For the first time ever, I went to an IEP meeting with a client and the educational team wasn’t there. Details on the communications snafu are being investigated by the big boss, but I thought it useful to write up how we handled it, just in case it happens to you.
The resource room teacher greeted us and started calling administrators, program managers and visiting classrooms. Turns out nobody knew there was a meeting scheduled, except the resource room teacher. As the advocate, my best course of action was to document the event, and then let the big boss at the district office know there’s a series process problem in his organization. I dialed his number, got him on the phone, informed him of the situation (of which he assured me he was already aware) and got his agreement that there would be an IEP meeting scheduled immediately. The urgency for the family to have this meeting and plan for the child’s transition to a new school was also important for me to communicate.
The resource room teacher documented that we were there and what had happened. The client and I requested and received a copy, and the whole thing was over in 25 minutes. That’s about all you can do.
On the bright side, client put in writing her request to have key players from new school attend subsequent meeting. I assured the client that the chances of this happening again were right about zero now because we’ve gotten their attention. These things happen; knowing how to handle them unemotionally and professionally is the key skill to learn.