We suggest that once parents have requested evaluations and draft IEP’ before scheduled school meetings, they read through the documents, then they go through and highlight in various colors any questions they have (strengths/positives; what helps child to learn. Any weaknesses/what might be limiting learning; or any other concerns, etc…) so that you can discuss/re-examine these items during the meeting.
Color-coding is an effective way to organize information that you need to know or reference quickly.
Not only are the bright highlighter colors eye-catching, but they can also serve as a form of mental shorthand. Give names and labels to the different color highlighters you use so you know what they stand for.
Three tips for highlighting and color-coding your child’s draft IEP
Tip #1– Be consistent, avoid confusion,
Use the same colors to signify the same information each time.
Create a highlighter color guide or table and keep it with your IEP copies so you can reference it.
Tip #2 – Limit Your Color Selection
Stick with 3 to 4 highlighter colors (maximum) to keep it simple. This will also allow you to remember what each color means.
Think of color-coding like visual cues/road signs to help you navigate your way through the IEP document you’re reading.
The goal of color-coding is to be able to focus your attention and organize the information logically.
Tip #3 – Don’t over color-code
Don’t highlight everything…only the important things. Give names or labels to each color so that they have a specific purpose, and you know what they stand for. Each color should have a specific purpose and help keep your focus as you navigate through the IEP in the right direction.