Understanding the IEP Process

 Check out the IEP PARENT GUIDE!

The IEP process can range from an easy conversation with your school to a complicated mess. This section hopes to clarify the process so that as a parent, you can work collaboratively with your school and ensure that your child receives the most appropriate services.

An IEP is defined as a written plan defining the program that is designed to meet the unique needs of one child. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires public school districts to develop an individualized plan for every child who qualifies as having one of the identified thirteen disabilities identified by IDEA as a qualifying condition for special education.

 The special education evaluation determines if a student is eligible for services and if so, what programs are appropriate. 
 

There are five important steps to the IEP process that every parent should understand.  These include:

1. Referral for a Special Education Evaluation

2. The Evaluation

3. Determining Eligibility

4. Writing the Individual Education Program

5. The IEP Meeting

For those of you who prefer to process this information in a workbook format, I've created the  IEP Parent Guide just for you. It can be downloaded directly to your computer or purchased as a printed hard copy book. You can read more about it and view the table of contents to see if you'd find it valuable.

There are also things you can do to prepare yourself for the meeting and reduce anxiety. The section on successful meeting strategies can provide you with some excellent suggestions.

For most parents, the first step in the IEP process is the referral process so let's begin there. Or, you can click on any of the links above and go directly to the section you'd like to learn more about.

To read inspirational words of support from other parents of children with special needs or to submit your own, visit the Comfort Wall