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The Basics of the IEP Process: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

This 5 part series will cover the basics of the IEP process for parents

Topics in series

What is an IEP?

The Role of the IEP Team

Understanding Your Child's Strengths and Needs

Navigating the IEP Meeting

The Importance of Ongoing Communication and Review

What is an IEP?

As a parent, you want the best for your child and want to ensure that they have the support they need to succeed in school. One important way to ensure that your child is receiving the necessary support is through the development of an Individualized Education Program, or IEP.

But what is an IEP and how does the process work? Here's what every parent needs to know about the basics of the IEP process.

What is an IEP?

An IEP is a legally binding document that outlines the specific educational supports and accommodations that a child with a disability will receive in order to access the general education curriculum and make progress in school. An IEP is developed by a team of professionals and the child's parent(s) or guardian(s), and it is tailored to meet the individual needs of the child.

Who is involved in the IEP process?

The IEP team is made up of a variety of professionals and individuals who are involved in the child's education, including the child's teacher, the school psychologist, and any therapists or specialists who may be working with the child. The child's parent(s) or guardian(s) are also key members of the IEP team and are involved in the development and implementation of the IEP.

What are the main goals of an IEP?

The main goals of an IEP are to:

  • Identify the child's strengths, needs, and goals

  • Outline the specific supports and accommodations the child will receive in order to access the general education curriculum and make progress in school

  • Measure the child's progress towards meeting their goals

  • Determine when the IEP should be reviewed and revised

What are the rights of parents during the IEP process?

Parents have a number of rights during the IEP process, including the right to:

  • Participate in the development of the IEP

  • Review and provide input on the IEP before it is finalized

  • Request an evaluation of their child if they suspect their child has a disability

  • Obtain copies of their child's educational records

  • File a complaint if they feel their child's rights are not being respected or if they disagree with any aspect of the IEP process

It's important for parents to be actively involved in the IEP process and to advocate for their child's needs. Working together with the IEP team can ensure that your child is receiving the necessary support to succeed in school.

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