How to get an IEP in Florida
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that public schools must create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all children with unique educational needs. However, a lot of parents do not know how to get an IEP in Florida. This ignorance could deny their children a chance at quality education and prevent them from reaching their full potential.
The IEP Advocate is an organization that exists to ensure parents in these shoes are armed with the knowledge they need to get the public school system working for their children. Here is everything you need to know about how to get an IEP in Florida:
Who qualifies for an IEP in Florida?
IEP’s are designed to help special children address their unique educational needs. However, not every struggling student automatically qualifies for an IEP. If you think your child has a learning disability or some other developmental issue that’s affecting their performance in school, you should write a letter to the school principal to request an evaluation. Although they would not make any medical diagnosis, they would organize several tests for your child to determine if an IEP would be beneficial.
To qualify for an IEP, your child must have at least one of the 13 categories of educational disability listed below:
- Intellectual disability (formerly mental retardation)
- Emotional disturbance
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Acquired Brain Injury
- Other Health Impairment
- Multiple disabilities
- Hearing impairment
- Speech or language impairment
- Visual impairment
- Developmental delay for children ages 3-10
- Orthopedic impairment
- Specific learning disabilities
If you want a detailed explanation of each of these educational disabilities, you can get in touch with us at The IEP Advocate.
Do you need a diagnosis for an IEP?
Although a diagnosis may be required to determine eligibility for an IEP in some instances, having a medical diagnosis is not a straight ticket to qualifying for special education. If your child has conditions such as dyslexia or non-verbal learning disorder, they may or may not be eligible for an IEP. The evaluation team is the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to eligibility for an IEP.
How do I get an IEP?
After the school authorities may have evaluated your child, they review the results of the evaluation with you. Together, you will determine if an IEP would help achieve the desired educational goals for your child. Once you both agree your child needs an IEP, your child would be assigned to a team that’ll include the teacher, a special education provider, psychologist, and a district representative.
You can also consider enlisting other professionals, such as a translator or physical therapist, on the team. This team would be responsible for creating a draft IEP, which you would consent to.
Do you still have more questions on how to get an IEP in Florida? The IEP Advocate is the best place to have your questions answered. Our team comprises more than 30 passionate workers who are determined to see your child get the education they deserve. Get in touch with us today, and you’ll be glad you did.