This video explains all the aspects the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team considers in creating an IEP. The IEP should cover a wide range of topics about your child and the team who will be in charge of providing special education services.
The meeting begins with a list the strengths of the child, so as to have the meeting begin on a positive note. This could include their learning strengths (if they’re good at math or reading comprehension), or social skills (if they’re good at making friends are have a good temper).
Next, the IEP should consider the concerns of the parents. This is the point in an IEP meeting where you should bring up anything you see as something you would like the IEP to target. For example, are you seeing that your child is having trouble making friends? Does your child have any difficulties with a particular subject, like reading or writing? Do you feel like your child is behind their grade level in some aspects? If so, make sure you let the rest of the IEP team know.
You should then discuss the results of the most current evaluation. The evaluation should indicate where your child is at academically, developmentally, and functionally and should be used as a reference for the entire meeting.
Once the IEP team knows how the child is doing, they can develop a good understanding of the child’s academic needs. If this is an annual meeting, you should make sure that your child is achieving their academic needs for their current IEP, or determine if the IEP needs to change to accommodate changes in your child. You should also discuss your child’s developmental needs (does your child need physical or educational therapy? Does the IEP need to change the intensity or schedule of these therapies?), and the functional needs: do they need help with hygiene, or getting to and from school? Do they need help balancing their finances or vocational skills?
In some cases, you should discuss your child’s English proficiency. Your child’s evaluation only works if your child understands the language of the evaluation’s test materials. If your child needs to have any services in another written and spoken language, or in sign language, it’s important to discuss how the IEP will accommodate this need.
If your child has any technological needs (for instance, if they will need a computer to access some learning software to help them in the regular classroom), or behavior needs (if their behavior is hindering the learning process, a behavioral intervention may be needed). Finally, the IEP should discuss any other services the child might need, such as nursing, counseling, or transition services.
To sum up, here is list of all the topics that the IEP should touch on:
- Strengths of the child.
- Concerns of the parents.
- Evaluation results
- Academic needs.
- Developmental needs.
- Functional needs.
- English proficiency.
- Technological needs.
- Behavioral interventions.
- Other services.
Once we go over the forms (in a future section), these topics, and how they will be covered, should make more sense.