If you have been through the IEP (Individualized Education Process) process you know how stressful and overwhelming the process can be. I’ve personally talked with numerous parents about the IEP process and the one thing we all agree on is how much anxiety it causes. Here on the blog, I have discussed How to Prepare for Your IEP Meeting, now I want to discuss Tips for Dealing with IEP Anxiety!
Leading up to the IEP Meeting I can feel anxiety creep up in my body! My meeting this year was probably one of the best meetings I’ve ever had. I read over the IEP, then went to the Student Advocacy and Support Services Office and we contacted the school district and agreed to everything over the phone. I signed the document and we scanned it and sent it to our district and I was later emailed the full IEP. Easy Peasy, right!
WRONG! That morning I was a complete mess! Even though I knew ahead of time what the meeting was going to be like because I was given the heads up since I work at the school. I couldn’t sleep the night before, the morning of the meeting my stomach was messed up and I couldn’t focus on any of my own work until after the meeting was over. I was sitting at my desk wondering what was up with me that day, then I was like wait you have anxiety from your meeting coming up.
Soon after my meeting, I wrote a list of ways to help myself overcome anxiety and I am sharing these tips with you to help you for future meetings…
- Try to get a good nights rest before attending your meeting
- Take some Melatonin if you need assistance to help you rest
- Drink tea (Chamomile or Lavender) to help calm your nerves
- Diffuse some calming oils; Lavender, Young Living Peace & Calming, or Stress-Away
- Eat Breakfast
- Breathing Exercises on the Apple Watch, if you don’t have an Apple Watch…Breath in 4 seconds then exhale for 4 seconds, do this off and on for a minute (learned this exercise in Grief Counseling)
- Try to schedule your meeting early in the morning so you don’t have to go all-day thinking about your meeting
- Prayer and Meditation
- Listen to Calming Music prior to going in
- Have a relaxing/or pep talk with your spouse…or even discuss something funny this method always helps my husband and me during stressful times.
Honestly, no matter what you do to prep for the renewal of your child’s IEP or ETR when you walk into the office for your meeting you are going to be stressed. I wish I could say there was a way to get rid of the stress altogether but often times it not. These tips I have shared can help you in not making yourself sick with anxiety but it probably won’t make them go away totally. What they’re here for is to help mentally prepare for the meeting you’re walking into.
Also, check out How to Prep for Your IEP Meeting…