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Updated: Jul 23, 2022

Parent educator, Disability Consultant and PRAGNYA Ally, Stella Lauerman presented a workshop on January 13 entitled “The Basics of the IEP Process (and tips for a successful IEP meeting!)” on Zoom. This is the first in a series of workshops that PRAGNYA will be presenting from January through March 2022, made possible through funding from the Department of Developmental Services to present the Engaging Neurodiverse Groups Through Allyship, Growthmindset and Empowerment (ENGAGE) parent education program. This grant will enable PRAGNYA to provide training and education for self-advocates and families to become community connectors.

As the parent of a 31-year-old neurodiverse son, Stella has extensive experience in supporting parents in navigating the special education system. Workshop topics included a review of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the eligibility criteria for special education, points of entry into the system and the referral process. Stella then covered each of the crucial seven steps of the IEP process to inform parents of their rights and responsibilities as the first and best advocates for their children.

The IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) for young children from 0-3, and 504 plans (which refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which removes barriers for students with disabilities in public schools and protects them from discrimination), were also discussed. Stella also provided families with IEP resources for support from local advocacy agencies, and links to publications from Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy.

At the end of the presentation, parents were able to ask questions regarding the IEP issues that affect their child. Stella will present this workshop in Spanish on Saturday, January 22 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm.

The remaining workshops in the ENGAGE series are:

Regional Center Supports and Services (English)

  • Saturday, February 5, 9:00 - 10:30 am (Spanish) & Sunday, February 6, 1:00 - 2:30 pm (English)

Help Your Child Plan Their Daily Tasks and Stay Organized! (Executive Functioning Skills)

  • Saturday, March 5, 9:00 - 10:30 am (Spanish) & Sunday, March 6, 1:00 - 2:30 pm (English)

How to be an Effective Parent Advocate for Your Child

  • Saturday, March 12, 9:00 - 10:30 am [time to be confirmed]

Self-Advocacy Skills for Neurodiverse Individuals (presented in English by David Grady, Regional Manager, State Council on Developmental Disabilities, with simultaneous Spanish interpretation)

Check the PRAGNYA website for more information:


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