The Parent IEP Lab

The Parent IEP Lab

Turn into the parent advocate your child needs now by gathering context to how the process and system work so you can ask informed questions of your IEP team and get your child supported in school!! This podcast aims to help you secure an IEP that provides a positive learning environment for your child without having to fight with the school by sharing "insider" information about school and IEP culture along with strategies effective parent advocates use to get what they need for their child! The IEP Lab offers: The Ultimate Parent IEP Prep Course to kick IEP meeting stress to the curb by guiding you through narrowing your advocacy focus, writing your vision statment, parent input statement, and teaching you HOW to advocate for the best chance of success! Find out more at The Parent Advocacy Club is your support option that focuses on ongoing training and support for parent advocates including a monthly themed training, two digital download tools, a live Q&A with Beth, a Parent Connections group hosted by fellow parent advocacy Chellor Crossley, and a private Facebook group -- all for just $24/month! Join at


November 21, 2023 29 mins

Does the eligibility category matter?

My knee-jerk reaction is "NO!" BUT...there are several reasons why it can sometimes relate to what services and supports your child receives. 

Listen to this episode if you have an iniital eligibility meeting or a re-evaluation meeting coming up!


New Course! If you are new to the IEP process and want to kickoff your advocacy on solid ground, check out The IEP Basics Mini-Cour...

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Ever wonder what these "dyslexia schools" are all about? How do you find one? Get into one? How much do they cost? And will your current district pay for them?

Today our guest, Lisa Parnello of Parnello education, has all the answers for us (including outside placements that aren't for dyslexia challenges, too!)

Connect with Lisa: 

Dyslexia Devoted Podcast:

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November 7, 2023 14 mins

Are you stairing at your child's progress reports and wondering what the heck is happening and trying to figure out if they are actually making progress?

Tume into this episode to get a behind the scenes peek at progress reports and some common challenges.... well as a discussion on HOW to fix those progress reports and goals both in the short term as a quick-fix, and in the long term!

This is essentially how you ensure your ...

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Are you tired of everyone talking about self-care and how important it is to be level-headed when advocating...

...but needing help in having some tools to actually DO that? It's so much harder to put into practice. 

Today, Denise Kleinman is helping to introduce an actual tool you can use to process your advocacy emotions to have them stop getting in the way of effective advocacy. 

Topics we address on this episode:

1) Why advocat...

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October 24, 2023 20 mins

It's time we talk about 504's...

Because this under-rated and often misunderstood learning plan is pretty amazing when it works and it's being implented! 

...but pretty useless if it's not. 

Topics we cover today are: 

1) 504's vs IEP (let's review the difference!)

2) Can you have BOTH an IEP & 504? (hint: I see this answered incorrectly alll the time!)

3) Common issues with 504's (ex: it not being implemented). 

FREE Accommodation...

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The #1 thing I help parent advocates do is to focus in on WHAT their advocacy should be focused on. 

SO! It's not suprising that we have to back up and ask ourselves some questions about the plan in place, and how it's working and how it isn't! 

This is the recording of the free webinar we held last week to help parents answer 3 questions to determine if their child's IEP/504/other learning plan was effective, and YOU can listen to...

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Ever wonder what evaluation test questions are like? Ever wonder if your child's knowledge is being truly captured in the evaluation report?

Dr. Tinita Kearney, a speech language pathologist and PhD, discusses the importance of culturally relevant and dynamic evaluations and what that actually looks and sounds like.

Here are some keys to the ep...

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October 3, 2023 23 mins

I overheard some teachers talking in a coffee shop a while ago...and I while I sat listening to them...offended...I also thought about how we (meaning you...and me!) can persuade them to think a little deeper.

Read more

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In this episode, we dive into the topic of advocating when you are in a separated or divorced situation, and we have a fantastic guest joining us, Billie Tarascio of Modern Law.

5 keys that you'll learn:

  1. Understanding your child's educational rights: We'll discuss the concept of educational rights, both at the federal level (think IDEA!) a...
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September 19, 2023 13 mins

We all hear that we need to have our child's strengths in the IEPs...but what does that actually look like?

Here's the main topics we are covering today:

-Explanation of why IEPs are typically negative

  • Importance of incorporating a child's strengths into the IEP
  • Frustrations w...
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Behavior has many different underlying layers -- and one often overlooked is trauma. Join me in learning from Angie Grandt, an adoption coach as she takes us through her advocacy journey and how to advocate for looking at that layer underneith behavior!

In this episode we cover:

  1. The importance of recognizing behavioral issues rooted in trauma within the IEP process.
  2. Angi...
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In this episode, we dive into progress reports and discuss what you need to look for and how important they are for your child's education.

Here's a quick rundown of what you can expect in the episode:

-An overview of the importance of progress reports and how they help gauge the effectiveness of your child's IEP...

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Did you know that your state likely has a state parent center? I've heard from many parents that they are connected to theirs, and it's a great way to connect to your local resources!

Join me on this week's episode with Erin Camper from Colorado's Peak Parent Center letting us know what State Parent Centers are all about!

Hurry and get 10% off your Parent Advocacy Club Membership prior to August 31st -- just in time for our Semptem...

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From freebies to courses to summits, here is the plan to support you as a parent advocate this 2023-2024 school year!

HAPPENING NOW The Ultimate Parent IEP Prep Course is open for fall enrollment until Thursday, August 24th, 2023! Go to to find out more!

Freebie & Resource Page: 



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Do you know it's possible to have more than one IEP meeting (otherwise an "IEP continuation meeting?" 

Now you do!

But do you want 1? Or 2? Or 5?

Maybe there isn't a magic number, but there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of multiple meetings, and we are going to discuss them all!

We cover:

1) The parent right to have more than one IEP meeting

2) When to ask for a continuation meeting

3) Case Manager personality and meet...

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Do you know that it's within your Parent Rights to bring someone to your IEP meeting?

Yes? Awesome!

But wait...who should you bring?

Is it a friend? Fellow parent? Family member? Or maybe an advocate or lawyer?

In this episode we discuss 5 different reasons why you would want to bring someone to your IEP meeting.

BUT WAIT...there's more! We also dicuss the advantages AND disadvantages of bringing someone with you (and yes-there ARE...

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August 1, 2023 14 mins

You've tried everything -- and that relationship is just not awesome. How can you get un-stuck in your advocacy this year?

In this episode we cover:

1) The reasons why you may be feeling like you are hitting a brick wall when it comes to advocating with some school IEP team members

2) 5 options for small actions that skirt you over under or through that barrier to advocacy

Check out the newly updated free resources page! https://th...

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CPS (Collaboritive Proactive Solutions) is a model that takes it a step deeper than "behavior" to find support needs or difficulties, and is also a model that teaches problem solving and buiding rapport. 

Santana Ficken is a mental health provider and autustic adult that works as an advocate with Minasota NEAT, Minnesota Neurodivergent Education, Advocacy, and Therapy Services (MnNEAT), a non-profit group that specialized in suppor...

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Sitting on the "school side" of the IEP table gave me a TON of insights into what approach to the team (suprisingly regardless of case manager personality!) was the most effective. 

Feel like a "bulldog" at IEP meetings? Chances are, behind the scenes your child isn't getting truly the best service. 

Feel like you have no input to share and you are lost in the process? We can give you some confidence to know what to ask and what yo...

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July 11, 2023 35 mins

It keeps coming up again and share your vision statement with your school IEP team is a MUST-DO to have a great year this year!

So if you need some examples and a free guide to boot, this is your episode to brush up on how to write one and refocus for this coming school year!


Download the Vision Statement Guide:

25% OFF workshops and courses with code SUMMER

Join the Facebook ...

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