Written Opinions: A How-To Manual
By Patricia Howey
Record Your IEP Concerns in a Written Opinion
IDEA 2004 specifically allows you to submit your concerns to the IEP Team. One way to record your concerns is to use a written opinion.
Your written opinion ensures that the IEP team understands what you think happened at the meeting. Tell the team that you will be sending a written opinion later. You do not have to be an expert on “the law” to write a written opinion. In fact, it may be best not to quote or interpret the law in your written opinion.
Your written opinion can include:
- What happened at the meeting.
- What did not happen.
- What the team discussed or failed to discuss.
- Team decisions to which you did not agree.
- Relevant facts the IEP does not include.
- Correction of wrong facts in the IEP.
Listen to your little inner voice. If something does not seem right, write it down. Your little inner voice is right most of the time.
Stick to the facts and you will maintain your credibility. Do not make personal attacks.
Assume that your written opinion will end up as an exhibit in a future due process hearing. You cannot know what facts might be important in the future so include as many relevant facts as possible in your written opinion.
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