Step 4: Making a Plan for Services - Your IFSP
Strategies for a successful IFSP meeting
Some families have said the IFSP is hard work! It is very important for you to take an active part in the meeting. This is the BEST way to the BEST plan for you and your family.
- Think about – and make plans for – someone to help you if your baby or toddler and/or other children will be at the meeting. Even if your meeting is at home, children can be distracting!
- Plan to start on time.
- Be prepared. Make a list of questions or matters you want to discuss. Have paper and a pen or pencil ready to take notes.
- Listen to what other team members have to say.
- Be clear about what you want.
- Ask questions when you don't understand something.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help!
At the IFSP meeting
Working on the IFSP is a team effort! You, your service coordinator, your child's evaluators, your Early Intervention Official, and others who take part will:
- Review all the information that has been gathered about your child.
- Talk about your family's resources, priorities, and concerns.
- Develop the outcomes - or goals - expected for your child and family from early intervention services.
- Work on strategies, activities, and services that will lead to the outcomes you hope to reach.
- Agree to the measures and timelines that will be used to look at the progress your child and family are making.
You have the right to say yes or no to any of the services talked about at your IFSP meeting. To include a service in your IFSP, you and your Early Intervention Official (or Early Intervention Official designee) must agree to the service. Others can give their opinion – but you and the Early Intervention Official have the final decision.
If you and the Early Intervention Official disagree about an early intervention service you think your child needs, you can ask for a mediation and/or impartial hearing to settle your differences. In the meantime, the early intervention services you and your Early Intervention Official do agree on will be provided.
You will be asked to sign your IFSP when the plan is finished. Participating in the Early Intervention Program is voluntary. When you sign the IFSP, you show that you were at the IFSP meeting and that you agree to the services in the plan. You are also giving your permission to start early intervention services.
The IFSP is an important document! If you need extra time to think about the plan, ask for it. You may want to discuss the plan with other family members or review it to make sure it meets the needs of your child and family.