Education Law

What is an IEP, and does my child need one?

By Federal law, all children educated in the United States are entitled to receive a benefit from that education. Federal law recognizes that children with disabilities may need additional services to derive the same benefit from education as a child without that disability.

An Individualized Education Program, commonly called an IEP, is a specific set of measurable goals, individually tailored to a child with an identified disability, designed to ensure the child is receiving a benefit from his/her education.

A child’s IEP determines what special education services will be provided to that child and his/her family. Some examples of services include one on one classroom instruction, assistive technology, additional time on tests or homework, and modified curriculum. The services provided are dependent on your child’s qualifying disability.

To qualify for an IEP, a child must fall under the definition of one of the disabilities as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. The IDEA is a Federal statute that requires schools to provide special education services for children with disabilities.

Some qualifying disabilities include mental retardation, autism, speech or language impairment, visual impairment, serious emotional disturbance, traumatic brains injury, and dyslexia.

All children with a qualifying disability are entitled to receive special education services through an IEP. If your child has a disability, your child should have an IEP.

If your child has a disability and does not have an IEP, contact our office to begin the IEP process. If you believe your child may have a disability, contact our office for advice on beginning the assessment process.

Parents have the right to participate in their child’s education. Parents of a child with a disability have the right to input on the IEP and on how they will be educated. No one knows your child’s his/her needs better than you. Take control of your child’s IEP.

Contact our office for assistance with the IEP process. Participating in your child’s education is one of the most important things you can do to set your child up for future success.

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