Important Components of an IEP

A Parent Friendly Guide

What is an IEP?

First is important to know what an IEP actually is!

  • IEP: Individualized Education Program; developed to make sure a child who has a disability and was identified under the law and is attending school, receives specialized instruction and related services.

What is involved when my child has an IEP?

  • IEP meeting: meeting to discuss the child's Individualized Education Program as well as accommodations and modifications the child may need.

Other terms to know when attending an IEP meeting:

  • Accommodation: change how a student learns the material
  • Modifications: change what a student is taught or expected to learn

Components of the IEP

  1. Identifying Information: section that includes general information such as parent/guardian names, address, phone number, the child's name, child's birthday, grade level and school
  2. Present Level of Performance: provides a description of how the child is performing in all academic, cognitive (thinking, understanding, learning and remembering), behavioral, and physical areas.
  3. Annual Goals: goals that the child can reasonable achieve within the school year. These goals can be academically related or behavioral, social and physical development related. This section will also explain how the child's progress will be measured.
  4. Supports and Services: outlines the services the child will receive at school such as speech therapy, occupational therapy or direct intervention services. This section will also discuss additional supports the child may need such as a paraprofessional, special training the teacher may need or AAC devices.
  5. Modifications and Accommodations: This section covers anything the child may need to support their learning the necessary curriculum. See above for the difference between these two terms.
  6. Participation in the General Education Classroom: includes the percentage of time the child will spend in the general education classroom with peers and the percentage of time the child will spend in a special education setting.
  7. Transition Services: This section discusses post secondary goals ( goals that follow high school) and skills to function independently outside of the time or necessary living skills. The goals explained in this section are usually developed with the student and each IEP goal is made with these end goals in mind.
  8. Signature Page: Everyone who attended the IEP meeting..signs this page! As the child's parent you are not required to sign right then and there at the meeting. You can take a draft home to look over before returning the signed form.

*Remember that nothing in the IEP is set in stone, and if the child's needs change throughout the year, you as the parent can request an additional meeting to address changes to the IEP*


Mood, A. (2015, August 21). The IEP Decoded: A Parent's Guide by a Special Education Teacher. Retrieved April 04, 2016, from