Are you the parent of a child with autism or dyslexia, that knows what educational services your child needs, but do not know how to communicate them to special education personnel? A parent input statement, that is written before the IEP meeting, can help you be an effective advocate for your child, and bring up needed educational services that will help your child learn.
A parent input statement is a one page statement, where you can give written input into your child’s education. You can include: things that work for your child, things that don’t work, academic struggles that they have, behavioral difficulties, any educational or related services that you believe they need, extended school year (ESY), assistive technology (AT).
Tips for writing input statement
1. Keep it short, maximum one page.
2. Use facts as much as possible.
3. State what educational and related services you think your child needs, and why.
4. Discuss academic progress or lack of academic progress, and what you think needs to be done about it.
5. Include any adaptations, modifications, educational or related services that are helping your child learn.
6. Discuss any behavioral difficulty your child has, and what the school has done about it. Also state if you feel that they are not handling the behavior/discipline according to IDEA.
Parent Input Statement 9-6-29xx My son Tommy is 9 years old, is in fourth grade, and receives special education services under the category of Learning Disability. I have received the results of his Woodcock Reading Mastery test from his teacher, Mrs. Jones. Tommy’s Word Identif ication at a grade equivalent of 1.7, word attack (decoding)of 2.7, and a basic skills cluster with a grade equivalent of 1.9. This means that my son Tommy’s reading is at least 2 years below his grade appropriate peers. I am very concerned that if Johnny does not receive appropriate instruction in reading, his life will be negatively altered, forever.
IDEA and No Child Left Behind state that curriculum must be “scientifically research based.” What this means is that their is research to show that the program works to teach children to read. The Orton-Gillingham Methodology of simultaneous multi sensory instruction has many years of research to back its effectiveness with teaching children to read. I have information on this methodology that I would like to share with the IEP team.
Tommy, not only needs an Orton-Gillingham reading program, but the person who is teaching him must be trained in this area. My son also needs to receive the program for the recommended length of time, not less. Tommy is currently receiving 30 minutes a day of reading instruction while the Orton-Gillingham program recommends xx amount per day of instruction. Thank you for working with me to help my son Tommy learn to read.
Mention at the beginning of your meeting that you have a parent input statement to share with the IEP team.Bring up the parent input statement when you think it is an appropriate time.Bring enough copies for everyone at the meeting, and make sure that it is attached to your child’s IEP.
A parent input statement will help you clearly state what educational or related services that your child needs. Remember that for your child to receive an appropriate education the instruction they receive must “give meaningful benefit” to your child.
JoAnn Collins is the parent of two adults with disabilities, has been an educational advocate for over 15 years, an author, as well as a speaker. JoAnn’s recently released book: Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game helps parents develop skills to be an assertive and persistent advocate for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled “The Special Education Spotlight”