If you are the parent of a child with special needs, then you are likely well aware of how important support tools and resources can be. This is particularly true when it comes to your child's education.
One critical tool that can be available is an Individual Education Program plan, which is a plan outlining goals and services for a child with special needs. If your child is eligible for an IEP plan, then you will want to understand what this plan should include and how you can ensure it meets your child's needs.
What an IEP plan should include
While the details of a specific IEP plan will vary based on the individual child's needs and capabilities, there are general elements that should be in every plan. As noted in this Understood.org article, these elements include:
- Guidance for instruction methods, including additional assistance and time
- Classroom accommodations
- Statement of your child's present performance
- Educational goals
- Preparation resources for when a child exits high school
Ensuring an IEP plan meets your child's needs
There are steps parents can take to maximize the benefits of this plan. These steps can include:
- Actively participating in the development of the plan
- Reviewing it regularly to ensure it remains effective
- Discussing potential problems or gaps in the plan with educators
- Challenging any items with which you disagree
- Staying connected with the team of educators, administrators and specialists involved in the development of the IEP plan
When there is a solid plan in place that sets your child up for success, he or she can feel more confident and supported in the academic environment.
Unfortunately, complications and disputes can arise when it comes to creating or complying with IEP plans, and these can adversely affect a child's educational experience and future. In these situations, parents should understand that there are options available and they can discuss these options with an attorney familiar with special education resources and laws.