The Parenting Cipher Logo
April 16, 2021

[Episode 207] Mama Said Knock You Out: 5 Easy Ways to Prepare for an IEP

Mama Said Knock You Out

Mama Said Knock You Out: 5 Easy Ways To Prepare For An Individual Education Plan

What is an IEP Meeting

For those who do not know what an IEP or individual education plan is, it is a plan that outlines what specialized instruction and related services that a child receives with a disability that will help them gain access to the curriculum and make progress in school. And what is awesome from a parent's perspective is that it's a document that holds the school accountable for creating a plan that will help your child make progress. It also helps you come together as a team to make a plan for what's best for your child, including how many hours of instruction they will receive to accomplish their goals. 

How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting

First Step

Knowing what the meeting is all about, Ok? Is the meeting a check-in on your child’s progress, annual IEP review, or do you have concerns? 

Second step 

Is to prepare for the meeting itself. You can do that by getting yourself a binder. I actually have a great binder bundle you can get HERE that takes out all the guesswork. But I'm going to break it down for you too. So I have this big binder, and one of the things that's a must to have in it is your previous IEP and your kid's progress reports. 

You also want to have the proposed IEP in addition to the previous IEP and the one before that. So at the very least three. You should also have any statewide testing that you receive from the school, report cards, communication logs. What's that? That is any communication that you have had with your child's therapist and teachers in any way—document everything. 

Each year, the contact and communication will change, but you never know when you will need this history of communication for new therapists, doctors, or teachers. Just make notations of all interactions with the time, date, and any notes. 

Goal Setting and IEP

The third step to planning for your child's IEP is goal setting. You need to be a part of the process. Have your IEP from the previous year on hand during the meeting and look at the progress reports. 

If your child isn't making progress, it may not even be that that goal is too hard or difficult for your child; it may be that goal is not for them. Maybe it needs to be tweaked, or it needs to be different. The goal may not fit their ability or their personality, and adaptations need to be made. You need to be prepared to have those conversations, Ok? If they didn't complete the goal on their progress report or from the year before, that's a conversation, too. You need to know what the reason is, and this is when you get to wear your advocate power hat. 

The fourth step is knowing who you are taking to the meeting with you. And the fifth step is having a conversation with your child about goals, expectations, and how you will be working together as a team. 

To find out more, be sure to listen to the full episode where my son makes a guest appearance weighing in with his perspective on goals. Grab your IEP checklist here for a quick reference.

To sign up for my FREE Not My Child : Navigating Your Child’s Learning Difficulties with IEPs and Resources book click HERE.


In this episode of The Parenting Cipher, Genie gets ready for Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting season. Whether this is your child’s very first IEP meeting or you are a veteran, we can always improve and empower ourselves when going into an IEP meeting. Tune in for Genie’s five tips to prepare for your next IEP meeting to feel confident and get what your child needs-- along with a special guest appearance from Genie’s son-- in this episode of The Parenting Cipher

Genie Dawkins

Host of The Parenting Cipher, Genie Dawkins is a single mother of four and has over 25 years of being a parent advocate of special needs children. In addition to obtaining her Certification in Integrative Health Coaching, Lateefa holds an M.S. in Non-Profit Management and a B.S. in Social Sciences. Genie is the best-selling author of two books “Not My Child: Navigating Your Child’s Learning Difficulties with IEP’s and Education Resources” and a recent release “The Joyful Family Planner”. As an educational advocacy specialist, her mission is to help parents achieve a balanced life and overcome inevitable challenges both at school and home in a way that empowers parents and children.


Insight from this episode:

  • What’s an IEP and what’s in Genie’s “big binder” for a successful meeting and how to make one for yourself. 

  • Tips on who to reach out to for help, especially in gathering documents for your binder. 

  • Details on what you should review in the proposed IEP before a meeting. 

  • Strategies for how to talk to your child about his or her IEP and goals. 


Stay Connected:

Genie Dawkins

Website: Genie Dawkins

Twitter: @genie49317

Facebook: Genie Dawkins

Instagram: @geniedawkins

LinkedIn: Genie Dawkins


If you’d like to hear Genie’s  favorite song for Mama Said Knock You Out: 5 easy Ways To Prepare For An Individual Education Plan “Mama Said Knock You Out” by L.L. Cool J  click on the playlist below

Thanks for listening. For more information about The Parenting Cipher or interested in using our services to visit our resources below:


The Parenting Cipher

Website: The Parenting Cipher

Patreon: The Parenting Cipher

Itunes: The Parenting Cipher

Spotify: The Parenting Cipher

Twitter: @ParentingCipher

Facebook: @Pcipher

Instagram: @theparentingcipher

Youtube: The Parenting Cipher


Post-production for this episode was provided by Podcast Laundry.

Check out this episode’s transcript HERE


5 Easy Ways to Prepare for and IEP

One comment on “[Episode 207] Mama Said Knock You Out: 5 Easy Ways to Prepare for an IEP”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Parenting Cipher Logo

Copyright © 2023 The Parenting Cipher – All Rights Reserved. Designed by Arising Co.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram