An IEP, also known as an Individualized Education Program, is required for special education students during their academic years. An IEP spells out the exact needs your student will require when attending classes. The IEP further explains the type of services the school will offer the student as well as how the student’s academic progress will be assessed. When creating the IEP, the school and parents work together to figure out what will best benefit the student while they are in school. This team work ensures that the school and the parents keep open communication and are on the same page regarding the child’s special needs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires public schools to create an IEP for every student receiving special education services. Children with special needs from three years old to high school graduates are eligible for an IEP. By law, this legally binding document must include:

  • A statement of the student’s current level of academic performance
  • The student’s academic goals for the school year
  • Special education services that the school will provide to help the student reach their goals
  • Accommodations/Modifications the school will provide to help the student progress, including accommodations during tests.
  • How the school will measure the student’s progress throughout the year
  • Teens receive transition planning to prepare for life after high school

When attending an IEP meeting, do not be intimidated by the many school administration and staff that will be a part of the meeting. Remember that the school will be working with you to create an IEP fit for your student’s needs. Actively participate in the IEP meeting by asking questions, taking prepared notes to clearly communicate your thoughts, and staying calm. These meetings can be stressful and you may want to never deal with an IEP again, but make sure to follow up with school staff to ensure your student is receiving the needs specified for them.

Is your special needs student not receiving the appropriate services to advance in their academic goals? If you’re having trouble with an IEP that is not being implemented by the school, reach out to an experienced attorney. The special education law attorneys at Erickson Law Offices have been defending the rights of children with disabilities for years. Give us a call to set up a free 30-minute consultation.