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5 More Tips for Navigating Special Education

posted Feb 28, 2012, 6:06 AM by Diane Willcutts

1.     Before any PPT, be sure you know the purpose of the meeting, so that you may be prepared to make decisions as an equal member of the team. If the school requested the PPT, what does the school team want to discuss with you? What do they intend to propose? In addition, develop a parent agenda, listing what you would like to discuss in the meeting, including any requests that you may need to make.

2.     Ask the school team to provide you with any materials to be reviewed in the PPT at least five school days (or one week) before the meeting. These materials may include assessment reports, drafts of IEPs, or other important documents.

3.     If you are feeling overwhelmed during a PPT or if you simply need more time to consider a proposal, ask to take a break or to reconvene the meeting on another day. This is fine.

4.     After the PPT, always factually document any important areas of agreement or disagreement in polite letters to the school. Remember, “If it’s not in writing, it didn’t happen.” For lots of information on writing follow-up letters, go to and click on “letters and paper trails.”

5.     Remember that no single PPT will determine the outcome of your child’s education. If you believe another PPT is needed, you may request this at any time. Remember, you do not need to cover all issues in one meeting. Before each meeting, set your priorities, know what issues can be addressed later, and consider what compromises are acceptable to you.