Signing the IEP and next steps

You do NOT have to sign the IEP right away at the meeting.

Remember: the IEP should reflect your concerns and goals for your child.

Speak up if you want to add or change anything on the draft!

If you're happy with it, you can sign it at the end of the meeting. But if you want, you can take home a copy and review it first. There is no pressure for you to sign it right away!

You want to make sure that this document addresses all of your child's educational needs.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Review the proposed IEP in detail. Ask yourself:

    • Do you agree with the services that it lists for your child?

    • Are there services your child needs that are missing? Keep in mind more isn't always better.

    • Is there anything that is confusing or unclear? 

  2. Get advice from other people about the IEP — doctors, counselors, teachers, or family.

  3. Write down any questions or concerns you have.

  4. Take the IEP home and review it. Decide if you agree with the proposed plan and services.

This can be a hard decision, and it's okay if you are having trouble with it. If you're not sure what to do, talk with one or two people on the team.

You will need to address your concerns and sign it soon!

If the school doesn't hear back from you, they can't start to give your child the services. (If your child already has an IEP, they'll work from the latest version on file. So they will be getting services, but not the updated ones.)

When you are happy with the IEP: 

  • Sign and date the form.

  • Make copies. Add one copy to your IEP binder so it's ready for next year's IEP meeting.

If your child is 18 or older, they will need to sign the IEP. See our Decision-Making Guide to learn more about getting permission to make decisions for your adult child.

Once the IEP and placement decisions are final:

  • The district will share the IEP with all the school staff who work with your child

  • Your child should start getting the services right away, but no later than 10 school days after you sign the IEP!

Source: Children's Law Center