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IEPs

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. This section includes articles about how to create a useful IEP, understanding the IEP process, and the importance of good communication.

There are 62 articles in this section.

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Writing IEP Goals

Learn how to write Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, use action words, realistic, and time-limited) and based on research-based educational practice.

Back-to-School: Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Our top 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasize communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.

Back-to-School: Tips for Special Education Teachers

Our top 10 back-to-school tips for special education teachers emphasize communication, organization, and a focus on student success.

Fighting For Your Child

Having seen her older son struggle for years, Jennifer Simpson was able to recognize her daughter�s reading challenges in preschool and get her help right away.

Documenting Communication with the School About Special Services

When dealing with a bureaucracy, and school districts are bureaucracies, you need to keep detailed records. Logs, journals, and calendars provide answers and support memories and testimonies. This article provides examples of how to keep a paper trail.

Understanding the Special Education Process

This overview from the PACER Center walks parents through each step of the special education process, describing what happens from the time a child is referred for evaluation through the development of an individualized education program (IEP).

Evaluation: What Does it Mean for Your Child

This PACER Center fact sheet informs parents about evaluation, a process to help determine whether a child has a disability and what the child's educational needs might be. The article discusses the reasons why parents might choose to evaluate their child, types of tests available, factors that should be considered when selecting tests, and questions parents should ask when an evaluation is proposed.

Attending Meetings to Plan Your Child's Individualized Education Program (IEP)

This checklist prepared by the PACER Center will help parents prepare for and get the most out of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings with school staff.

Resolution Meetings: A Guide for Parents

Learn about resolution meetings, a new conflict resolution process established under IDEA, 2004. This guide tells you the benefits and challenges of participating in these meetings. Find out how to prepare for the meeting and what to do afterwards.

The Assistive Technology Planner: From Research to Implementation

What happens after assistive technology is considered in an IEP? The National Assistive Technology Research Institute (NATRI) surveyed educators around the nation to find out. Learn from their “top ten” list of findings on the use and support of AT.

Sample letter: Writing to Discuss a Problem

SMART IEPs (Step 3): Use Objective Information

When a doctor develops a treatment plan for a sick child, the doctor uses objective data from diagnostic tests. Your child's individualized education program is similar to a medical treatment plan, and you need objective tests to know that your child is acquiring reading, writing, and arithmetic skills.

SMART IEPs (Step 4): Write Measurable (Not Abstract) Goals

Individualized education program (IEP) goals cannot be broad statements about what a child will accomplish. Goals that cannot be measured are non-goals. Learn how to help the IEP team devise specific, measurable, realistic goals.

SMART IEPs: Introduction

Learn what makes a strong individualized education program (IEP) and the five components of a SMART IEP.

SMART IEPs (Step 2): Create Goals and Objectives

Too often annual goals listed in an individualized education program are not specific and measurable. Find out how to avoid this pitfall.

SMART IEPs (Step 1): Start with Baseline Information on Your Child

This article explains how to consider your child's present levels of academic performance and use baseline data to develop goals and objectives for a individualized education program.

Accommodations for Students with LD

The National Center for Learning Disabilities presents examples of accommodations that allow students with learning disabilities to show what they know without giving them an unfair advantage. Accommodations are divided into the following categories: how information is presented to the student, how the student can respond, timing of tests and lessons, the learning environment, and test scheduling.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective IEP Teams

Your Child's IEP: Practical and Legal Guidance for Parents

Sample Letters: Writing a Positive Feedback Letter

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