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Dear ADDitude: How Long Should an IEP Take?

“A full month after our IEP meeting, I still don’t have an updated version of the IEP reflecting changes we discussed. With only 50 days of school left, I want the corrected version in my hands ASAP. Am I wrong in demanding this turn-around?”

ADDitude Answers

Absolutely not. A month is a long time to wait. Many schools give parents a copy at the end of the meeting, and a clean copy after it has been entered into their system. Here’s my recommendation: Write a short, polite letter to the school asking for your copy of the new IEP. You may send the letter or deliver it yourself to the principal. Keep a copy of your letter for your records.

Posted by Eileen Bailey
Freelance writer, author specializing in ADHD, anxiety, and autism

ADDitude Answers

You should get a copy of the IEP, with signatures from all attendees, before leaving the meeting. For years, my son’s schools would say they’d send it home with him the next day and then I often didn’t see it until I asked about it a couple days later. And, more often than not, it wasn’t signed by attendees.

His school this year does it right – everyone signs and I am given a full copy before I leave the conference room.

Two months is outrageous! There is definitely someone completely incompetent or who doesn’t understand what they are supposed to do involved. Reach out to the IEP team and request politely – but firmly – that they send you the document immediately. If they don’t comply, you may have grounds for legal action. You are certainly not being unreasonable.

For more on how to follow up after an IEP meeting, go here.

Posted by Penny
community moderator, author on ADHD parenting, mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

A Reader Answers

I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I’ve reached the point that I am suspect of everything the schools do. It won’t help you now, but in the future, do not leave the IEP meeting without the final copy. Any changes should be handwritten in and initialed by both you and the case manager. Wait while they make you a copy to take with you until they are able to type all changes and send to you. Also, if you didn’t already, tape record all meetings. You have to notify them in advance but it is your right to do so. I learned the hard way – and with the help of a great advocate. Maybe somebody else here can weigh on what to do now. Good luck.

Posted by Peacfldove

A Reader Answers

I generally suggest a course of action to get the copy before it gets to this point.

Week 1 – Send an email to the case manager or person responsible reminding them that you don’t have it yet.

Week 2 – If no luck, send a follow-up email to the case manager and the site administrator.

Week 3 – Send another email to those two, plus the Director of Special Education.

In terms of how long changes generally take, that depends on the level of changes you were requesting.

If it is formatting or requesting less ambiguous language, that is merely an edit. If it is changing what was understood as an agreement, then it may require a follow-up meeting to discuss. In this regard, the devil is in the details.

At this point, you may want to sit down and review your changes with an administrator to see if there are substantial issues or if it was an oversight – or simply an overwhelmed employee.

Posted by Dr. Eric