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IEP (Individual Education Plan)
by Dore Frances, M.A., founder of Horizon Family Solutions, LLCThe IEP is developed at an IEP Team Meeting where most decisions regarding your child's education future are determined.
The IEP is an important legal document that is the center piece for Special Education instruction and services.
The law says who must be present at an IEP Team Meeting and requires that at least one parent be in attendance. Assessment results and recommendations are presented at an IEP Team Meeting along with a report of the student's current performance levels.
The determination of eligibility for special education services is made by the IEP Team.
Due to the importance of IEP Team Meeting, I recommend that you consult with an experienced education advocate prior to attending the meeting. It is best to have an advocate participate in IEP's concerning assessment reports and placement decisions. You are entitled to receive assessment reports in a "reasonable time" in advance of the IEP Team Meeting.
The IEP Team Meeting document becomes the plan for your child's immediate education future. It needs to include a list of the services the child is to receive, the goals and objectives for each of these services, and any additional information in the form of notes taken from the discussions held by the IEP Team in the meeting.
The importance of the IEP Team Meeting can not be overstated. When you do not agree with the services being offered by your school district, you have the option of signing the IEP for "attendance only" and having your concerns included in the notes. You have to carefully read the IEP as well as the IEP Team Meeting notes of the discussions to make sure you agree with what is being offered. You have the right to require that additional material be added to the notes voicing your concerns and objections. You are entitled to copies of all pages of the IEP as well as the assessments and reports presented at the IEP. I recommend recording the IEP Team Meeting. To do this you have to notify the school district in advance that you are going to be doing this.
You have the right at the IEP to present the results of any outside assessments you have had performed and they must be included in the IEP.
If you have assessment results available when the assessments are being performed, you need to give the district copies of your assessment reports so that they can include them in determining their recommendations.
When you can not get your student what you agree is needed at the IEP, then you can file for Due Process. This is an administrative law hearing in which a judge hears evidence and renders a decision that is binding on the school district.
Dore Frances, M.A., is an educational consultant, childs right advocate, parent coach, specializing in working with troubled teens and their families in the United States, Canda, and abroad. See her site at: www.guidingteens.com or contact her by phone at:(541) 312-4422, or email at:Dore@DoreFrances.com.
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Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.
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