1. Take deep breaths. It can be intimidating to sit across from so many educators and school representatives, but your part in this meeting is equally – if not MORE – important than theirs.
2. Be prepared. Know what you want for your child and what questions you have about your child’s education.
3. Speak up. You know your child best. And no one knows the ins and outs of their capabilities like you do.
4. Listen. Most people around the table will be well-meaning. Try to go in with a positive mindset. This will help you, too. Promise.
5. Stand your ground. You will never regret advocating too hard for your child, but you will regret agreeing to something that you’re not comfortable with.
6. It’s ok to cry. There’s no shame in letting your humanness show. You are discussing big issues regarding your child’s future. Feel your feelings and keep moving forward.
7. Take care of yourself. IEP meetings are emotional roller coasters. You will probably be exhausted afterwards, and that’s okay. Take a break, call a friend, be kind to yourself. You have a hard job and you are doing great.
(This has been a pep talk for myself. I hope it can help someone else, too. )