Parents of children with special needs can find the process of creating and implementing an IEP confusing and frustrating. The sheer number of documents and forms that must be read, filled out, and filed can quickly become intimidating. The way forward is not always clear and sometimes there are even problems getting your child’s school to carry out the individualized education plan the way it was intended, even after you’ve managed to put everything together.
If you’re not sure where to get started, or if you’ve already started but felt things are not going the way they should, an IEP advocate can help you sort through the confusion, get things on the right path, and make sure that the specialized help your child needs is being given correctly.
What Is The Purpose Of An IEP?
An IEP serves two basic purposes. First, it is used to establish measurable goals for the performance of your child each year. Second, it lays out the special education and related services and aids that will be provided for your child.
Usually, when defining an IEP, the team doing so will consider the three following points and how well the child performs or how much he or she participates in each:
- The general curriculum
- Extracurricular activities
- Non-academic activities
The general curriculum would be the normal, required educational curriculum that all students must complete. Extracurricular and non-academic activities are everything else. They are the voluntary classes and clubs that most schools have available, such as band, a school newspaper, student council, etc.
An IEP is intended to be a plan for the special educational needs of a child with a disability in these different school environments.
Special Factors Must Be Considered For IEP Development
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that there are five factors that must be considered when formulating an individualized education plan. The state of Oklahoma also adds two more. They are as follows:
- Is the child’s proficiency in English limited?
- Is the student blind or visually impaired?
- Does the child have special communication needs?
- Is the student deaf or hard of hearing?
- Will assistive technology be needed to implement the IEP?
- Does the child’s behavior affect learning for himself or others?
- If any of the above is “Yes”, what services will be required for implementation?
All of these factors will be used to determine the specific needs of the child as well as the specific services that will be used to fulfill the special considerations set by the IDEA and the State of Oklahoma.
Assistance And Advocacy For IEP Implementation Problems
The following are some common problems that parents of children with disabilities will often run into when developing or implementing an IEP for their child. If you are having trouble in any of these areas, I can help you to resolve your problem(s).
Under both state and federal law, schools are prohibited from disciplining or suspending special needs students for behavior that is related to or caused by their disability.
Obtaining Educational Records
I can assist in acquiring all relevant educational records to help determine what has been done for your child and if the school or educational institution is meeting their obligations under the IEP.
Parental Requests And Concerns Documentation
I can assist you in deciding which services and/or benefits should be requested of the school if you feel that your child is not getting everything he or she needs in order to get the most out of their education. I’ll help you to draft the official documentation that you’ll need to present at the IEP team meeting to have your requests heard and considered.
I can assist with getting benefits such as:
- Independent Educational Evaluation
- Assistive Technology Evaluation
- Functional Behavioral Assessment
- Behavioral Intervention Plan
- Related Services:
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech/Language Therapy
- Tutors and/or Aides
- Extended School Year Services
IEP Team Meeting Preparation
I’ll help you to prepare for the IEP team meeting as well as attend the meeting if need be. You’ll have the knowledge and confidence you need to make sure that you’re giving your child everything he or she deserves when it comes to their right to an education.
Contact Me Today To Discuss Your Options
If you’re not sure what steps to take next with your child’s individualized education plan, contact me online for a free consultation, or call 405-510-0345. I’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs, where you are in the process, and how I can help you to move forward.