An IEP is an individual education program for your special needs child at their school. If your child qualifies as having a disability that affects his/her ability to learn at school, your child can be provided special services at school to assist them in learning.
If your child is found to have a qualifying disability, parents should request an IEP from the school if one is not already being performed annually. Qualifying disabilities include: autism, deafness, blindness, hearing impairment, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, speech or language impairment, brain injury, and others.
As part of the IEP process, the child will be tested to see what exactly his/her specific learning needs are. This is followed by an IEP meeting in which parents/guardians can address the specific learning disabilities of their children with the child’s teacher and school staff involved in the child’s curriculum. Together, school staff and parents discuss an educational plan that would benefit the child. Depending on the needs of your child, the services your child could receive are counseling by a therapist, occupational therapy, more time on tests, a teacher’s aid, lunch or recess tutoring, special classes, and more.
The IEP is supposed to set a plan of action to address your child’s specific learning disability and improve his/her ability to learn in the classroom. If you feel your child’s learning disabilities are not being adequately addressed in the IEP meeting, you may want to consider having an attorney present with you at the IEP meeting to ensure your questions are answered and your concerns are addressed.