The Basics of an IEP

The Basics of an IEP

Back to school means that a lot of IEP’s are going to be in progress throughout the school year, and some very soon. My daughter’s is due next month so it’s on my mind! Are you new to IEPs? Here are the basics you should know. What is an IEP? An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a written document recording the education plan for a special needs student, basically any type of student with a learning diability. The IEP contains information about the disability, where the child is developmentally, what they need to learn, the goals for the school year, what services the school will provide the student and details about the learning environment. Goals that can be measured are created and documented to determine what improvements have been made year over year. Why do students need an IEP? Well, frankly, the Individuals with Disabilities Act requires it. By the law that every special needs student in the school system has a learning plan set out specifically for them that is created with the specifics for their learning ability and goals. The IEP will help the school and everyone providing services be on the same page, everyone involved in the students education has clearly outlined the needs of the student and what services are going to be provided. How is the IEP created? The IEP is created through a meeting in which all of the people involved in the student’s education meet together, review and discuss all of the goals. Who is in the IEP Meeting? The student. The parents. The student’s grade teacher (required). The special education teacher...
It Starts At School

It Starts At School

Ahhh tis the season… the season for school. What? School? Are we already thinking about school? Yes! In fact, some kids are already back to school and most will be at the end of the month. This is me, over here, embarrassingly doing a little happy dance. My kids need an outlet and giving them the outlet during summer is challenging for me to do on my own! However, I stop the happy dance to get back to reality and the gist of it is that it’s an interesting time of the year for special needs parents as we step right back into many unknown things for our children. We will have to get another IEP going, we will need to meet the new teachers, new paras, new children! I am already more than a little freaked out thinking about sending my kids off to the first year of all day school! This is stressful for parents of typical children but the ante has been upped! A few hours was one thing but we now have to add diaper changes, feedings and naps to Dylan’s school day. One thing that I plan to do this year is take a few minutes to give a special introduction of Dylan in her classroom. I had every intention of doing it last year but honestly? I was a little uncomfortable. (Really? In front of Kindergartners?!) By the time I got to know the kids a little better through volunteering in the classroom, I felt the moment had passed. What a missed opportunity! Knowing what to say when someone asks about our special...