IEP Study Group

Taking Control of Your Child’s IEP

The study group met 3 times in Spring 2010. We had 5 – 15 parents at each meeting.

Thanks to everyone for participating!

Send an e-mail to the address below if you want to do participate in 2011-2012.


The IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, is the crux of your child’s special education program: it details the goals to be met, and the ways in which those goals will be achieved.  It holds the blueprint for your child’s success in the school system.  Yet, to many parents, the IEP is mysterious:  How do we know what’s appropriate for our child?  What’s the school district’s responsibility?  What do we do if we have a disagreement with the school district?

Creating a solid IEP is critical to maximizing a special education student’s achievements, and in meeting their fullest potential.  It’s also critical for being able to monitor your child’s progress, and to know when things are not going well and changes should be considered.

A good IEP’s goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, use Action words, Realistic, and Time-limited. For more details, see:

We’re forming a class/study group for parents, new to special education and experienced, who are looking to maximize the effectiveness of their child’s IEP.  In three two-hour sessions we’ll work our way through the top-rated book “All About IEPs” (five stars on Amazon) and the instructional DVD  “Legal Requirements of IEPs”.  Sessions will be supportive and interactive, for special-ed parents only, led by Al Cohen and Greg Smith, parents who have  experience with the special education process.  The group is sponsored by the NewtonPAC (Parent Advisory Council) for Special Education.

There is no charge for the study group and the book “All About IEPs” is $10, is available at the first session or from Wrightslaw here:

Creation of this group was inspired by:

Parents Helping Parents and

Wright’s Law From Emotions to Advocacy Study Groups

More IEP resources:

Wrightslaw SMART IEPs page, include free chapter on SMART Goals:

Federation of Children with Special Needs IEP resources page:

State department of education main IEP page:

Link to the IEP form itself. This is the one which they will fill out and ask you to sign: