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The Big Picture - Your IEP Master Plan

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Based on Chapter 2 Creating Your Master Plan, Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd edition.


I’m a natural planner, I like things well thought out with all the facts and action steps defined.  This is my condensed version of my favorite chapter in my Go To book on advocacy.  You can purchase your own copy of From Emotions to Advocacy from Amazon, this is an affiliate link and I may be paid as a result of your purchase, at no additional cost to you.


Why Do I Need to Plan?

Imagine building a house without a blueprint, starting a business without a business plan, or making an unfamiliar dish without a recipe.  Can it be done?  Possibly.  Will the results be great?  Doubtfully.

Now imagine educating a child with special needs without a master plan.  No knowledge of the disability, how it affects the child’s learning or how he or she needs taught.  You won’t know what modifications, accommodations, services and supports the child will need.  There will be no way to measure the child’s progress.  Obstacles and problems won’t be recognized to adjust as necessary.

Does it seem reasonable you’ll get it right without a plan?  Do you think there’s a better way?

There is!


Five Elements of a Master Plan

  • Vision Statement
  • Mission Statement
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Timelines

Your Vision Statement is a visual picture that describes your child in the future.  What do you want for your child to do, see or accomplish?  Think BIG!

Your Mission Statement describes the reasons you are advocating for your child, written in positive terms:

Goals give your child something to aim for, your plan should include both academic and non-academic goals.  Goals should make you stretch but they should also be attainable.  When you write a goal, begin with a statement like this:  “My child will be able to __________.” 

In the process of working towards a goal you’ll have to make decisions, solve problems, overcome obstacles, and meet checkpoints and deadlines. Strategies and Timelines will help you.  Strategies are your road map, showing you how to get there and a Timeline tells you when you’ll hit certain checkpoints or achieve the goal.


How Do I Write My Master Plan?

You’ll need the right resources to start your plan.  You need information about your child, your child’s disability and how the disability affects your child’s ability to learn. Your child’s therapists, counselors and doctors are also valuable resources.

Parent support groups, either in person or online, can connect you to other parents who have been down the same path.  Ask your school or child’s Dr. if they have a recommended group in your area or search the listings by state at

You may want to hire a Consultant or Coach to help you with your Vision and Mission Statements, choose Goals, define Strategies and establish Timelines.

 If you feel confident in these areas by all means…get to writing! 

If not, I help families all across the US find clarity and take action for their child’s education.  Schedule your FREE consultation now!



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