Child Attending IEP Meetings... What Age?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by momslove, Mar 10, 2010.

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  1. momslove

    momslove Battle Weary

    I have a quick question. At what age (if any) is a child required to be present at the IEP meeting? I was just reading at my state's dept. of education website, and it says "beginning at least by age 16"... so I assume by the age of 16, difficult child *must* be in attendance, but until then, it is not a requirement?

    I ask because we have another IEP meeting coming up in a couple of weeks, and if it's possible, I'd prefer that difficult child not be present this time. He attended the last meeting, and very clearly uncomfortable the entire time, and if he doesn't *need* to be there, I'd just as soon let him skip being there, ya know? He has already told me that he would rather not be there if he didn't have to be, as well.

    Am I right in assuming it will be ok to not make him attend?
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    IDEA states in it's definition of the IEP team:
    (vii) whenever appropriate, the child with a

    It also states that a transition plan must be in an IEP that will be in effect when the child hits 16.
    In my experience, that's when they started having the kids be present for the *full* IEP mtg, although
    they did have difficult child come earlier for parts of the IEP mtg.

    That "when appropriate" is a loophole. Personally, I'm not sure it was ever appropriate for difficult child
    to be present at an IEP mtg because he just wasn't terribly connected to reality. It wasn't a
    battle I thought was worth fighting with- the school district over.
  3. momslove

    momslove Battle Weary

    Thank you slsh. I was hoping to spare him from attending this time at least, but after the morning I've had (3 calls from the school so far, and another due shortly), I don't know if it will even be an option, now. I have a feeling they are going to insist he be there, and I doubt I could say anything to change their mind if they press the issue.

    And right now, I'm too tired to care. :(
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    "When appropriate" is also your call -- you're 1/2 of the IEP team. AND remember, you are the parent! The school district's authority only extends so far.

    He needs to learn to advocate for himself, however, it can be very stressful on the child. I'm easing my difficult child into it by allowing him to attend the beginning of the meeting. We ask him what he thinks he needs to be successful in school, for comments, anything he wants to discuss. Then he's out of there. NO WAY will they ever be allowed to beat up on my son in a meeting. And the first time an adult gets out of line in my opinion, he'll be out of there just cause MOM said so.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Kanga refuses to attend her IEP meetigs and I've directed school staff to invite her but not force her.

    Eeyore attended his first IEP meeting last week and I don't think he got most of it but he did feel good that he got to talk a little.

    Neither parents nor child are ever REQUIRED to attend. The school is required to invite them and to work with the parents to set the meeting at a mutually available time.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My state suggests that students attend beginning at age 14. Oldest boy did not have any real interest so starting in senior year, we had to drag him in. difficult child is now 15 and he has been asking to come for a couple of years; usually, we discuss things we don't want to talk about in front of him and then invite him in for the last portion. Next boy will soon be 14 and we are transitioning him back to district for HS in the fall so I will have him attend his next CSE so he can talk about the courses he wants to take.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In our state the transition begins at 14. Kids can begin attending at that age. difficult child actually attended at the very beginning of the last meeting for the first time. His case worker wanted to get his thoughts on the the tapering of the one to one. He was only there for five minutes, and that would have been all he would have wanted to be there for!

    I agree that the definition of "when appropriate" really should be a parent's call, although at 16 I think many kids would be ready. Sheila's got the right plan - slowly phase them in seems to work best.

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