Top Tips for Back to School

  • This month we sat down with our Regional Coordinators and Information Officers to ask them for their Top Tips around IEPs, heading to a New to School, going back to school and deciding upon new programs and out of school activities. 

    Here is what they had to say; 

    Amanda’s Top Tips for IEP Planning 

    1. Know what an IEP is/what it is for 
    1. Know who is responsible for managing/updating your IEP and how to report problems or concerns 
    1. Know your rights and responsibilities 
    1. Be proactive in communication with all team members, whenever possible via email for record keeping 
    1. Bring an advocate/support person to ALL meetings to take notes, for support etc 
    1. Have questions, concerns, goals written down. 
    1. It is your childs IEP. You know them best, do not be afraid to advocate for things you know are important. 

    Useful Resource – Most school districts use this document to collect info to build an IEP from, so it can be useful to check out in advance of your meeting ASD Instructional Support Planning.pdf 


     Lisa’s Top Tips for Starting a New School 

    1. Visit the school prior to starting (my son started going to his middle school in his last year of elementary school).  Instead of going on field trips or doing things that were not really beneficial to his learning they tried to visit at least once a month in his last year of elementary school.  
    1. Meet with the administration (resource teacher, principal, etc.) prior to school starting.  Usually the administration and teachers are already back to work in August and are happy to meet with you and your child.  
    1. If your child is transitioning to a new school (e.g. from elementary to middle school) and they do have peers they are familiar with ask for one or two of those peers to be assigned to their classes (may or may not happen but you can ask) 
    1. Send all documentation to the resource teacher/administration prior to school starting (even if you think it may be transferred from the other school it doesn’t hurt to re-send).  Examples:  Private therapy reports, former IEPs and safety plans. Yes, the IEPs and Safety Plans should be forwarded but I’ve seen them get missed.  
    1. If relevant to your child, ask for a resource block that can be effective (middle school or high school).  Often kids on the autism spectrum have difficulty with executive functioning (planning and organizing) and this can be helpful.