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What are Individual Education Programs?


Updated July 05, 2011

A Child Struggling in School

Individual Education Programs

Definition: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which is the federal law governing how public schools must serve children with specific learning disabilities(SLDs) and other types of disabilities, requires that schools develop an Individual Education Program for each student who has a disability.

The IEP generally includes:

  • A description of the learning disabled student's current skill levels based on formal assessment;
  • Measurable and observable goals for improvement in each area of educational need;
  • Measurable and observable objectives describing specific skills needed to reach IEP goals;
  • What types of specially designed instruction will be provided;
  • When, where, and for how long specially designed instruction will be provided; and
  • Additional, related services the student will need to support specially designed instruction.

Back to Special Education and Learning Disability Terms

Also Known As: individualized education program, education plan, accommodation plan, learning plan

IEPs should be written with consideration for a learning disabled child's current skill level and a realistic expectation for improvement.

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