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Writing an Individual Education Program

Learn about Individual Education Programs


Updated December 16, 2011

Individual Education Programs Ensure Children's Educational Needs are Met

Individual Education Programs

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Developing your child's Individual Education Program is an ongoing process of development and review. The Individuals with disabilities Education Act IDEA requires that IEPs include specific parts.

In a sense, an IEP is similar to a road map to take a trip. It has a beginning or starting place, a plan for the route, and a destination. At least once a year, your child's teachers will invite you to an annual review to see how the trip is going. In other words, what are your goals. for your child's learning? You may also request an IEP team meeting at any time to discuss any concerns that may arise.

IEPs are flexible and ongoing. It is a working document developed through a group decision making progress. IEPs are developed based on the requirements of state and federal regulations and are individualized based on your child's needs as determined in individual assessment and her performance and progress in school.

In most cases, your child's IEP must be aligned with the regular education curriculum to the greatest extent appropriate for your child. Although children with learning disabilities have delays in academic skills, it is important that their special education program and specially designed instruction (SDI) include concepts that are being taught in the regular classroom if possible. Teachers strive to maintain a balance between your child's current skills and what he needs to master to be included in the regular classroom.

Once your child's IEP is developed, the IEP team must determine if your child can learn in the regular classroom with collaboration, or other supports or if she will need more intensive services in a resource classroom. The team must consider the full continuum of placements available and choose the least restrictive environment necessary for your child to learn effectively.

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