What you need to know about your child's IEP

IEP Students
The IEP, Individualized Education Program, is a written plan that describes your child’s special education program including his/her current performance, instructional needs, related services, and goals. Transition planning becomes a part of the IEP when your child reaches age 14.
Transition planning is a process that involves the IEP team, family members, school staff, employers, and community members. During this process, a postsecondary plan is put into place. The plan includes the following information: your child’s strengths/preferences; assessments related to education, employment, and independent living; identification of strategies that will assist your child in attaining his/her postsecondary goals; and agency information (agencies that offer assistance with transition planning).

Related services are additional supportive services required to assist your child with attaining a free, appropriate, public, education ( FAPE). Below are some of the supportive services listed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):

  • Occupational therapy
  • Transportation
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Counseling services (including rehabilitation counseling)
  • School health services
  • Social work services in schools

This list does not include every related service that a child may need or a school may offer.

After the completion of an evaluation that includes the administration of tests, assessments, observations, teacher reports, and any other relevant data, a decision is made as to whether or not your child is eligible for special education and related services. If your child is eligible, a meeting is held to develop your child’s IEP.
Yes, by law, you have the right to participate in the development of your child’s IEP. You know your child best.
IDEA or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law that protects the rights of students with disabilities and their parents. IDEA ensures that students with a disability are afforded a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), and parents have an equal say in the process.
IEP 504 Plan
Description A plan for a child’s complete special educational experience. A plan for how a child will have access to learning at school.
What does the plan provide? Provides individualized special education and related services, such as speech and language, occupational therapy, and counseling. Provides services and modifications to the learning environment to meet the needs of the child as adequately as other students.
What law applies? The individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal special education law for children with disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law that inhibits discrimination against people with disabilities.
Who is eligible?

A child that has been classified with one or more of the 13 specific disabilities listed in IDEA. Learning and attention issues may qualify.

The disability must affect the child’s educational performance and/or ability to learn.

A child that has a disability, which may include learning or attention issues that substantially limits one or more basic life activities, such as learning.

The disability must interfere with the child’s ability to learn in a general education classroom.

Your child has to be reevaluated within three years of the last evaluation unless you waive the three-year reevaluation.
If you disagree with your child’s placement in a public school, you may choose to place your child in a private or nonpublic school. However, you are responsible for the costs, unless it can be proven (due process hearing) that the district failed to provide your child with a free, appropriate, public education.
A due process hearing is a legal process meant to assist in resolving a disagreement between you and the school district.