Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2019

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Page 20 of 35 n Hudson Valley Parent 21 help your child in school. For example, if your child cannot brush his teeth due to fine motor delays, that would not be part of the IEP. However, if his fine-motor delays also prevent him from grasping a pencil or handling scissors, that would be included in the IEP. The goal of this meeting is to ensure your child gets the support he needs. If for any reason you do not agree with the CPSE recommendations, you can ask to table the meeting. At this point, reach out to an advocacy agency to help navigate the next IEP meeting so that everyone comes to an agreement. IEP changes with your child You have the opportunity to choose which preschool your child can attend within New York state. You are not restricted to only your school district. The CPSE team will provide recommendations for preschool programs that will best suit your child's needs. You'll be able to visit the preschool as well, to speak with the teachers and aides prior to your child's first day. Every year, you and your team review the IEP to change goals and services based on progress. Additionally, special service educators might request IEP changes during the year. The IEP is an ever-changing document that will change with your child as he changes and grows. The IEP should always be a current reflection. And just like at the very first meeting, you always have the right to review and request changes. Stay organized There's no way around it; there's just mounds of paperwork. Every evaluation, meeting and New York state regulation comes with forms. The best advice I can offer is to photocopy whatever you're given to sign, and keep it organized in a binder. Use folder tabs to separate all your paperwork so you're ready for easy reference. The binder I keep at home looks like this: Evaluations, IEPs, School Info, NYS forms. Make a new binder for each school year so you have a record at home of your child's progress. You got this! Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee, join a mom's group on Facebook, shop at Target for fun new organization supplies, and remember, you are your child's best advocate. For more specific information, check out your local school district website or the NYS Office of Special Education: Rielly is a part-time writer and full-time mama to an adorable toddler with autism. Follow her online at

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