Importance of an IEP
The importance of an IEP cannot be overstated. What is an IEP? An IEP is an “Individualized Education Program” document. The IEP for your child will help support and govern the learning environment so that your child has a better chance of success in the classroom.
If you haven’t seen an IEP document before and think your child may need one, you should review some IEP examples to gain a better understanding of the document and what it contains. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows for children with disabilities the right to a “free appropriate public education”. IDEA IEP documents help give your child more even footing in the classroom to participate in learning and instruction activities.
Some of the benefits of IEP include:
- Instructions to create a more ideal learning environment for your child
- Special assistance guidelines to inform the teaching staff
- Clarity around the barriers to learning your child faces
- Occupational assistance systems if required
IEP laws and regulations exist to protect students with disabilities. The importance of an IEP comes from the protection and support it creates for the student. It is a system of support for those children to be able to create documents like the IEP to improve their circumstances of learning at school, as well as help guide staff to provide the assistance required to better teach the student. Every school district is required to identify, located, and evaluate children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are defined (by IDEA) as those with:
- Mental retardation
- Hearing impairment (including deafness)
- Speech or language impairment
- Visual impairment (including blindness)
- Serious emotional disturbance
- Orthopedic impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Specific learning disability, or
- Other health impairment
The importance of an IEP is will include personalized information about the student and the special requirements for their learning environment, but in general, it will include sections on the current educational status, goals and objectives, instructional setting guidelines, and transitional services. If you’re new to the process, it can be helpful to locate local parent groups or support groups so that you are best equipped to ask questions as they come up from people that have already been in the process. We also provide professional reviews of IEP and 504 documents, which give you the insight you need to be able to advocate for your child’s success in the classroom.