Tip #5: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act details specific timelines for the IFSP and IEP processes, which begins with the first contact/phone call. Ensure that families understand the purpose of early intervention services: that children are active participants in their homes and their communities, and families are empowered to be advocates and able to support their children in achieving great outcomes.

Many families may feel overwhelmed or nervous at their first Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting. They may have questions and concerns about their child’s success in school and what the IEP process will entail.

One way a child’s teacher can help families feel more at ease and make the first IEP meeting as successful as possible is to provide families with a handout that defines IEP terminology and acronyms. Encourage them to ask questions about these terms or others that may come up in your meeting.

Open the printable IEP Terminology handout here.

Screenshot of a downloadable handout defining IFSP and IEP terminology