Parent Input Statements
Why a Parent Input Statement?
Parent Input statements are an extremely important part of a child’s IEP, but often they are forgotten. Staff will choose not to encourage a parent to write their statement for fear of a parent having too large of a voice. Parents will either not know of the power of a Parent Statement or simply not know how to write it effectively.
If we are going to keep a student’s program individualized (and we are!), we MUST know what is on the parent’s mind.
Staff - Not asking is asking for a blow up at some point!
Parents- Not creating a statement is asking to be ignored!
What is a Parent Input Statement?
A Parent Input statement helps the ENTIRE team keep the focus of the IEP individualized. It’s a simple addition with a narrative from the parent perspective of their child, accomplishments, concerns, suggestions and solutions. If a parent ever feels they don’t have a voice in their child’s IEP - it’s time to use the power of the Parent Input statement. This is also the perfect place for parent’s to include their data from home. It may be subjective (how the child uses technology, how long their attention span is during homework), but let’s face it - school data is subjective too.
A few guidelines for writing an effective Parental Input Statement:
- Keep it brief. One page. Use bullet points.
- Stay professional. Keep it about the child, not the staff/team.
- What the parent says stays on record. Parental Input statements are legal components of the IEP.
- Keep statements fact based, not opinion based. Your opinions and feelings WILL change about staff, programming, placement, etc… Example: Never say “this is the perfect classroom for my child”. When the classroom no longer fits a few months later, you may be held to your comments. However, you can say: Direct teaching methods are currently working well for (child name) and we see carry over at home.
- If you define a problem, define a solution.
When to submit a Parent Input Statement?
At minimum, you should have a parent input statement annually. It can be submitted before, during or after an IEP. Sometimes I help family submit their input prior to the IEP, then after the IEP takes place, we submit another Parent Input Statement and ask that it be put in the file with the current IEP document. I rarely have parents submit statements at an IEP meeting. Everybody hates curveballs and surprise updates, concerns, solutions are not effective for team building.
Need help building an effective Parental Input Statement for your child? Ready for your voice to be heard? Let’s work together! Email Catherine: firstname.lastname@example.org
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