One of the most helpful things we have done at our IEP meetings was asking for a projector at least 10 days in advance. The laptop was hooked up to the projector and the IEP was viewed on the wall. This allowed everyone on the team to see what was actually being written at the time it was written. The projector made it very easy for everyone to give their input while we were still on the subject and before the page/goal was completed. This is especially helpful if your meetings are large in number, have many goals, meetings run long or you have had difficulties in the past. (2017 All IEPs I’ve attended have screen on wall without asking but depending on your school it might still be best to ask.)
I have also taped the meetings in the past. Remember this also needs 10 day advance notice so the school can have their tape recorder ready. You can not tape the meeting without this notice. It was not intended to upset anyone but to allow us to review the long meeting. It actually came in handy the following year when we realized a service wasn’t being provided and it wasn’t written on the IEP like we had thought. The school reviewed their tape and it was corrected.
Another important tip is to have a positive look to future improvement even though this year may have been the worst you ever had. There is nothing that can be done to change the year now that it is almost over. Look at what can be done in the future to make sure those errors do not happen again and work together as a team. A negative, defensive attitude will not help the child or help you to think clearly.
Research and have documents to support your questions or concerns. It is very hard for the school to deny you of your comment if you have paper proof to substantiate your claims. This can be from the child’s homework or test results.
Read IEP books such as:
From Emotions to Advocacy 2nd edition, Pam Wright and Pete Wright
Wrightslaw: IDEA 2004 Pam Wright and Pete Wright
Attend an IEP Conference by Pam Wright and Pete Wright. They are very informative and help you prepare yourself for many years of IEPs.
May you have a successful IEP and a very promising new year ahead of you.