As a parent of a child with a disability, you play an important role. You are their advocate, but you are also an essential part of the team that creates and implements the individual education plan (IEP). Schools cannot move forward with an IEP or special education services without parents’ consent. However, what exactly does this mean for parents?
Two options parents should know
California makes the role of parental consent clear in the process of creating an IEP. In addition to this role, there are two important things parents should know:
- You can take your time to review the IEP: It is not required for you to make a decision whether to consent to or decline the IEP at the meeting. Regardless of whether it is an initial meeting, an annual review, or a triennial IEP meeting, you can take your time to consider and review the proposed IEP before making your decision.
- You can give partial consent: You can give partial consent when signing an IEP, consenting only to specific services and not others. Your child will begin receiving the specific services you agreed to, and the IEP team can discuss the declined services and find solutions to provide alternative services or adjust the terms.
Creating the best IEP for your child is a collaborative process, and it is vital that parents understand the importance of their consent.