ACRN - America's Career Resource Network Image Skip all navigation links. | Home | About | Contact | Site Map | Glossary | Links |  


Link to Education Challenge Page Link to Economic Challenge Page Link to Career Development Page
Career Development Toolkit National Career Development Guidelines Improved Career Decision Making
Get Started:
Link to Students Start Page
Link to Parents Start Page
Link to Teachers Start Page
Link to Counselors Start Page
Link to Administrators Start Page
Link to State Information Page
Link to Resources Page
Link to Evaluation Page
Link to Calendar Page
For ACRN Directors
Link to Directors Login Page
Communicating with Your Child's School and IEP Team

< Children with Special Needs

Communicating with Your Child's School and IEP Team

Make sure you know how your child is progressing in school by staying in touch with teachers and the IEP team.

To find out how your child is doing in class and to monitor the IEP goals, you'll need to communicate with the teachers and the school. Make sure you know your child's rights under IDEA (see Individualized Education Programs and Academic Success), and check in often with your child's IEP team to ensure that your child is on track.

Tips on Communicating with Your Child's Teacher(s) and School
  • Keep in touch with your child's school and teachers. Attend parent-teacher conferences, read your child's school newsletters, and contact your child's teacher by phone or email if you have questions or concerns.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions will help you understand more about your child's learning needs.
  • Start thinking about questions before a meeting or conference at school. Consider making a list of questions to bring with you so you don't forget anything important.
  • Collect information about your child's disability, the services available to him or her, and the specific things you can do to help your child develop to the fullest extent possible.
  • If you have any specific concerns about your child's educational progress, let your child's teachers know.
  • Be aware of what's going on in your child's school (activities and events).
  • Continue to work with your child's teacher or school even if you disagree with grades, scores or the way services are being delivered to your child. Maintaining communication with your child's IEP team will ensure that your child's academic and social needs are being met.
  • Remember to keep written copies of all documents from physicians, teachers and therapists regarding your child.
  • Visit your child's classes, ask questions and don't hesitate to have your child's teachers or school staff provide a clearer explanation of anything you don't understand.
Some basic questions for meetings or conferences with your child's teachers, school and other support providers:
  • How is my child doing? Are there any problems I should know about?
  • How is my child's IEP working? Any problems or modifications that we may need to consider?
  • Is there a way that I can help at home?
  • Are there any career courses, counseling or activities that can help meet the needs of my child?
  • What additional activities and services might my child need?
The best parent-school relationships are trusting and open, with a commitment to communicate about how to best meet your child's needs.

For more information:

State Offices:

State Departments of Rehabilitation

State Departments of Education

State Departments of Labor and Youth Services

Social Security Administration Regional and Field Offices

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities--State Resources (NICHCY)

National Organizations:

American Federation of Teachers' Parents Page

Bridges For Kids

National Clearinghouse On Postsecondary Education For Individuals With Disabilities

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights

Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers


Parenting Postsecondary Students with Disabilities: Becoming the Mentor, Advocate and Guide Your Young Adult Needs (GW Heath Resource Center, 2002) PDF

How Parents and Families Can Communicate Better with Teachers and School Staff (American Federation of Teachers, 2004) PDF

When It's Own Child: A Report on Special Education From the Families Who Use It (Public Agenda, 2004)

Back to top