WHAT IS AN IEP?
An Individualized Educational
Program (IEP) describes the special education and related services specifically designed to meet the unique educational needs
of a student with a disability. The program is developed at one or more IEP meetings, and its provisions are detailed in writing
in the IEP.
The IEP is developed by a committee
that includes at least a school administrator, the student's teacher, the parents, and the student when appropriate. It contains
goals and objectives based upon the student's present level of educational performance. These goals and objectives are outlined
by those involved in planning and providing services. In addition, the IEP specifies the educational placement or setting,
and the related services necessary to reach these goals and objectives. It also includes the date the services will begin,
how long they will last, and the way in which student progress will be evaluated.
The IEP can be more than an outline
and management tool of the student's special education program. It can be an opportunity for parents and educators to work
together as equal participants to identify the student's needs, what will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated
outcomes may be. It is a document that is revised as the needs of the student change. The IEP is a commitment in writing of
the resources the school agrees to provide. Also, the periodic review of the IEP serves as an evaluation of the student's
progress toward meeting the educational goals and objectives. Finally, the IEP serves as the focal point for clarifying issues
and cooperative decision making by parents, the student and school personnel in the best interest of the student. For all
of these reasons, the IEP is the cornerstone of special education.
TIMELINES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN IEP
days: An assessment plan must be sent to the parents within 15 calendar days of
receipt of written request for special education.
50 days: An IEP team meeting must be held within 50 calendar days of receipt of the signed assessment plan
(The IEP Notification must be sent 10 calendar days prior to the IEP meeting)
5 days: All student records MUST be made available within 5 school days of receipt of request of school
30 days: Interim placements MUST NOT exceed 30 calendar days. An IEP team meeting must be held during
the 30 day interim placement period.
30 days: An IEP team meeting MUST be held within 30 calendar days of receipt of parents written request
WHAT IS A 504?
A 504 plan is a legal document
falling under the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is designed to plan a program of instructional services
to assist students with special needs who are in a regular education setting. A 504 plan is not an Individualized Education
Program (IEP) as is required for special education students. However, a student moving from a special education to a regular
education placement could be placed under a 504 plan. A sample list of accommodations are presented below:
seat assignment accommodates a disability.
A diabetic child may be permitted to eat in the classroom.
A child may be
permitted to go to the office for the administration of medication.
A student's assignments or testing conditions may be
adjusted (i.e. extensions of time, modification of test questions).
Note: This is a team process where all members
of the team, not just the teacher, may have responsibilities in fulfilling the requirements of the 504 plan.
RESOURCES ON SPECIAL EDUCATION, IEPS, IDEA, INCLUSION, AND SECTION 504
It is unfortunate that in this day and age, we as parents continue to struggle with our schools systems to get what our
child needs to learn! There are many parents out there that do not have a clue how to begin to do that and that is because
the information and resources aren't a given in many school systems.
EVERY child in this world learns in a different way! There are some children that need a little extra help and there are
some children that may need a lot of help in school in order to get the very best out of their education. Below, you will
find a variety of links and resources to help you with these often times frustrating processes.
The best advice I can possibly offer other parents is: RESEARCH AND LEARN YOUR RIGHTS AND YOUR CHILD'S RIGHTS -- You have
them and so does your child! You can go to The Parenting Training & Information Page by State to find information, resources, support groups, advocates, etc. in your state.
IDEAS FOR AN IEP OR SECTION 504 PLAN
NOTE!: These are just ideas on what you can ask for when developing your child's IEP or Section 504 Plan. Each child
is different and may need different modifications or services on these plans.
- Seat the child nearest to where the teacher does most of her/his instruction.
- To help child stay on task -- seat child close to teacher's desk.
- Have child sit next to a peer that can help, if needed.
- Seat child away from distractions (i.e., door, windows).
- Allow quiet space when needed.
- Modify assignments (give 10 spelling words instead of 20, 10 math facts instead of 20) with incentives to work their way
- Give one assignment (work paper) at a time.
- Fold assignment in half (helps child feel less overwhelmed).
- Give concise and clear directions and make sure child understands.
- At least once a week contact with parents (phone, note, letter)
- If child seems distracted -- a walk by desk, gently touching shoulder or desk rather than saying child's name out loud
infront of whole class.
- Never assume anything -- find out facts first if a problem arises. If it involves another or other students make sure
ALL face consequences.
- Allow use of calculator.
- Allow use of small tape recorder (the child can go over lessons at home)
- Allow use of computer for writing projects.
- For children that go to resource -- allow child to go to resource to have a test read to them.
- Allow short answers for child that has difficulties with the written word.
- Allow longer time for tests (if a child has a learning disability -- timed tests can make them rush. Think Quality not
- Remind child before they leave for the day to make sure everything is in bookbag.
- Encourage child to skip trouble spots and go to next question. Many children get stuck and when time is up they'll rush
to answer the questions.
- Mark right answers instead of wrong answers.
- Give child choices and involve child in self-improvement.
- Textbooks at home so child can review lessons.
- Books on Tape.
A Parent's Guide to Special Education/Special Needs
Accomodating the Learning Disabled Student in the Foreigh Language Curriculum:
Glossary of Special Education Terms
IEP - Understand the IEP Program
Legal Resources for Special Education
Legal Rights & Responsibilities
National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education
Paula's Special Education Resources
Districts handle more requests for OT for Sensory issues
Law about SI therapy in school
Links to Special Education law/advocacy
SUGGESTIONS FOR PARENTS REGARDING AN IEP OR SECTION 504 MEETING
- Do your Research! Go to the public library or call your state's Parenting Training and Information Center for suggestions,
advice and information.
- Nobody should be developing your child's IEP or Section 504 without you! If this happens, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING and tell
them you want to schedule a meeting to help develop this plan.
- If you aren't satisfied at the end of the meeting, ask for another meeting.
- Bring a tape recorder to meeting. Tell them that you are going to bring one. If they say you can't, ask them to provide
you with documentation that prohibits tape recorders. Tell them you will make copies for them. The reason for a tape recorder
is to allow you to go over meeting at a later time. These meetings can be stressful.
- A few days before a meeting, make a list of everything you want to discuss and make copies for everyone. If you can't
get to everything on your list, request a second meeting to do so.
- Bring an advocate that knows the ins and out of Special Education if possible.
- The night before a meeting, put everything you want to bring in a folder.
- If you do not understand something that is being said, DO NOT HESITATE to interrupt and ask it to be explained to you.
Don't leave the meeting confused.
- You can request that specific people be at this meeting and if they have confirmed and dropped out at the last minute,
ask to reschedule meeting.
- Go to meeting prepared and with a positive attitude. Show them that you are more than willing to work with them and that
you want them to work with you. After all it's about your child -- who is the important person regarding all of this!
- Make a list of what works for your child. Have it added to the IEP or Section 504 Plan. Do not sign until it's added.
- If you feel the plan isn't being met, remind the teachers to read the plan. You can also make a copy of what is in the
plan and put it in your child's binder. Let the teachers know it will be there for their review.
- Keep in touch with teachers. Call them, write notes or letters. If you are concerned about anything, request a meeting.
ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD - Attention Deficit
APE - Adaptive Physical Education
ASL - American Sign Language
AT - Assitive
CAP - Corrective Action Plan
CAPD - Central Auditory Processing Disorder
CSE - Committee
on Special Education
CPSE - Committee on Preschool Special Education
CST - Child Study Team
- Developmental Delay
ECE - Early Childhood Education
EI - Early Intervention
ESD - Extended
ESY or EYS - Extended School Year or Extended Year Services
FAPE - Free Appropriate Public
FAS - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
FBA - Functional Behavioral Assessment
FC - Facilitated
HI - Hearing Impaired
HO - Hearing Officer
IA - Instructional Assistant
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEE - Individualized Educational Evaluation
IEP - Individualized
IFSP - Individualized Family Service Plan
IHE - Institution of Higher Education
- Individualized Transition Plan
LD - Learning Disability
LRE - Least Restrictive Environment
- Mental Health, Multiply Handicapped
MR - Mental Retardation
NDT - Neurodevelopmental Treatment
- Notice of Proposed Rule Making
OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Other Health Impaired
OT - Occupational Theraphy
PALS - Peer-Assisted Learning System
- Plan for Achieving Self-Support
PCA - Personal Care Attendant
PD - Physical Disability
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder
PLEP - Present Level of Education Performance
PP - Paraprofessional
- Physical Therapy
RS - Related Services
RSP - Resource Specialist Program
SAS - Supplementary
Aids and Services
SC - Service Coordinator
SE - Special Education
SEAC - Special Education Advisory
SECTION 504 - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
SED - Serious Emotional Disturbance
- Sensory Integration
SIG - State Improvement Grant
SIP - State Implementation Plan
SLD - Specific
S/L I - Speech/Language Impairment
S/P D or S/P H - Severe/Profound Disability or
SPOA - Specific Power of Attorney
SSDI - Social Security Disability Income
SSI - Supplemental
SST - Student Study Team
TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury
TDD - Telecommunication
Devices for the Deaf
TS - Tourette Syndrome
T-TA - Training and Technical Assistance
TTY - Teletypewriter
(Phone system for the Deaf)
VI - Visual Impairment
Voc Ed - Vocational Education
VR - Vocational