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The IEP process: what happens next?

Are you the parent of a child with special needs? If so, you know how important it is to make sure your child gets all the help they need in school. In order to do that, you will probably have to go through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) process at some point. This blog post covers what happens next after going through this process and why it is necessary for children with disabilities.


What is an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?


The Individualized Education Program (or Program) is another name for an IEP. This is a strategy or program designed to ensure that a kid with a specific disability gets specialized instruction and services in an elementary or secondary school. A team of experts from several educational disciplines, the child with a disability, family members, and/or designated advocates develops the IEP in accordance with several state and federal guidelines. One of the main reasons for having an IEP is to ensure that each child has certain educational rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).

The IEP process may be initiated by either parent or teacher; however, if you are asking for your child to receive services under IDEA, you will need to initiate the process. Your child's school district may already have an Individualized Education Program in place before your child enters kindergarten or first grade.

The goal of an IEP is to help children with disabilities reach their full potential in school and prepare them for life experiences after graduation. It also helps teachers get a better grasp of how to help each kid learn more effectively. In general, the IEP process is a collaborative effort on all sides.


What is a goal in an IEP?


The annual IEP goals are statements that set forth what a kid is expected to understand, do, or have by the end of the year. The IEP must contain measurable yearly objectives that are consistent with the student's needs and capabilities as determined in his or her current levels of performance.


What should an IEP goal accomplish?


Most annual goals for special education focus on three things:

  • The student's present level of academic performance.

  • How well the student is progressing toward their future educational and career goals.

  • The specific steps that need to be taken in order to make sure your child reaches these goals by a certain date.


What does an IEP goal look like?


An IEP goal should be written in clear, concise language. It should have a specific outcome and we suggest you use numbers to make it measurable.


Here is an example of an IEP goal: By the end of this year, Billy will be able to read 70 sight words independently and he will increase his spelling score on the weekly assessment by at least 5% .


Writing annual IEP goals for special education can be tricky. If you do not use plain language or if your goal is too vague, it will not provide the information that your school needs in order to support your child. More importantly, it will not give you the ability to see if your child is doing better at school now than they were last year. The goal will help you to measure whether or not your child is progressing toward their future goals.


What should I do if I have concerns about my child's annual goal?


If you are having questions or concerns about your child's annual goal, the best thing that you can do is get in touch with their teacher and school administrator. They should be able to answer your questions and address any challenges you are facing.


The IEP process can be confusing, but it is worth the effort because it will provide written support for your child while they are in school. Getting involved in this process early on will help to ensure that your child's special education needs are being met properly. It also allows you to be part of the IEP team and have a voice in your child's education.