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IEP Support Tools

You can be your child's best Advocate.  With knowledge is power.  

Family to Family shared some tips on the Navigate Life Texas website on being prepared for your IEP meeting:

        Developing an ARD/IEP Plan: How to prepare yourself for the meeting 

        Cómo prepararte para la reunión ARD/IEP y para que puedas participar más

You can also see this information in video format at Region 20 Education Service Center Parent Resources - See Connecting to The TEAM:  Preparing for the ARD/IEP Meeting

Disability Rights Texas has videos on Guide to ARD Process, Advocating for your Child, Guia para Familia sobre el Processo de ARD, y Abogando por su hijo


Family to Family Network recommends parents acquire, read and use the following resources:

** The 2016 IDEA manual (en espanol tambien)**
The 2012 IDEA Manual is a must have resource for families trying to understand the Texas special education system and is available in both English and Spanish.  The manual can be downloaded and used by anyone.

A Guide to the Admission, Review and Dismissal Process or Guia para el Proceso de Admision, Revision, y Retiro
This is a resource developed by the Texas Education Agency that is updated frequently. Please note that parents should be provided with this resource at the initial ARD meeting and can be requested from your school. The Acronyms and Glossary were removed from the Guide and placed on the Texas Project FIRST website. Currently there is also a separate Addendum regarding Revocation of Consent.

Notice of Procedural Safeguards or Aviso Sobre Procedimientos de Proteccion
This is another resource developed by the Texas Education Agency that is updated frequently. Schools are required to provide parents with a copy at least one time per year. Please read the section on Prior Written Notice at a minimum. This notice will also answer many of your questions regarding Evaluations, Independent Evaluations, Discipline, Educational records, Voluntary Private School Placement, Transfer of Rights, and Resolving Disagreements just to name a few topics addressed.

Texas Project FIRST website  (english/espanol)
This is an online resource that is developed by parents, for parents. The site is arranged by age so you can access information when it is needed. The site includes links to

  • Community Services (How to get your children on medicaid waiver lists, etc.),
  • How your child can receive special ed. services,
  • IEP development,
  • TEKS curriculum, etc. 
  • Your source for Acronyms and Glossary definitions which are no longer in the TEA Guide to the ARD Process.
  • Lots of links to FREE online Training available.

Special Ed 101 (document highlighting the process) or Curso Basico De Educacion Especial

PortfoliosEn Espanol   It is important to let others know who your child is despite disability being part of his/her life. Learn how to create one here.
Stop by our office to see portfolio samples or to purchase a Portfolio Guide.

Progress in The General Curriculum Network (ESC 20) has great information on Standards Based IEPs, Least Restrictive Environment, and Grading & Progress Monitoring.  


Sometimes, videos can speak a thousand words.  The following are recommended videos to challenge your thinking about disability.

I Am Tyler - A young man with a disability tells about how people assisted him throughout school....and the importance of "Ability Awareness".

Many powerful videos, including the following list, can be found on

When the Moon Comes Up - Norman Kunc shares his views on what life could have been like had it not been for the choices his parents made.

A Credo For Support - A series of suggestions for people who care about and support someone with a disability.

From Puddles to Pride - by Janice Failka, a parent, who expresses that "there are no puddles of shame, only sunshine, and pride!" from

Amanda Baggs, expresses In My Language what it is like to have Autism and On Being Considered Retarded and what she thinks about that word.


For practical strategies, the following videos are recommended:

PLAAFP! by Region 13 Education Service Center TV

Positive Behavior Support Makes A Difference: One Family's Story by OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions & supports

Understanding Positions & Interest - CADRE The National Center on Dispute Resolution

Practical Strategies for Teaching Social & Emotional Competence - Center on the Social & Emotional Foundations for Early Learning