On Thursday, February 25th, parents had the opportunity to attend the Lunch & Learn, A Parent’s Guide to ARD Meetings at the InKids main site in Humble. The workshop was led by InKids Program Director Kristen Vaughn, BCBA. Lunch & Learn workshops are often a favorite of parents due to the casual and intimate atmosphere (registration is limited to 12-15 participants typically) and the free lunch! If interested in receiving emails regarding registration for these events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this Lunch & Learn, parents learned common acronyms used at ARD meetings such as FIE, FBA, IEP, BIP, ESY, and PLAAFP, just to name a few! Kristen walked the parents through a typical ARD agenda, pointing out when in the meeting to address the child’s specific needs and how to address concerns parents might have with current services. Kristen also clarified the difference between accommodations and modifications and when it is appropriate to advocate for either of these services. Participants discussed the importance of documenting conversations with school personnel as well as the need and the usefulness of having the school take data on BIP and IEP objectives.
What is the biggest tip Kristen gave to all attendees? Ask for and review the IEP and BIP before the ARD meeting! Parents were able to receive answers to questions such as “What do I do if I find out the school is not following my child’s BIP?”, “What do I do if I do not agree with the evaluation or IEP goals?”, “How do I request an FBA?” and “Who should be conducting an FBA?” Parents were also able to share common experiences with other parents and talk through some of the challenges they have faced when advocating for their child during ARD meetings.
When asked why this Lunch and Learn topic was an important one for parents, Kristen said “I think it is important for parents to understand the ARD meeting process, because they are the best advocate for their kid.”