How do I make sure my child’s IEP has what he or she needs?
Before looking at your child’s IEP, you should read the evaluations and evaluation reports because they form the foundation for building an IEP. Do the evaluation and assessment results make sense with what you know about your child and their abilities? Do they describe your child’s strengths as well as areas of need? Then take a piece of paper and fold it in half the long way. On one side, list all the areas of need identified and recommendations listed in the evaluations and assessments. On the other side, list the goals, objectives, modifications or accommodations, strategies, etc. that address that area of need. Are they all addressed? Are the recommendations being used in the IEP? Here are some other questions to ask in reviewing your child’s IEP.
Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance
- Are all academic areas covered?
- Are social, emotional and other functional skill areas covered?
- Does it describe how your child’s disability affects his/her involvement and progress in the general
- Does it describe specifically what your child can and can not do today?
- Does it take into consideration your child’s strengths and learning styles?
- Is it based on current information and does it state more than test scores?
- Are they based on assessment of your child’s present academic achievement and functional performance?
- Are the goals reasonable and attainable?
- What changes are expected in your child’s skills or behavior?
- Are positive behavioral supports included?
- Given your knowledge of your child, are the goals appropriate?
- Can your child’s progress on each goal be measured?
- Could you tell if your child had mastered a goal?
Short-term Instructional Objectives or Benchmarks:
- Do they describe the steps and how your child will reach their goals?
- Can your child’s progress on each objective be measured?
- Could you tell if your child had mastered an objective or reached a benchmark?
Review and Reporting of Progress:
- How will your child’s progress towards meeting their goals (and objectives) be measured?
- What kinds of tools will be used to measure progress?
- How will you be informed of progress?
- When will you be informed of progress?
- How will you know if the progress is enough so that they will achieve their goals by the end of the year?
- When will the IEP team meet to review the IEP?
Special Education and Related Services:
- What types of specialized instruction or services does your child need?
- Where will they be provided? (individually, in a group, in a classroom, etc.)
- Who is responsible for providing them?
- When will the services begin and end?
- How often will they be provided?
- Does your child need extended school year services?
Accommodations and Modifications:
- Does your child need accommodations such as preferential seating arrangements or extended time for tests?
- Does your child need modified homework assignments?
- Does your child need assistive technology to assist them with class work, home work or long term assignments?
- Do the modifications lessen the expectations of your child?
Participation in Statewide/District-wide Assessments:
- Will your child participate in Statewide/district-wide assessments?
- Are modifications required?
- If so, how will the assessment be modified?
- If your child will not participate how will her progress be assessed?
Statement of Needed Transition Services (to be included in the IEP in place when a child is 14):
- Are your child’s interests and preferences for life after high school reflected in their annual goals?
- Is your child participating in the development of their transition plan and IEP? If not, how is their input being gathered and included?
- What transition services are necessary to assist your child in meeting their post secondary goals?
- What services is your child going to need after high school and are connections to adult service agencies needed?
- Who will provide the transition services?
- Is this the Least Restrictive Environment where the supports and services described in the IEP be delivered?
- What makes this placement appropriate to meet your child’s needs?
- How will your child participate in the general education curriculum?
- What modifications and/or accommodations are needed in regular education classes for your child to be successful?