But it’s in their IEP

By Dennise Goldberg –

Five little words, made up of only sixteen letters that every parent has uttered at one point or another if their child has an IEP.  Who we said it to isn’t as important as the fact that we have all said it.  I have written in the past about my Top Ten Special Education Pet Peeves and the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Comments I Ever Heard at an IEP but it’s time to discuss a new topic.  Below are the top responses heard after I uttered the words, “but it’s in their IEP.”

1.  Your child has an IEP no one ever gave me a copy? 

2.  Oh, I don’t read IEPs.

3.  It’s not fair to the other students if __________ (fill in the blank, I have heard them all).

4.  The Teacher has 150 students over six periods they don’t have time to do that.

5.  We lost our __________ Therapist and haven’t been assigned a new one yet (insert Speech, Occupational or Physical into the blank and they all apply).

6.  I misunderstood the IEP.

7.  It slipped through the cracks.

8.  Yah, I know, I owe you make up hours.

9.  Additional adult support during recess and lunch means more than the playground aides that are already outside?

10. Many children in my class have IEPs that require them to sit in the front; the whole class can’t sit in the front.

11. I was told the Director of Special Education had taken care of this prior to leaving on vacation.  Now you will have to wait.

12. Yah, we know we are out of compliance but the District hasn’t assigned the appropriate staff.

13. Why can’t the parents drive the child to school?

14. But the Teacher says they met the goal what other data do you need.

15. I don’t remember putting that in.

16. Well, we had SO MANY snow days this year it was hard for ALL OF THE CHILDREN to adjust.  I wouldn’t read too much into it (This one came from Jen Laviano’s article Weather or Naught but I always wanted to repeat it)


  • Do not assume every Teacher was given a copy of your child’s IEP.  This is why it’s so important for you to make photocopies of your child’s IEP and bring copies to your child’s Teachers.  Remember in the upper grades they have 5 or 6 Teachers and it becomes even more crucial at this stage.
  • Do not assume every Teacher has read your child’s IEP.  This is why I always have a parent-teacher meeting at the beginning of every School year and hand each Teacher a cheat sheet of my child’s accommodations and services.
  • Mistakes and misunderstandings happen, we are only human, but that doesn’t mean your child is not entitled to the missed services caused by the misunderstanding.
  • Try and make the language in the IEP as clear as possible to limit mistakes and misunderstandings.  If you cannot understand the language contained in the IEP neither will anyone else.
  • Fairness is not about everyone getting the same thing it is about everyone getting what they need.
  • If the Teacher doesn’t have time to administer an IEP the School is not providing the appropriate aids and supports to make sure it happens.
  • Keep track of child’s services by periodically asking for the Therapist’s service logs.
  • When writing IEP goals make sure it’s clear how and when data will be collected to verify progress.
  • If your child doesn’t receive the services outlined in their IEP for any reason they are entitled to compensatory education.

What responses have you received after you uttered those five little words, “But it’s in their IEP.”  Add them to the comment section below and as they come in I will include them above.

via But it’s in their IEP | Special Education & IEP Advisor.

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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