FAQs about Individualized Education Plan
Now that school has begun, teachers and families are gearing up for the development of IEPs. In order to help you prepare for your IEP meetings we have put together a short FAQ about IEPs which you can read below:
What is an IEP?
- An IEP is an individualized education plan. When a child with special needs enrolls in the school system they have the right to an individualised education plan to support their learning.
How are IEPs developed?
- IEPs are developed through collaboration between the school team and the child with special needs’ family.
- It is up to the parent if they want to invite or request an outside consultant (like a Behaviour Consultant) to join the meeting.
What is usually included in an IEP?
- The format and what is included in an IEP varies significantly between districts and even between schools. Usually, an IEP will include some academic goals (i.e., Child will learn to write numbers from 1-10 by March) and/or some social goals (i.e., Child will wave hello to 2 peers upon entering classroom each day).
- IEPs are not typically as elaborate as your child’s Behavioual Plan of Intervention from your child’s home team. Goals are usually more general and the way they are written will reflect the school’s culture (if a school is more focused on developing social interactions then you will likely experience an IEP that is more focused on positive social skills).
How should I prepare?
- Bring any questions or “must haves” to include in the IEP with you. If possible write down your familial goals and email them to the school team ahead of meeting for the IEP. This will allow the school to reflect on what you want included and try to incorporate them in the IEP as best they can.
- Advocate for IEP goals for your child that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focussed, and timebound.
When family’s home teams and school-based teams approach IEPs with a sense of collaboration, and with the main focus of helping the student, then IEPs can be positive team-building experiences. Just remember: IEPs are the scholastic road map for your child’s school year and you have the right to offer your input. As always, if you have any questions about IEPs don’t hesitate to contact your Behaviour Consulting Team for support.