Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's an Individual Education Program (IEP)

An IEP is what follows an evaluation.  After the screening comes the evaluation and after the evaluation comes eligibility then IEP.  “The Individualized Education Program (or IEP) lays out the school’s commitment to provide special education and related services to eligible students. Each eligible student must have an IEP in effect before he or she can receive special education and related service”

I like to remind my parents that the school is under federal law to provide these services therefore if they are not providing the services that the child on the IEP deserves/requires to make educational gains then they are breaking the law.  Parents feel that the school and their employees are the ones in charge when they go the annual IEP meeting because it is held at the school and after all “they are the professionals”.

It is true that it is the schools responsibility to provide the services but it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the services are being provided.  In a perfect world everybody would just do what is right but what happens many times is that people just do what is easiest.  After all we are all just human, I am sure everybody at times does this however when the school is doing this the school and its employees are directly affecting your child and his/hers education.

My purpose in making this blog is to create a resource to empower parents with information so they will not become a parent that says “if I knew then what I knew now my child would be better off”.  Those are heart breaking words, words that I do not want any of my parents that I work with to say and this blog is my feeble attempt to prevent those words from being spoken.  Parents often learn the hard way how IEP’s work and therefore their children suffer.

Here is a pamphlet I found that has a lot of good general information about what parents should know if their child has an IEP.  Also here is another short article that spells out IEP's and lays out some of the laws that parents need to know about.

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