The First Step Toward Meaningful IEP Team Participation.
With the IEP Toolkit, you’ll finally feel prepared, organized and ready to take on any IEP meeting and challenges that come your way -- even if you’re a veteran disability parent.
It’s 6 am and the big day has finally come.
After a long year, it’s the morning of the long-awaited IEP meeting with the IEP team to see what options are available for your child.
Feeling hopeful and ready to show up big for your little one, you jump in the car and head down to the school.
With files and pen in your tote, you open the door to the meeting room and suddenly your optimism turns into a slight twinge of fear, as you start to question yourself...
Because once again, it’s a pile of papers that don’t make a lot of sense to you. Not only are you even sure what each one is, you have no method of finding the information you need, when trying to prove a point.
Ugh, I am not prepared for this meeting.
I want my child to have a more supports and services, but how do I get the team to agree?
Should I bring an attorney with me? Or maybe a professional who specializes in these things?
A sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach tells you that this is going to be anything but easy.
The whole ordeal is a *bit* intimidating to say the least, but you persevere and tell the team all about your child, what you think they need, and what you would like to see happen.
What you get back is a completely different story.
It’s the same old....same old.....NO.
A principal dismissive of your concerns telling you that they should be addressed outside of the meeting so they can get to the goals of the individualized plan.
A school psychologist, principal and the head of the special ed department throwing around foreign terms.
"We can't do that because...."
After two hours, and with an insufficient IEP in hand, you stop and think to yourself:
What happens now? What exactly am I going to do to prevent this from happening?
All you want is your child to receive an education that will help their minds grow and make them a contributing member of society.
Suddenly reality sets in and you realize -- I can do this, I just need the right tools.
Throw in working a full time, demanding job, and navigating the daily challenges of motherhood -- IEP exhaustion sets in and snaps your once grounded common sense and organizational skills.
At this point in the process you need guidance and a hug.
"I just wanted to say your IEP advice helped us tremendously to stay organized through all the chaos of the process. At first, my son was only on a 504 plan, but with the support of your IEP information and tips, I was able to successfully advocate for my son to receive his IEP testing. This really helped me navigate that process to hold the school personnel accountable and keep me on top of my son’s progress! Thank you!"
–Kim B, Mother of one with Learning Disability
Use These Must-Have Tools to be a Better IEP Advocate.
There comes a time in every IEP parent’s life when he has to stand up and say, “enough is enough.” And that’s the day when you decide to change your child's education experience for the better by digging in and being the best IEP advocate you can be.
I know what it’s like. When Kevin was a baby, I spent a lot of time just thinking about it. I purchased a lot of books on the topic. I even attended school district training sessions.
Problem was, I really didn't know what I didn't know. Oh sure, all the IEPmanuals and guides stacking up on my bookshelf and hard drive made it look like I was serious. All the charges on my Visa bill made me look pretty serious. But I never took any serious action. Problem is, I thought I was taking action.
I dabbled. I did things likestepping out of my comfort zone and speaking up at meetings. And I would email my team, assuming they would follow through. Yet I never got serious enough about it to really understand my rights and the IEP process defined by IDEA.
But then something happened that rocked me to my very core. And maybe you can relate to this…
One day it seemed like everything was fine. I was just going through life with two toddlers. Then suddenly, I was knee deep in the Kindergarten Transition process. (and Kevin had just turned 4!)
I can’t even begin to tell you how those meetings shocked me. It really was the proverbial wake up call when the LEA said "We appreciate your input Mrs. Lightner, but we will not be making any changes to this IEP today."
Because suddenly I realized I had to get better IEP meeting results or Kevin was going to end up in a placement that I loathed...and one that was really inappropriate for him.
You can bet I got serious really quick. I stopped messing around. I stopped dabbling. And I started learning my parental rights and how to leverage the IEP process in my favor.
It wasn’t always easy. I quickly found out the learning curve is steep when you’re trying to learn about IEPs.
But I did it. In just about a year, I went from completely stressing about what his placement would be to a desirable placement. And, that was kindergarten--he's in 9th grade now and still in the same placement.
The IEP Toolkit has all the tools you need to be an engaged, informed advocate and member of your child's IEP team.
I've helped 1000s of parents over the past decade. And you know what? Our kids are different, but the IEP Process never changes.
And, I've broken it down into 4 sequential, actionable steps for you to follow.
"It felt so empowering to walk into my son's annual IEP with everything laid out and organized so well, as well as having notes written up and pertinent information at my fingertips. Our team was pleased too!"
–Patty H., Mom of 2, one with disabilities transitioning to Middle School
What is a Better IEP Worth to you?
The IEP Toolkit was first developed in 2015, by me, a Special Education and IEP Parent myself.
Since then, it has gone through several revisions, each time with a focus group of parents like you.
I want to make the IEP Process easier for parents and this toolkit will help get you there. Parents who have purchased it before participate in my focus groups and together we make it better and better with each revision.
If you are an IEP parent, this is an opportunity that I promise you will not want to miss.
"The IEP Toolkit helped me to be on even footing with the IEP teams for both of my sons. It didn't just help me stay organized. I was able to review what was working and what wasn't, and it also lets me plan for the future. An added bonus was that I looked professional when bringing it with me so my concerns were taken seriously."
–Mayra Z., Mom to two Autistic Children
WHAT MAKES MY PRODUCT DIFFERENT
So much more than an IEP Binder.
Sure, other websites offer IEP binders.
But, not many of them are created by someone who is both a parent and an advocate. Most are put together by the school staff or clinicians. And, with this IEP Toolkit, you don't just get a bunch of printables. You get a live community where you can find support and answers to your questions.
Plus the best and most helpful IEP advice you'll find online. Here is some of what is included:
Complete Library of Resources
It's my complete online library of IEP resources. Get lifetime access as it is updated about every 18 months, based on input from parents like you.
- New this year! -
Are you worried about your child's progress, or even IEP regression? The IEP Toolkit includes worksheets and trackers for you to use to track IEP goals and do your own progress monitoring. Includes pandemic specific tools.
- Be ready -
Prepare for Your IEP Meeting
Nervous about IEP meetings? Feel like you're speaking up, but not being heard? End that--follow my tools and documents and use language that your IEP team will respond to.
"I am Mom to one son with ADHD and Mild Intellectual Disability. This helped me to learn how to keep track of my son's changing needs and changing IEP plans. It is an awesome tool for staying organized for follow up questions I may need to pose to the IEP team."
REAL RESULTS THAT SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES....
Listen to what my friend and neighbor says about this...
TRUE STORY from my friend and neighbor, Anne: "I have listened to Lisa's talks and used her advice for years. Last year, I did specifically what she said, followed her letter templates, and sent it to my IEP team. I swear, they all sat up straighter in their chairs! They knew I meant business and my daughter's IEP got the needed changes."
"I was brand new to the whole IEP process. I had absolutely no idea where to begin. Being able to have all my daughter's educational paperwork all together in a binder is such a lifesaver! "
"Your product helped me in many ways but to be honest, the biggest role it played in me helping my son was that I didn’t know ANYTHING about IEPs at the time. Therefore, I didn’t know anything was required, that I had rights and that I played a key role in the process. Because of the organizer (and the questions it helped me generate), I went from being a mom whose son never even had an IEP to a mom whose son was approved for a nonpublic school that can meet his needs. I went from being a total rookie to an all star."
"I think your templates for how to write a parents concern letter for inclusion on an IEP is so important. I was able to get my child into one of New York's state-approved private schools after a near two year battle with the NYC Dept. Of Education. I achieved this without attorney representation. I was represented by an attorney for two academic years- not once did the attorney advise me to submit a parent concern letter for inclusion in the IEP."
HERE'S WHAT'S INCLUDED...
Get all the tools you need to be an Effective IEP Team Member.
When you purchase the IEP Toolkit, you will have instant access to all the tools you need to effectively address your IEP concerns. My proven process provides a step-by-step plan for how to address the IEP team in a manner they cannot ignore. And, you'll never wonder what your next step should be.
IEP Binder Organization
It's not just about putting all your IEP stuff in a binder. I use a planned, methodical system that helps you analyze each portion of the IEP, in conjunction with the IEP process outlined by IDEA. You'll be better prepared and more confident at IEP meetings.
Huge Idea Bank!
Over the past 12 years, I can't even count how many times I've heard parents say "I don't know what to ask for." That will no longer be a problem, as this IEP toolkit includes hundreds of ideas for IEP goals, accommodations, strategies, a FAPE guide and more.
Letter Templates and Communication
Having a paper trail is the key to a successful IEP process. I'm including letter templates for you to swipe and use to send to your team. Plus, other worksheets to document communication between you and the IEP team.
Parents Rights Booklet
Yes, we all get a copy of our Procedural Safeguards. But I'm including another copy at the end of this toolkit. Just an added convenience so you don't have to go looking for it.
"You probably get this a lot but I felt that it was still worth saying. I think you are so AMAZING! I’m the mother of a beautiful boy on the spectrum who is currently being assessed for special education preschool. I read your articles and I love your website. I just can’t thank you enough for the work that you do. I’m in tears writing this! I’d be lost without you. Seriously, a million times thank you! I am forever grateful to have you as a resource."