Many parents find a 3-ring binder a sufficient resource for organization of materials. Clearly label the sections of the binder. Labels may look different depending on your child's needs. An accordion-style file may also be an efficient choice. Include in this central place all important IEP documents. An important document is anything that contains substantive information about your child or procedural information concerning how and when things happen in the IEP process (The Complete IEP Guide, Siegel, 2009).
Some of the most important documents include the following:
- notes from teachers or other service providers
- communications from the school about your child
- past IEPs
- any notes you have kept on particular observations
- any forms or materials you have completed for the school
- outside agency information (i.e. medical doctor notes, psychologist notes)
- current IEP
- a blank IEP form from your child's school
- parent rights handbook
- a list of contact information of resources for support and assistance inside and outside the district
An organizational method is critical for keeping track of the multitude of documents associated with having a special needs child. Not having one is likely to result in your child receiving less than adequate services.
Information such as this can be obtained in the book referenced above: The Complete IEP Guide, by Attorney Lawrence M. Siegel. This is a wonderful reference tool with practical advice and sample forms that you can use as you need.