“IEP” may be the most important acronym you will learn when your child is referred to special education. IEP stands for “Individualized Education Program.” By law, the school district provides an IEP for all students receiving special education services. The IEP is based on a written plan, designed specifically for your child.
The IEP is created by a group of people who, in Texas, are referred to as the Admission, Review & Dismissal (ARD) committee. You, as a parent, are a very important member of your child’s ARD committee. This means you play a big part in creating your child’s IEP.
What Parents Need to Know
The IEP is the centerpiece of the federal legislation we call the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or the IDEA. One purpose of the IDEA (§300.1) is:
“To ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.”
The intent of the IDEA, and thereby your child’s IEP, is to prepare your child for life beyond school. Every step you take and every IEP you sign should have your child’s adult life in mind.
Think of the IEP as a contract between you and the school. It is your role as a parent participate in the development of your child’s IEP and always understand what you are agreeing to.
Ready to learn more? Go to:
- Developing an IEP: The Five “W’s”
- Transition Planning
- Present Levels of Academic and Functional Performance
- Writing Goals and Objectives
- What accommodations and supports are needed for your child to successfully achieve these goals and objectives? See Accommodations vs. Modifications, Supplementary Aids & Services and Therapy Services in Schools
- Statewide & District Assessment
- Placement Decisions
- Grading and progress monitoring
- SpedTex - Parent Request for an ARD Committee Meeting (video)
- U.S. Dept. of Education - Q&A on IEP FAPE Requirement & Implementation Considerations (pdf)