Has your kid has been identified as requiring special education services to support his or her learning at school? Children need an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to receive special education services. And you will have to play a significant role in shaping the services your kid receives. You are a required member of your kid’s Individualized Education Program team, and your input will be considered in any decisions made by the teams.
What’s an IEP?
The IEP is a legal document that clearly states how a school plans to meet a kid’s special educational needs that result from a disability. The development of the Individualized Education Program is needed as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004). Understanding how to access the IEP can help you be an effective advocate for your kids.
The IEP is the foundation of a kid’s unique education program. The aim of the program is twofold, which is to specify the services the school will offer and set reasonable, quantifiable goals for the kids.
Who needs an IEP?
A kid who has difficulty functioning and learning and has been identified as a unique needs student is the right candidate for an Individualized Education Program. Children struggling in schools may be eligible for support services, allowing them to learn in a particular way. IDEA has outlined thirteen categories of special education. So, before your kids can qualify for an IEP, they must fall under one of them. Also, kids’ disabilities must negatively affect their educational performance. The categories include:
- Deafness blindness
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Traumatic brain injury
- Multiple disabilities
- Visual impairment
- Language or speech impairment
- Orthopedic impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Other health impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
How are the services delivered?
Most times, the goals and services outlined in an IEP can be offered in a regular school environment. This can be done in a standard classroom or a particular resource room in the standard school. However, children who need intense intervention may have to learn in a special school environment. In this setting, the classes usually have fewer students per teacher, thus offering more individualized attention. Plus, the teachers typically have specific training in assisting the kids with special educational needs.
Staying on top of your kid’s IEP
The Individualized Education Program continues well after you put your kid’s plan into place. You will play a significant role in ensuring the plan is working, and your kid is making progress. Over time, your IEP will change along with your kid’s needs. You will also be involved in creating a plan for transitioning your kid out of the IEP towards the end of high school. However, you may need help with IEP Florida, if you don’t know your way around this process.
Need help with IEP Florida?
To learn more about supporting students with special needs in the classroom and IEPs, contact The IEP Advocate. We specialize in working with parents and kids with special educational needs. And we have an in-depth knowledge of both the Individualized Education Program and the special education community in Florida.