How to Get An IEP for Your Child Once you’ve determined that your child may benefit from an IEP (see WHAT IS AN IEP (INDIVIDUAL
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How to Get An IEP for Your Child
Once you’ve determined that your child may benefit from an IEP (see WHAT IS AN IEP (INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLAN) AND HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD NEEDS ONE?) it’s time to initiate the process of getting one.
Regardless of whether a parent or teacher has determined the need, the process will roughly follow the same sequence.
1. Request for an Evaluation
If you are the parent initiating the process, contact your child’s teacher, either verbally or in writing, and ask them to evaluate your child for an IEP. If you meet resistance, contact your child’s school counselor, resource teacher or principal. If the teacher has initiated the request, a parent’s consent will be needed to conduct an evaluation.
2. Child Evaluation
Your child will be evaluated in the area(s) of their suspected need and this evaluation will be used to decide the child’s eligibility for tutoring services or special education. If you disagree with the outcome of the evaluation you can request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) to be paid for by the school district.
3. Determination of Eligibility
The parents and a group of qualified school professionals will evaluate the results and decide if your child meets the qualifications of needing special assistance. By definition, if your child does not achieve adequately for his age or is not meeting state-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for their age, he may qualify for an IEP:
Basic reading skills
Reading fluency skills
Mathematics problem solving
4. IEP Meeting Scheduled
Once it has been determined that your child is eligible for an IEP, a team must meet to write the IEP for your child within 30 days. The school district will conduct this meeting and must contact the parents so a mutually available time and location will be decided upon.
5. IEP Meeting Conducted
During the IEP meeting, the team of trained school professionals, the child’s parents, and sometimes the child discuss what would be most beneficial for the child’s learning. It is important that parents participate in this meeting as special learning services cannot commence until the parents give their consent. If the parents disagree with any recommendations of the IEP they can make this known at this time. If the team cannot reach a consensus, the parents can request mediation. When a conclusion is reached the parents are provided with a copy of the IEP.
6. IEP Services Are Administered
Services are provided by qualified resource teachers like the ones at Early Intervention LLC. Teachers and service providers have copies of the IEP that they follow closely. This is verified by the school principal and staff.
7. Progress Reports
A child’s progress is periodically evaluated against the goals set out in the IEP and their progress is to be reported to the child’s parents.
8. IEP Review
At least once a year, there is a review of the IEP by the same team of qualified school staff and parents that initially conducted the IEP meeting. If it is deemed that the child will meet the annual goals set out in the IEP, changes are discussed and implemented.
There must be a “triennial” re-evaluation at least every three years to determine if the child is still considered a “child with a disability.” The child’s needs are also redefined at this time. Re-evaluation meetings can be conducted sooner than three years if a need is warranted by the parents or teachers.