What is an IEP?

What is an IEP?

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are an essential part of special education in the United States. These plans are designed to help students with disabilities and learning differences receive the support they need to succeed in school. 

What is an IEP?

An IEP is a legally binding document that outlines the educational goals and services that a student with a disability will receive. The document is developed by a team of educators, parents, and other professionals who work together to create an individualized plan that meets the unique needs of each student.

Who is eligible for an IEP?

To be eligible for an IEP, a student must have a disability that affects their ability to learn and access the curriculum. Disabilities can include learning disabilities, emotional impairments, autism spectrum disorders, health impairments, and physical disabilities.

How does the IEP process work?

The IEP process begins with an evaluation of the student’s needs. This evaluation may include assessments, observations, and interviews with the student and their parents. Based on the evaluation, the IEP team creates an individualized plan that includes measurable goals and objectives, as well as the services and accommodations that the student will receive.

The IEP is reviewed and updated annually to ensure that it is still appropriate for the student’s needs. The student’s eligibility for the IEP is reviewed every three years, and updated testing may be done at this time as well. Parents and other team members have the right to request an updated IEP at any time though.   

What are the components of an IEP?

An IEP includes several components, including:

  1. Present levels of performance: This section describes the student’s current level of academic and functional performance.
  2. Annual goals: This section outlines specific goals that the student is expected to achieve during the school year.
  3. Special education and related services: This section outlines the special education and related services that the student will receive, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy.
  4. Accommodations and modifications: This section outlines the accommodations and modifications that the student will receive to help them access the curriculum and participate in school activities.
  5. Participation in standardized assessments: This section outlines how the student will participate in standardized assessments, such as state assessments or college entrance exams.
  6. Transition services: This section outlines the transition services that the student will receive as they prepare for postsecondary education or employment.

IEPs are important because they ensure that students with disabilities receive the support they need to succeed in school. Without an IEP, students with disabilities may not receive the accommodations and services they need to access the curriculum and participate in school activities. IEPs also help to ensure that students with disabilities are held to the same academic standards as their non-disabled peers. By providing an individualized plan that addresses the unique needs of each student, IEPs help to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality education. Furthermore, documenting a student’s disability and provided accommodations can be important for the student to receive accommodations in other settings, such as when taking the SAT or once they begin college.

If your child is struggling with school and may be a candidate for an IEP, we’re here to help! If you’d like to explore working with a therapist or pursuing academic evaluations, contact us at (734) 323-4897 or info@galvingrowthgroup.com for more information. Our practice, based in Novi, Michigan, is home to a team of psychologists with a wide range of expertise. We also offer teletherapy and can see anyone in the state of Michigan.


Center for Parent Information & Resources, Contents of the IEP

Great Schools, What is an IEP?

University of Washington, What is an Individualized Education Plan?