What is in an IEP?

Parent's Guide to the Individualized Education Plan Process

What is an IEP and what does it stand for?

An (IEP) is an Individualized Education Plan, also called an Individualized Education Program, is a legally binding written plan for serving students with disabilities ages 3-21 years old. (Turnbull et al., 2014).

The IEP Team Process: Chapter 1 - IDEA and IEPs

What is and what happens in an IEP Meeting?

The IEP meeting is a conference or series of conferences where the IEP team--- individuals involved in creating the IEP--- meets to decide and mandate what is the appropriate education for a student. This includes the IEP document, participants who create the IEP, the make-up or components of the IEP, timelines, and IEP conferences or meetings (Turnbull et al., 2014).

The IEP Team Process: Chapter 5 - The IEP Meeting

Who make's up an IEP Team?

Members of an IEP team include:

a. Student’s parent(s) or guardian(s)

b. At least one of a students’ general education teacher

c. At least one special education teacher

d. A representative of a local school system

e. An expert who can interpret your child’s evaluation results

f. Your child*

g. A translator

Additional optional team members:

a. A parent advocate: according to the Family Advocacy Center http://www.familyadvocacycenter.org/Advocacy.html

b. A friend

- Friends are welcome to take notes or provide emotional support for the parent (s).

The IEP Team Process: Chapter 2 - The IEP Team

4. What makes up an IEP?

A. Identifying Information (student profile)

-name, grade level, parent (s)/ guardian(s)

B. Present Levels of Performance (student profile)

- a description of how your child is performing in all academic, cognitive, behavioral, and

physical areas. How does their disability affect learning?

C. Annual Goals

-Each year, your child's IEP team — which includes you, as her parent or guardian — will

develop goals that she can reasonably achieve within the year. These targets can focus on

academic or other needs, including behavioral, social, or physical development.

D. Supports and Services

-This section will outline the special education services that your child will receive at

school, which could include, for example, speech therapy, occupational therapy, or direct

intervention from a special education teacher. This portion will also cover additional

supports she might require, such as an extended school year or a one-on-one


E. Modifications and Accommodations

-This section differs slightly from “Supports & Services,” and covers anything your child

may need to support her learning the curriculum. Modifications refer to changes to the

material taught to your child or expectations for her.

F. Participation in General Education Classrooms

-The IEP must include the percentage of time your child will spend in a general education

class with peers, along with the percentage of time she will be in a special education


G. Transition Service Needs

-If your child is over the age of 14, her IEP must address the courses she will need to

graduate from high school. Beginning at the age of 16, an IEP should also include a

statement about the services (if any) that your child will need as she transitions out of


-Determining post-secondary goals — that is, those that follow high school — depends

largely on your child’s functioning. These plans may include going to college, a trade

school, or getting a job. Alternatively, they may focus on teaching her the skills to

function independently outside of the home or to attain living skills like making meals for

herself. These goals are usually developed together with the student, and each

subsequent year’s IEP goals are created with these aims in mind.

The IEP Team Process: Chapter 3 - What's Included in the IEP

How Can You Prepare for Your Child's IEP Meeting?

a. Invitation to Meeting

-the purpose, time, and location of the meeting

-who will be at the meeting

b. Signature Page

- legally binding and necessary for confirmation of attendance at an IEP meeting.

- available to make notations regarding meeting discussion and decisions.

The IEP Team Process: Chapter 4 - Getting Ready for the IEP Meeting