What is an IEP and why are they used? | TeachTastic


What is an IEP and why are they used?

An IEP is a document that outlines a student's specific educational needs and goals. It is written by a team of educators, therapists, and parents, and it is tailored to the individual student. The goal of an IEP is to ensure that the student receives a personalized education that meets their unique needs.


There are four key components of an IEP:

  1. Identification of the student's disability and any special needs

  2. Goals for the student's education

  3. The services and supports that will be provided to help the student meet those goals

  4. The timeline for reviewing and updating the IEP

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) both work to ensure that every child receives equal access to educational opportunities. An Individualized Educational Program or IEP is an important document for children who have disabilities so they get the best possible education experience.


Why do kids need an IEP?

An Individualized Education Plan or IEP is a plan for students who have learning difficulties such as ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, and Asperger's Syndrome. It is also for students who need special equipment to help them learn (such as glasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, and communication devices.) Every child deserves an IEP no matter what their abilities are.


Why have I never heard of an IEP?

An Individualized Education Plan or IEP has been around since 1975, but many parents or teachers don't know about it. If your child has a learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, Autism, or Asperger's Syndrome, they might qualify for an IEP.



How do I get an IEP?

You can request that the school provide one for your child by calling their special education teacher or principal. The school will check your child's records and determine if an IEP is appropriate. If it is, they can provide you with the necessary forms for setting up a meeting to write the IEP.


What does an IEP cover?

An Individualized Education Plan or IEP covers what your child needs to learn in school. It also covers the type of support services your child will receive when they are in school, for example:

  • Teaching methods

  • Modified work or tests

  • What kind of objectives and goals your child should be working on (short and long-term)

  • Who is going to provide that support

  • Who is going to monitor your child's progress

  • How often the school should update the IEP


What does an IEP look like?

An Individualized Education Plan or IEP for a student with special needs will have all kinds of information. In this example it would include:

  • The name of the student and their birthdate

  • Their present level of performance and how it relates to what they should be able to accomplish for their age

  • What kinds of courses your child can take in high school (the regular ones or special education)

  • What kinds of goals your child should be working on (long and short-term)

  • What type of support services your child will receive in school (tutoring, job coaching, speech therapy, etc.)

  • Who is responsible for providing that support (typically the school, but it might also include parent volunteers or aides)

  • How often the school should update the IEP (every three to six months)

  • How often your child should be tested (typically every year)

An Individualized Education Plan or IEP is a legal document that spells out what kind of special education and related services a student with special needs will receive in school. It can cover physical, emotional, sensory, and medical needs as well. In order for a child to get an education in the United States, schools must provide certain services according to what their Individualized Education Plan or IEP says they should be getting.

Why is an IEP important

An IEP is important because it ensures that the student receives the appropriate level of support to meet their individual needs and goals. An IEP can help ensure that the student has a successful school experience and is able to reach their full potential.


How to create a personalized education plan for your student

Creating a personalized education plan for your student can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Here are four steps to help you get started:


1. IDENTIFY YOUR STUDENT'S DISABILITY AND ANY SPECIAL NEEDS

The first step is to identify your student's disability and any special needs. This will help you to create a targeted plan that meets your student's specific needs.

2. DETERMINE THE GOALS FOR YOUR STUDENT'S EDUCATION

The next step is to determine the goals for your student's education. These goals should be based on your student's unique needs and abilities.

3. DESIGNATE THE SERVICES AND SUPPORTS THAT WILL HELP YOUR STUDENT MEET THEIR GOALS

Once you have established the goals for your student's education, it is time to determine the services and supports that will help them meet those goals. These can be provided by an individual therapist or as part of a larger team (like the special education teacher, general education teacher, etc.)

4. WRITE YOUR STUDENT'S IEP

Once you have completed your IEP, write it up and have a team meeting to discuss the contents of the plan. If everyone agrees on what will be in the plan, then you are good to go! For a more detailed guide on how to create an IEP, click here.


What does an IEP look like?

An IEP will always begin with a section for identifying the student's disability or disabilities. It will also list any identified special needs, as well as the student's primary placement (i.e., whether they are in general education or receive special services).


The next section of an IEP should include the student's short and long-term goals. These will be based on what you identified as your student's needs in the first section. Goals can cover a wide range of things, from physical therapy to social skills to specific educational concepts such as math facts or reading comprehension.


The next section of an IEP is for specifying the services and supports that will help the student meet their goals. This section should include information about all parties who are involved in working with your student, as well as an estimated timeline for reviewing and updating the IEP.

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