Avoid the Common Mistakes All IEP Case Managers Make and Ensure Student Success

27th February 2023

An IEP case manager is responsible for developing, monitoring, and evaluating a student’s individualized education program. This is a vital role, as the IEP case manager is the student’s main advocate within the school system. While there is no perfect formula for being a successful IEP case manager, there are some common mistakes that all IEP case managers make. These mistakes can have a negative impact on the student’s education and well-being.

To help you avoid these mistakes, we have compiled a list of the 10 most common mistakes all IEP managers make – and how to fix them.

Note- In addition, if you want to learn exciting and modern special education techniques then we recommend our Online Special Education Courses, which will definitely help you.

1. Not Knowing the ins and outs of the IEP Process:

One of the most common mistakes IEP case managers make is not fully understanding the IEP process. The IEP process can be complex and it’s important to make sure you have a thorough knowledge of every step. Things such as understanding the timelines, knowing who needs to be invited to meetings, and understanding the different types of services available are all essential components of the IEP process that must be understood.

In order to avoid making this mistake, make sure to attend any training or workshops provided by your school district and familiarize yourself with the process by reading any available resources or speaking to colleagues.

2. Not Building a Rapport with the Parents:

It’s easy to forget that at the centre of each IEP meeting are two people who want the same outcome for their child: the parents. It’s essential to build a trusting, positive relationship with the parents before, during, and after the IEP process. This can be done through active listening, making sure the parents understand the process and their role in it and keeping them regularly updated.

To fix this mistake, if a good rapport has not been built, make sure to take the time to sit down with the parents and discuss their child’s accomplishments, struggles, and goals and why these are important.

3. Not Having Clear and Concise Goals:

Having clear and concrete goals is an essential part of the IEP process. Without these goals, it’s difficult to track the student’s progress and understand if they are making progress toward the intended goals.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to work with the team to set measurable, attainable, and realistic goals for the student that everyone agrees upon. Additionally, make sure that the goals are realistic and written in language that everyone can understand so that everyone can be on the same page.

4. Lack of Monitoring and Follow Through:

IEP case managers should also be aware of the progress of their student’s goals. It’s important to regularly monitor the progress of students and make sure that goals are being worked on and met.

Additionally, it’s important to ensure that teachers, administrators, and other team members are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the IEP is being implemented correctly.

To fix Mistakes All IEP Case Managers make is to take the initiative to regularly follow up with the various members of the IEP team and make sure that everyone is on track.

5. Forgetting to Document Everything:

One of the common Mistakes All IEP Case Managers make is they forget to document important events. IEP case managers must make sure to document all meetings, conversations, and progress that is made. This documentation can be invaluable if there is ever a dispute or disagreement.

Furthermore, it helps track the student’s progress and ensures that everyone is on the same page. To fix this mistake, take the time to write down summaries of the meetings, conversations, and progress made with the student or parents. Additionally, make sure to save these notes in case there are any discrepancies in the future.

6. Not Maintaining Open Communication:

It’s essential for IEP case managers to maintain open and clear communication with the entire IEP team. This helps make sure that everyone is on the same page and aware of any changes or updates that relate to the student.

However, it’s easy to forget to keep the team updated, especially if there are a lot of moving parts. To fix this mistake, make sure to periodically send out emails to the IEP team to keep them informed. It’s also helpful to set up a phone call or meeting if there are any major changes or updates.

7. Not Advocating Enough:

It’s easy to forget that as an IEP case manager, you are there to advocate for the students. It’s essential to make sure you are the voice of the student and you are advocating for what the student needs.

To fix this mistake, make sure you are voicing your opinion at IEP meetings and letting the team know what you think is best for the student.

8. Not Knowing the Resources Available:

It’s essential for IEP case managers to be aware of the different types of services and resources available. For example, many districts have various types of programs and therapies that can help students with disabilities. By being aware of these resources, you can better serve the students and help them reach their goals.

To fix Mistakes All IEP Case Managers make is by make sure to attend any informational meetings that are offered by the district and to become familiar with the resources available.

9. Not Preparing for Meetings:

IEP case managers must also make sure that they are prepared for IEP meetings. This means making sure that you have reviewed the student’s file before the meeting, gathering progress reports and other important information, and that you come to the meeting with a list of questions or topics that need to be discussed.

To fix this mistake, take the time to review the student’s file before the meeting and make sure that you are prepared with any questions or points of discussion.

10. Not Understanding the Family’s Role:

Last but not least, IEP case managers must understand that the family has a major role in the IEP process. It’s important to remember that the family is a valuable source of information and should be consulted whenever possible.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the family understands their role in the IEP process and that they have a voice and an opinion in meetings. To fix this mistake, make sure to reach out to the family and make sure they understand their role and how their input can affect the process.

The Bottom Line

Making mistakes is a part of any profession, but it’s important to make sure that these mistakes don’t derail the progress of the IEP process. By following the tips in this article, and by understanding the 10 most common mistakes that IEP case managers make, you can help ensure that your students get the best services and support they need to reach their goals.

In case, if you’re an aspiring special education teacher or having experience, if your goal is to learn more special and modern teaching techniques then we do recommend you to go through our Online Special Education Courses, which definitely serves it’s purpose.

Written By: Sonal Agrawal      

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