IEP Essentials for Parents!

What you need to know to help your child succeed!

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What is an IEP?

An IEP stands for Individualized Educational Plan which means that students will receive the accommodations that he/she needs to be able to succeed in school. These accommodations may change every year or stay the same and follow your child through college. The following video will explain what IEP is in more depth.
What Is an IEP?

How to determine if your child requires an IEP?

There are a few different steps that must be taken in order to decide if your child requires an IEP. The first step of this process is to request an educational evaluation. This can be done by you or your child's teacher, but before the school can do anything they must receive the parents permission. After this has been requested the school will set up a team of professionals to do the evaluation.

The second step of this process is giving your child a serious of test and reviewing your child's school records.

After the testing is complete the third step will begin, this step is having the elevator write a report based on your child's test scores along with a summary of the findings, and recommendations on how to help your child. Then you will meet with the IEP team and discuss what your next step should be.

If it is discovered that your child has a learning disability you will began step four of the process. This step will decide if he/she needs accommodations. The fifth and final step will be to create your child's IEP.

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What happens at the IEP meeting?

An IEP sounds scary and complicated but once you learn a few things about how it works it will be exciting and informative. If your student is in need of an IEP the school will help create the IEP team and you will meet to create the right educational path for your child. In the IEP meeting you will meet with the IEP team and outline the individualized accommodations, modifications, special education, and any-other services your child may require.

Who should be at your child's IEP meeting?

At an IEP meeting they are usually between 5-6 people there. The parents are always encouraged to be there along with the student. As parents you will be at the meeting to provide incite on your child's home life and what you think would best help your child. Your child would be at the meeting so that he/she can share what they are struggling with and what they think could help.

Also at IEP meetings they should be a few of your students teachers whether it be a special educational teacher or general education teacher and sometimes both. The teachers are there to provide knowledge on where they have noticed your child is struggling and maybe ideas of what they have done for previous students that may help your child.

The other people at an IEP meeting are the principle, and the school psychologist. The principle is there to provide knowledge on the availability of schools resources for your child. The psychologist is there to interpret and explain your child's test results and what those results qualify him/her for.

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How can an IEP help your child?

I Have been talking to all of you about what an IEP does, how to get one, and who should be at the meeting I think now you need to understand how this can help your child. IEP's will give your child their very own individualized educational plan. This means that they will get accommodations that work for them whether that be extra time on test, someone taking notes for them, taking their test outside the classroom, getting to use their notes on a test, or one of the other multiple accommodations that your child can receive. these accommodations make it so your child can learn in his/ her best learning style. IEP's can change your child's whole life. Once they begin receiving they help that they need school wont be as hard or as scary anymore and they will actually be learning the information.

Example Story

From kindergarten through twelfth grade Lilly struggled in school. she would work late into the nights with her mom on school work, she would study for tests for weeks, she took hours on assignment but continued to struggle. Because of her moms help and their determination she was never held back and never failed a single class.

In the middle of her senor year Lilly and her mom were talking because she was beginning to struggle even more. she had failed every test that year and was barely passing her classes. Lilly's mom thought they should get her tested to see if she had a slight learning disability.

After a few months of test they came to the conclusion that Lilly had didactic dyslexia, and an audio and visual possessing disorder. Sometimes these disabilities are enough for the student to be in a special education class.

Once Lilly and her mom got the test results back they went and set up an IEP meeting. Lilly got the accommodations she needed which was extra time on test, she could use her notes on test, and take them in a separate room. These few things completely changed Lilly's school experience. She went from hating to school to loving it because now she was actually learning the information and not just rembering it enough to get through.

This could be your child, don't wait till their senior year to get the help they need. It will change their entire life!

More Resources for you (this website includes multiple links to other websites discussing IEP's, 504, and students with special needs) (this website includes the main ideas for undersetting an IEP) (this website will help you find out how to get the process started to see if your child needs an IEP) (here is another YouTube video that I feel will have a lot of useful information about IEP's)

Written by: Cassidy Scott