“Can the School Adjust My Child’s IEP Without Our Consent?”

“The school’s IEP team wants to change my daughter’s plan after several parents complained that her accommodations are ‘disruptive’ to their children.”

A young girl with ADHD using assistive technology on her computer at school
Student with ADHD wearing headphones and working on laptop at school

Q: “My daughter has accommodations that let her quietly walk around the classroom, listen to music for focus, and take tests in a separate space. Several parents have complained that these accommodations are ‘disruptive’ to their children. The IEP team wants to talk about changing the plan. Can they do this?”

A: “Your child’s IEP gives her the right to be educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), meaning that she needs to be in a regular classroom with typically learning peers as much as possible. The school may place her in a more restrictive setting, such as a specialized class, only if she is unable to manage or learn in a mainstream classroom. But your child is not the only student with rights. The U.S. Department of Education has a longstanding policy that schools must also consider the degree of disruption to other students’ education.

While your child is entitled to accommodations, the school may determine that she should be with other students with similar disabilities if her accommodations are truly disruptive to her current classmates.

Simple IEP modifications may help. Could your daughter use headphones? Could she be the class messenger? Her teachers and the IEP team may have other suggestions

IEP Accommodations: Next Steps

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