Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs)
An Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is the foundation on which your child's education is built from elementary school through high school. It is a written document, updated each year, prepared at a meeting that includes you, your child's teachers, a school administrator, a member of the evaluation team (if your child is being evaluated for the first time), your child (if he or she is old enough), and anyone else you think should contribute to developing the program.
This program covers the following:
- Your child's present level of functioning (what she does now)
- Annual goals (what he should be able to do a year from now)
- Short-term objectives (what she needs to learn to accomplish her annual goals)
- Standards or measures for determining when these objectives are met (criteria for evaluation)
- Length of time it should take to meet these objectives
In addition it:
- Indicates which related services your child needs and how often he will receive them. "Related services" refers to services that will help your child benefit from his or her educational program, such as:
• Orientation and mobility
• Speech and language therapy
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Medical services, including catheterization
• Psychological services
• Counseling services
• Travel training
- Specifies how much time your child will spend in regular education classes—that is, classes with nonhandicapped children.
- Is used to determine your child's placement (the type of class and educational program he or she receives).
- Is updated at least once a year.