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Individual Education Plan (IEP)

"Some parents postpone asking the school for extra services for their children because they assume there will be red tape. But, once you've survived your first Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting, these fears will quickly be replaced with newfound strength and determination to get the best services available for your child.  You will soon be your child's strongest advocate, and your child's teacher's strongest link". 

The IEP meeting is your opportunity to hear and share your child's success stories (and areas that need improvement).  It's an open forum to create solutions and attainable goals for your child, yourself and your providers.  It's your opportunity to get services for your child (speech and/or occupational therapy, special transportation, modified curriculum, etc.)  Meetings are typically attended by your child's current and future teachers, aids, therapists, social workers and child psychologists (if applicable).  

Most importantly, YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE TEAM and your voice must be heard.  You may also invite a friend and/or advocate to the meeting for support and/or to take notes so you can focus on the meeting.

To start the process,  write a letter to your child's principal requesting an evaluation be done.  Include the date of your request, your child's name, date of birth, teacher's name, diagnosis (if available), how their condition affects their learning.  Keep a copy of the request for your records.

Review your and your child's rights, and the categories that may make your child eligible for special services.  Keep in mind that conditions such as Sensory Integration Dysfunction may fall under other health impaired so do not be discouraged if your child's condition is not specifically listed.

Remember, your child has the right to an education in the Least Restrictive Environment that they may learn successfully.  

Prepare for the IEP by reading about what I do throughout the year, before the meeting, on my way out my door, at the meeting, and between meetings.


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