Are you the parent of a child with autism or dyslexia, that knows what educational services your child needs, but do not know how to communicate them to special education personnel? A parent input statement, that is written before the IEP meeting, can help you be an effective advocate for your child, and bring up needed educational services that will help your child learn.

A parent input statement is a one page statement, where you can give written input into your child's education. You can include: things that work for your child, things that don't work, academic struggles that they have, behavioral difficulties, any educational or related services that you believe they need, extended school year (ESY), or assistive technology (AT).

Tips for writing a parent input statement:

1. Keep it short, maximum one page.
2. Use facts as much as possible.
3. State what educational and related services you think your child needs, and why.
4. Discuss academic progress or lack of academic progress, and what you think needs to be done about it.
5. Include any adaptations, modifications, educational or related
services that are helping your child with their education.
6. Discuss any behavioral difficulty that your child has, and what the school has done about it. Also state if you feel that they are not handling the behavior/discipline according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

"Parent input statement 9-6-20xx

My son Tommy is 9 years old, is in fourth grade, and receives special education services under the category of Learning Disability (LD). I have received the results of his Woodcock Reading Mastery Test from his teacher, Mrs. Jones. Tommy's Word Identification is at a grade equivalent (GE) of 1.7, word attack (decoding) is GE 2.7 and a basic skills cluster of grade equivalent 1.9. This means that my son Tommy's
reading is at least 2 years below his grade appropriate peers. I am very concerned that if Tommy does not receive appropriate instruction in reading, his like will be negatively affected forever.

IDEA and No Child Left Behind state that curriculum must be
"scientifically research based." What this means is that their is
research to show that the program works to teach children to read. The Orton-Gillingham Methodology of simultaneous multisensory instruction has many years of research to back its effectiveness with teaching children to read. I have information on this methodology that I would like to share with the IEP team.

Tommy, not only needs an Orton-Gillingham reading program, but the person who is teaching him must be trained in this area. My son also needs to receive the program for the recommended length of hime, not less. Tommy is currently receiving 30 minutes a day of reading instruction while the Orton-Gillingham program recommends xx amount per day of instruction. Thank you for working with me to help my son learn to read.

Miss Smith"

Mention at the beginning of the meeting that you have a parent input statement to share with the IEP team. Bring up the statement when you think it is an appropriate time. Bring enough copies for everyone at the meeting, and make sure that it is attached to your child's IEP.

A parent input statement will help you clearly state what educational or related services that your child needs. Remember that for your child to receive an appropriate education the instruction they receive must "give meaningful benefit" to your child.

Author's Bio: 

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families navigate the special education system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Edutators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game." The book has a lot of resources and information to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled "The Special Education Spotlight" send an E mail to For more information on the book, testimonials,and a link to more free articles, go to: