Oftentimes going through the process of developing an Individualized Education Plan for a child with special needs can be daunting. Many times parents don't know the right questions to ask to help their child receive the education they deserve in public schools today. That's why the Special Kids Foundation is working on putting together its first IEP Workshop.
The event, which is set for Aug. 29, is geared to helping parents and guardians navigate the complex IEP system.
IEP is a program that public schools use to help make measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to meet the child's special needs that may result from a child's disability that enables them to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum.
"Any parent with educational concerns, whether or not their child currently has an IEP or not, is welcome to attend this meeting," said Lisa McBride, founder and executive director of Special Kids Foundation.
Each participant will be supplied a binder with timelines and material to help keep all the important information they receive on their child's educational plan together in one place. The event will also help to give people a better understanding of the process of getting children through an IEP meeting with schools, including understanding the terminology used, parents' rights, laws and ideas as well as the latest information on "No Child Left Behind" rules.
"We hope to help parents process the information that is given to them from the schools and to help them organize the plan that is best for their children," McBride said.
McBride and fellow Special Kids Foundation board member, Felicisa Schweller, will be facilitating the workshop. As an educator and a child with special needs, McBride has been on both sides of the spectrum when dealing with the IEP process.
McBride founded Special Kids Foundation several years ago to bring families with special needs children together to support each other.
McBride and Schweller, who also has a child with special needs, have taken special program courses in special needs advocacy and have developed a lot of experience with IEP programs in the past few years.
"I've worked with helping friends and families involved with the Special Kids Foundation one on one with IEPs before," McBride said. "But this is the first time we've put an activity like this together."
Those interested in attending are asked to sign up in advance. There is a $10 fee to help with the cost of binders and other materials. Those with special circumstances can ask for help paying for the fee. Attendees should bring along any material that they may have already started collecting on their child's IEP to help get a head start on organizing it.
What: IEP workshop
When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 29
Where: Keller Williams, 191 Sand Creek Road, Suite 100, Brentwood
Info: See the event website page at http://conta.cc/11eg4j3, or call 925-516-9690.
Cost: $10 for materials