What is an IEP?
An Individual Education Program is defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1414 (d)(1)(a). An IEP is basically a contract between the school and a child who is identified as having a disability under the IDEA who needs special education. Usually this comes about because the child has a condition that interferes with the ability to learn and the parent or teacher notices the child is having trouble keeping up with their peers. After the condition is identified and it is noted that the child qualifies for help, an IEP is created. The IEP sets goals for the child and details the services the school will provide. An IEP meeting will take place to determine the needs of the child and how to meet those needs. School staff, teachers, other professionals, and the child’s parents are usually present at the IEP meeting and a plan is created.
As the name indicates, the IEP is individualized for the child. Once the IEP is in place, the school follows the plan to help the child excel. If your child is struggling in school and has a condition you believe is the cause of his or her struggles, please bring it to the attention of your child’s teachers. I’m sure your child’s teachers would be more than willing to help.