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Title

Understanding Parental Participation in IEP Meetings

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Keywords

Individualized education programs; Children with disabilities--Education; Parent-teacher conferences;

Abstract

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 clearly indicates that parents should be equal partners with schools in determining a child's educational plan. However, the meetings that occur to determine a child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) often lack meaningful input from parents regarding their child's education. These meetings are frequently stressful and troubling for individuals involved in the meetings.

The purpose of this research was to explore school-family collaboration for students with disabilities by examining how communication occurs during IEP meetings that works to limit or encourage parental participation. This qualitative study utilized several communication theories to answer the primary research question: What does the discourse and communication during an IEP meeting reveal about supporting parental participation or hindering authentic parental participation? Other theories were utilized as frames to develop an understanding of the relationships between individuals on the IEP team and how those relationships impact communication fidelity and shared decision making. The researcher observed and audio recorded one IEP meeting and conducted a series of interviews with selected participants of the IEP team. Open-coding was utilized to organize data and the constant comparative method occurred as data was added through subsequent interview rounds. In order to add credibility and trustworthiness, data was triangulated using the IEP observation, primary source interviews, and the IEP documents.

Initial findings indicate that relationships built on trust and frequent communication are critical. Other indicators of successful IEP meetings are a shared context of purpose and process.

Start Date

4-4-2017 11:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2017 1:30 PM

Faculty Advisor

Susan Etscheidt

Department

Department of Special Education

Comments

Location: Maucker Union Ballroom

Embargo Date

4-4-2017

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Apr 4th, 11:00 AM Apr 4th, 1:30 PM

Understanding Parental Participation in IEP Meetings

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 clearly indicates that parents should be equal partners with schools in determining a child's educational plan. However, the meetings that occur to determine a child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) often lack meaningful input from parents regarding their child's education. These meetings are frequently stressful and troubling for individuals involved in the meetings.

The purpose of this research was to explore school-family collaboration for students with disabilities by examining how communication occurs during IEP meetings that works to limit or encourage parental participation. This qualitative study utilized several communication theories to answer the primary research question: What does the discourse and communication during an IEP meeting reveal about supporting parental participation or hindering authentic parental participation? Other theories were utilized as frames to develop an understanding of the relationships between individuals on the IEP team and how those relationships impact communication fidelity and shared decision making. The researcher observed and audio recorded one IEP meeting and conducted a series of interviews with selected participants of the IEP team. Open-coding was utilized to organize data and the constant comparative method occurred as data was added through subsequent interview rounds. In order to add credibility and trustworthiness, data was triangulated using the IEP observation, primary source interviews, and the IEP documents.

Initial findings indicate that relationships built on trust and frequent communication are critical. Other indicators of successful IEP meetings are a shared context of purpose and process.