If you disagree with the IEP

You have many options for what you can do next. 

Remember that the IDEA law gives you certain rights. These rights include options for disagreeing with a decision about your child's services or education.

The school district should have given you a Notice of Procedural Safeguards, which describes your rights and the process of resolving a disagreement.

Image of a crowd of people wiht one person speaking upSpeak up if you don't get what you need! You know your child best, and you have a right to push for the services they are entitled to.



Here's what you can do:

  • Talk to the IEP Team. Explain why you disagree with the IEP and what you suggest changing. Be persistent!If there is a service you think should be included, or one you think should happen more often, then say so!

  • Get advice from your local Families Helping Families office(see below). They can help you find someone to come to your meetings and help, such as an IEP Facilitator or special education advocate.

  • Look up educational advocates in the Resource Directory.

  • Learn about a process called dispute resolution.It involves getting a special facilitator, asking for mediation, and filing complaints with the school district.

  • If the IEP team does not agree, talk to your special education director or supervisor of your school district. If they are not helpful, contact the Louisiana Department of Education at 877-453-2721 and ask for the Special Education Dispute Resolution Department.

Learn more in the section in the menu on Solving a disagreement with the school.


Click the box below to learn more:

Who are special education advocates? 

  • They are experienced professionals who help families work with their schools. They can help you to stand up for what you need.

  • Some advocates are parents who have gone through the special education system. Some are former special education teachers. Usually they are not lawyers, but they are trained to know when to refer you to a lawyer.

  • There is no official certification for advocates, but a good one will have done some training with an organization like Families Helping Families or the Advocacy Center. They are trained to help negotiate and to know when to refer you to a lawyer.

A good advocate: 

  • Is well-trained and knows the law

  • Understands disabilities

  • Understands your school system

  • Takes time to know your child

  • Empowers you

  • Acts professionally

If you want to talk to an advocate, ask your school district contact to put you in touch with one. Or ask Families Helping Families.

You can also use databases from COPAA and Wrightslaw to find advocates near you.*

*We do not endorse any provider listed in any source.

Talk to people who understand and get advice, training and support!

Imgae of the logo for Louisiana Parent Training and Information Center, and their phone number: 504-888-9111.

  • Term is a statewide center whose mission is to help families with educational challenges.

  • It's part of Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans.

  • Offers parent training in person and online

  • Works with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26

  • Helps parents participate effectively in their children’s education and development

  • Partners with professionals and policy makers to improve outcomes for all children with disabilities

Click here to see LaPTIC's website. Click on the link at the end of the page to download a flyer.


Families Helping Families can also help!

Families helping families logo
What they do:

  • Parent support groups and trainings

  • Help with education and other services

  • They offer advice, information and support, and their services are free.

  • Most program staff members are parents of kids or adults with disabilities.

To find your local office, click on the box below:

Source: Families Helping Families