The law requires that any child receiving special education services at a public school have an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, in place. This legal document identifies your child's unique challenges and how the school will address them and measure progress. Below, attorney Edward E. Dove, Attorney at Law, in Lexington, KY, explains the document in greater detail and provides some insight into the parents’ role in ensuring their student gets the help they deserve.
What's Included in an IEP?
The IEP aims to provide a comprehensive overview of both the child's needs and the paths the school will take to ensure the student has all the necessary support to learn, grow, and thrive. To assess the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, teachers will share their observations and consider the student’s homework and test results. These evaluations change from year to year as subject materials become more complex.
The IEP also includes a description of the special education services the school will have in place for the child. For instance, there will be a breakdown of how much time they’ll allot for each service; if your child needs extra reading help, the document will state how many minutes or hours per week assistance is provided.
Finally, the IEP offers a rundown of the modifications and accommodations the school will make for the child. Special education students often require some additional assistance in tackling the general curriculum. This section details what the school will do to best support them, such as allowing extra time for tests or reading questions aloud.
Consenting to the Terms
An IEP is considered the bedrock of special education. Without one (or, in some states, without a parent's signature), a school cannot commence the child's education. If you don't agree with the terms or feel they are inadequate to meet your loved one’s needs, you can request to have another one drawn up.
IEPs are not static documents. They must be updated to meet the changing needs of the student as they learn and progresses. If you feel it is not an accurate reflection of your kid’s present requirements, you can arrange a mediation session in writing. Should this fail, you can request a due process hearing for all parties to present the case to an officer or judge; if this doesn't produce the desired results, you can file a civil lawsuit.
If you encounter issues with an IEP, or you cannot reach common ground with your child's school, reach out to an attorney. For more than three decades, Edward E. Dove, Attorney at Law, has been representing clients throughout the Lexington region in civil rights and special education matters; he will fight to protect your student’s best interests. Call (859) 252-0020 or visit him online to arrange a consultation today.