Understanding the IEP Process

If your uniquely challenged child is entering school for the first time, one of the main things you’ll need to do is create an IEP—an Individualized Education Plan.

An IEP is a specialized document that outlines the challenges your child faces, expected educational services, and the methods by which educators will help your child realize their full potential.

The process of developing this plan can be complex, so let’s take a look at the basics behind IEP development now.


Eligibility Determination

The first step in creating an IEP is understanding your child’s eligibility. With IDEA, there are thirteen total categories under which a child can receive IEP services, including autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, and intellectual disability. See this article for a full list.

If you believe your child requires an IEP, you may request an evaluation from school administration. A team of qualified personnel will determine what your child needs, and they’ll make the appropriate educational recommendations, usually within 60 days. After eligibility has been determined, an IEP will be created for your child.


IEP Creation 

The IEP creation process is where a specific educational program will be designed for your child. You will be required to attend, as will multiple teachers and school administrative staff. Developmental experts and psychologists may also aid in the creation of an IEP.

The IEP will include information about your child’s present levels of academic achievement, the expected Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) services that your child will receive, a system of goals for their progress, and notes about any necessary accommodations or modifications they require.

The IEP is a binding agreement. When created, its provisions must be followed by school administration, so it’s important to create a comprehensive, fully realized IEP.


IEP Follow-Up and Review  

The IEP can be reviewed at any time, but at least one Annual Review (AR) is required every year.

During this meeting, all IEP team members will gather together to review the current IEP, understand student progression, and make appropriate recommendations and modifications based on the student’s progress.


Intimidated by the IEP? Contact Nakata Consulting Today!

Although IEPs are a very powerful tool for ensuring your child gets an appropriate education, the IEP process can be intimidating and confusing, especially if you have no previous experience with it.

But, you don’t have to create an IEP alone. Nakata Consulting offers specialized advocacy consulting, and we have years of experience helping parents create comprehensive, all-inclusive IEPs.

So, trust us to be your advocate during the process. We’ll help your child succeed during the upcoming school year. Contact us now for more information about our services.