Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Linda Leal


Little recent research has examined parents' involvement and satisfaction with their child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). For the current study, parents of children with special needs were surveyed. Out of 1,000 questionnaires mailed out by an agency that provides support to families who have a child with a disability, 348 parents completed and returned the survey. As a result of the parents' written responses, it was determined that 234 (67%) of the children they reported on were boys and 114 (33%) were girls. The age of the children whose parents completed the questionnaire ranged from two to twenty-two. All eligible diagnostic categories included in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were represented in the sample. Results suggest that although many of the parents were satisfied with the IEP process, some parents expressed several significant concerns with their IEP experiences. Approximately one-half of the parents responding described themselves as completely satisfied with the outcome of their child's IEP meeting. The most common positive aspects of the IEP process/meeting reported were related to communication and partnership with the school. However, the most commonly written negative aspects of the IEP process/meeting were the lack of cooperation/shared decision-making and the feeling that their child's individual needs were not being met.