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The Role of the IEP Team: Who Makes Up the Team and What They Do

This is part 2 of a 5 part series of IEP Basics for parents. Click here for part 1: What is an IEP?


The Individualized Education Program (IEP) process involves a team of professionals and individuals who are involved in the child's education and development. It's important for parents to understand the role of each member of the IEP team and how they work together to develop a plan that meets the individual needs of the child.

Here's a breakdown of who makes up the IEP team and what they do:

  • Child's teacher: The child's teacher is responsible for providing input on the child's academic strengths, needs, and goals, as well as identifying any accommodations or modifications that may be necessary to support the child's learning. The teacher is also responsible for implementing the IEP in the classroom and tracking the child's progress towards meeting their goals.

  • School psychologist: The school psychologist is responsible for evaluating the child's cognitive and academic abilities, as well as identifying any social-emotional or behavioral needs. They may also provide recommendations for supports or interventions to address any identified challenges.

  • Special education teacher: The special education teacher is responsible for providing specialized instruction and support to children with disabilities. They may be involved in the development of the IEP and may also be responsible for implementing the IEP in a specialized setting or in conjunction with the child's general education teacher.

  • Speech therapist: If the child has a need for speech and language therapy, a speech therapist may be part of the IEP team. They are responsible for evaluating the child's communication skills and providing therapy to support their development.

  • Occupational therapist: If the child has a need for occupational therapy, an occupational therapist may be part of the IEP team. They are responsible for evaluating the child's fine motor skills and providing therapy to support their development.

  • Physical therapist: If the child has a need for physical therapy, a physical therapist may be part of the IEP team. They are responsible for evaluating the child's gross motor skills and providing therapy to support their development.

  • Parent(s) or guardian(s): The parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child are key members of the IEP team and play a crucial role in the development and implementation of the IEP. They are responsible for providing input on the child's strengths, needs, and goals, as well as advocating for the child's rights and needs throughout the process. Parents are arguably the most important member of the IEP because they are the experts on their child.



It's important for all members of the IEP team to work together and communicate effectively in order to develop a plan that meets the individual needs of the child. By understanding the role of each team member, parents can effectively collaborate and advocate for their child's needs.


Parents also have the right to invite anyone they wish to attend the meeting. Many bring a trusted friend or family member, advocate, or other professional that knows the child. It is always helpful to invite someone who can give insight into the child's strengths and needs, progress in areas of need, help keep the parent/team organized and/or take notes, or support the parent in advocating for the child's educational needs.


To learn more about the IEP process, check out part 3 in the series: "Understanding Your Child's Strengths and Needs: How to Prepare for the IEP Meeting"


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