What It Is
Law requires that each year an individualized education program (IEP) put together a plan for each child in a public school that qualifies for special education services.
Once agreed upon, the school is legally bound to fulfill its requirements. Thus, IEPs are incredibly powerful documents that determine the level of specialized attention your child will receive that year.
What You Should Know
First, your child must qualify for special education before being eligible for the IEP program.
A child can be tested every three years to qualify, unless an outside evaluation points to the need to re-test. As an SLP, I can provide diagnoses to help children qualify for appropriate speech services in the school setting.
Secondly, parental involvement and preparation for these meetings has a tremendous impact on the services the child will see throughout the year. I’ve seen a similar child qualify for 16 more hours of services a year over another because one parent showed up and advocated while the other did not.
I have sat in dozens of IEP meetings throughout my career as a teacher and as a school based SLP. I know how administrators and team members think and how the system works.
There is a limit to the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” philosophy. Targeted, appropriate goals backed by professional evaluations can go a long way in securing the support your child needs. I can also refer you to or work closely with an IEP advocate who can assist in this process.
If you are going through the IEP process in Virginia, Maryland or Texas, and would like to have some guidance and support, let’s book a 15 minute chat to discuss.
“She is a phenomenal therapist…Her input was extremely valuable in order to have good speech goals in school. Highly recommended.“