The Top Six Questions from Families on Individualized Education Programs

July 25, 2022

FAQ from Families about
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

Review the top six questions ASK gets from families on how to navigate IEPs.
Below is a brief summary on each question and a printable PDF that goes into greater detail on each question presented that you can take with you to meetings to help keep you on track! 




1. How can I prepare and participate in an IEP meeting?

  • Let the team know that you would like any information that will be shared at the meeting to be provided to you ahead of time so that you have a chance to review it
  • Gather any records or reports to share with the IEP team. 
  • Review your meeting notice
  • Research topics or information that you have questions about. The i3: Iowa IDEA Information site ( is a resource to help families and professionals understand the guidance and procedures around Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)s and Individualized Education Program (IEP)s.
  • Review your child’s current IEP
  • Talk with your child to make sure that their input is included.
  • Language used may be unfamiliar.

2. What do I do if I have a concern about my child’s IEP or the supports and services that are being provided and there is not an IEP meeting scheduled?

  • Request an IEP Meeting to discuss your concerns
  • Prioritize your concerns and put them in writing. 

3. Can I request to reschedule or postpone an IEP meeting?

  • IEP meetings should be held at a mutually agreed upon time and place.
  • You may try providing some dates and times that work best for your family and any others that you would like to invite such as advocates, therapists and other community providers that serve your child. 

4. When should I receive a copy of my child’s IEP and data? 

  • Parents/guardians should always receive a copy of their child’s IEP within a reasonable time following an IEP meeting. 
  • Parents/guardians have the right to request their child’s IEP at any time
  • Parents/guardians should receive IEP goal progress updates at least as often as students receive report cards
  • You can request to receive updated copies of your child’s data and graphs at any time or more frequently. 

5. What should I do if I disagree with what my child’s school district or AEA is proposing in an IEP meeting? 

  •  You can request to receive updated copies of your child’s data and graphs at any time or more frequently. 

6. Do I have to sign my child’s IEP agreeing to the changes? 

Schools are required to provide PWN documenting any proposed or refused changes to the IEP within a reasonable time after the IEP meeting. This allows a parent/guardian to disagree prior to the implementation date. Unless formal action is taken, the school has the right to begin the changes by the implementation date (more information about PWN on ASK website). In the state of Iowa, parents/guardians are only required to sign consent for the following reasons: • To agree to an evaluation for special education services; • To agree to your child receiving special education services once it is determined they are eligible for special education. • To receive electronic communication. • To agree to the school district billing Medicaid. After consent for initial special education services there is no requirement for parents/guardians to sign for approval for IEPs or to allow changes to the IEP to begin.