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How to Write an Individual Education Plan

Individual Education Plan

What is an individual education plan?

The term individual education plan or IEP refers to a program of special education services designed to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities and help them reach their academic goals. But, before you can write an individual education plan, you need to know how to write an IEP – and the first step of that process is evaluation.

Why Are IEP's Important?

IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) are designed to give students with disabilities extra help in areas they need most. IEPs can help streamline your child’s academic career by giving them appropriate attention and resources, but you should know how to write one so that your child can get all they need. Here are some tips for writing an IEP. These tips may be different based on your child’s school district. Check with your local district to find out what works best there.

What Is an IEP?

An IEP is a written plan that details what particular services and supports your child will receive to meet their unique educational needs. The goal of every IEP is for students to make progress towards their learning goals. An IEP generally contains three main components: your child’s current level of academic performance, specific, measurable goals, and special education services designed to help him or she achieve those goals. Parents are heavily involved in creating IEPs—they work with teachers, administrators, and other school professionals to develop an effective program tailored to their children’s individual needs. You can also request additional accommodations at school or elsewhere if they will assist you in helping your child succeed.

Who Makes Up the Team?

Individual Education
To have a well-rounded Individualized Education Program, your child’s IEP team will include you, your spouse or guardian if you are not their parent, your child’s teachers, and other school staff, therapists, psychologists, or other professionals who provide services to your child in school. This team will examine many factors, including what supports are already in place for your child at school and what might need to be added for them to get good educational benefits from the school. Although there is no set number of people on an IEP team, most teams consist of two to five members. For example, in California—where IDEA was developed—there must be one general education teacher on any student’s IEP team. Other positions may vary by state but typically include working with children with disabilities directly (such as special education teachers) and specialists whose focus is to develop ways that support students with disabilities (such as behavior analysts).
Newsweek reports that many parents worry about giving too much information about their child when writing an individual education plan.

Developmental Issues

If your child has developmental issues, it may be time to schedule a conference with his teachers and discuss creating an individual education plan (IEP). An IEP is a legal document designed by your child’s school that explains specific goals and strategies needed for him to receive a quality education. The ultimate goal of an IEP is academic progress and life skills such as hygiene and social etiquette.
Here are some questions you should consider when deciding whether or not your child needs an IEP:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, scheduling a meeting with his teacher might be beneficial. It’s important that you attend any conferences regarding individual education plan creation—you can usually request one through your child’s pediatrician. When deciding if you want your child to have an IEP, keep in mind that parents always retain their right over what will go into it; however, a collaboration between parents and schools is highly encouraged.

Behavioral Issues

A student’s behavioral issues may be affecting his performance. One strategy that can help is creating an individual education plan (IEP), which includes supports and interventions that address students’ needs. Here are some tips for writing an IEP from beginning to end, including how to advocate for your student during team meetings. Keep in mind that each situation is unique—there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to developing an IEP. But by understanding these strategies and techniques, you should be able to successfully create a program tailored specifically for your child or student. Whether at home or school, support goes a long way toward improving behavior and learning—so make sure you’re providing all of it!

Standardized Tests

High school students take standardized tests (SAT, ACT, etc.) for many reasons. To get into college. To qualify for scholarships and financial aid. To see how they stack up against their peers in terms of knowledge and skills. No matter your goals, it’s important to learn about what these tests entail and how you can perform your best on them. The better prepared you are before taking a test, after all, the better prepared you’ll be when you receive your scores back. That way, you won’t have to worry about disappointing grades or a low score; instead, you’ll know what areas need work and how to study effectively. Above all else: practice! You don’t want to take these tests without doing any prep beforehand—practice makes perfect! But… also try not to freak out! Test anxiety is genuine (one survey found that 70% of high schoolers experience it), but thinking positively and remaining calm will help reduce stress and increase your chances of success come exam day.

About Me

Don Larson, CFP® is the owner and founder of Larson Wealth Management. Don started in the investment advisory industry in 1999 after he graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Finance.

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