Individualized Education Plans (IEP)
The Individualized Education Plan (often referred to as IEP) is the blueprint for advancement in special education. A product of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it details a child’s educational goals and maps out a route to achieving those goals. Children with many types of developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain injury, can benefit from an IEP.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
One of the most important disability legislation in the United States, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law that currently binds all states. Simply put, it requires each state to provide children with disabilities a free, appropriate public education, regardless of ability level. It applies to children between the ages of three and 21 who have a disability that adversely affects education performance. Children who require special education and related services because of a disability are covered under the Individualized Education Program.
What Is Included In An Individualized Education Plan?
There is no federally-required form for the IEP, though some states regulate the format. Most IEPs contain the same type of information, however, including:
- List of goals from past IEP and whether those goals were met
- Present level of performance, including any accommodations
- List of goals for the current IEP
- List of services (i.e., speech therapy, occupational therapy)
How Is An IEP Created?
Ideally, the parents, teachers, social workers and other service providers (for example, therapists) will collaborate during the creation or modification of the IEP to create a document that represents the best interests of the child. It is reviewed at least once a year, though parents can request more frequent reviews if necessary. A formal reevaluation must take place every three years.
If parents disagree with the final content of an IEP, they can object. Possible solutions include mediation, a due process hearing before an impartial hearing officer, and filing a complaint with the state education agency.
Parents of children with disabilities are first and foremost the advocates of those children. Providing a lifetime of care and education is expensive, and parents must know what their rights are and what services are freely available. One important resource is education, which is paid for by all taxpayers.
If your child has suffered from a birth injury, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (855) 712-7818 or online for a free consultation. We can help you to determine if your child qualifies for a medical malpractice lawsuit, which can help provide for other care and education that is not free.
For More Information
- Government Services: More free services for children with developmental injuries
- Guide to the Individualized Education Program (U.S. Department of Education)
Photo by http://www.sd139.k12.id.us/schools/West/supplies.htm