Is Your Child Struggling in School? Here’s Everything You Need to Know about Setting Up an IEP

March 13, 2020

While every parent wants their child to succeed academically, some children struggle in school more than others.  If your child is falling behind in their studies or is struggling to keep up with an increasing workload, it may be advisable to look into enrolling them in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) program.  An IEP is a plan in which parents, teachers, and sometimes the student, work together to improve educational results for children with documented learning disabilities.  This might include extended time on exams, speech pathology services and therapeutic recreational activities, among others.  Here is everything you need to know about setting up an IEP to help your child stay on track.

  • Your child must meet certain criteria to qualify for an IEP. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that in order to qualify for an IEP, your child must meet two criteria: 1) they must be between the ages of 3 and 21 and 2) have an identified disability that impedes learning to the point that the child needs specialized instruction in order to close the gap between the child’s own academic achievement and that of their peers.  If your child does not meet these criteria but still needs special accommodations, you can look into a 504 plan or another alternative.

  • The IEP must be written at least annually for all children with disabilities. In order to keep up with the current curriculum and put together the best plan possible, the IEP must be written and updated at least once a year.  It is put together by a team that consists of a school administrator, special and general education teachers and others who have assessed the child’s performance.

  • You have the right to have an attorney present at IEP meetings. IEP meetings set the foundation for your child’s academic success, so it is important to be well-informed about the terms of the plan and your child’s accommodations.  As a parent, you have the right to have an attorney present at your child’s IEP meeting and are not obligated to notify the school district beforehand.  On the other hand, school districts are obligated to notify the parents and other parties at the meeting if they will have an attorney present.

If you think your child would benefit from the accommodations of an IEP, we can assist you in obtaining the proper documentation and attend meetings with you to make sure your child’s performance is evaluated fairly.  Contact us today to get started. 

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