educational needs are not
being met and offer solutions.
• Johnny is having trouble forming his “R’s”. His brother helped him at
home by playing cars with him and making the “r” sound. If Johnny had a
speech therapist working with him he might be able speak clearly and be
• Katie’s appears to be very low functioning. As you get to know her you will
see she has a lot going on inside. If she had one on one speech therapy
the speech therapist would get a better picture of her capabilities and
design better interventions.
• Alex is easily distracted in math class. When I work with him at home by
himself he seems to understand. I think he might benefit from some one
on one help.
Be clear about what you would like to
1. I would like 15 minutes of one on one speech time per week
for my child in addition to the group speech therapy she is
2. I would like sensory equipment such as a platform swing,
mini trampoline and a weighted blanket to be provided for
my child when she needs to calm down.
3. I would like my child to participate in the home economics
class designed for special needs students to learn cooking
The easiest, most expedient way to resolve
an IDEA violation is to file a complaint with
• In Texas, the regulating
agency is the Texas
• It’s like the IRS for
Here is a sample letter to show you
how it works!
To whom it may concern:
I am writing to file a complaint against the ________ ISD. My son, Scott, is
eight years old and attends the third grade at City Elementary School. Scott
qualifies for special education services as a student with an orthopedic
On February 12, 2010 my son Johnny was unable to go on a class field trip
because the bus was not wheel chair accessible…
I am requesting an investigation….
When filing a complaint you must
document everything clearly…
Be sure to include
All dated correspondence
Attempts to reconcile with your school district
Here’s the address:
Texas Education Agency
Division of IDEA Coordination
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Make sure you send a copy of your
complaint to your school’s superintendent
Many times schools will present you with a proposal for Early
Resolution Process(ERP). They will attempt to settle with you
within the 60 period TEA has to respond to your complaint.
Mediation will be offered to you.
TEA will offer the mediation process as a way to
settle your dispute.
• This is at no cost to you.
• This is at no cost to your school.
• The mediator will not take sides.
• He/she will attempt to resolve the
problem through compromise.
Due Process Hearings are very
• The costs are….
When is a due process hearing
• When you feel your child’s IEP is not being
• Your child is being denied a Free Appropriate Public
• You disagree with the school about what teaching
methods that are appropriate for your child.
• The school district has failed to provide necessary
support services such as speech or physical therapy.
• You have tried to work with the district and have been
• The disagreement is so severe it requires a impartial
hearing officer to resolve it.
Many times parents use due process
hearings when bringing a Class Action
law suit against a district or state.
A due process hearing is similar to any
other civil lawsuit.
• Either party may be represented by an
attorney or may represent themselves.
• Plaintiff (parent) states the complaint against
the defendant (school district).
• The burden of proof is on the Plaintiff.
• Both parties are given the opportunity to state
• Each must prove his allegations with
What types of evidence is used?
Referrals for assessment
IEP goals and objectives, progress reports and
• prepares a brief (background information) for
the Impartial Hearing Officer
• Present witnesses for testimony
• Parties are given the chance for cross
The IHO makes a ruling based on
Both parties have the ability to appeal
Advocacy Inc. www.advocacyinc.org
Texas Education Agency www.tea.state.tx.us
IDEA 2004 http://idea.ed.gov
Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in
Special Education (CADRE)
• Life Experience