There are five steps to the IEP Process:
- Referral for Evaluation
- Determining Eligibility
- Writing the Individualized Education Plan
- IEP Meeting
Step 1: Referral for Evaluation
The Referral for Evaluation can be requested by a teacher, administrator, or parent. If your child is struggling in school, put a request for evaluation in writing and be sure to sign and date it.
Step 2: Special Education Evaluation
The Special Education Evaluation will assess your child’s academic standing and skills by testing various areas of language, cognitive ability, developmental skills and other areas.
Step 3: Determining Eligibility
After the evaluation or assessment it will be determined if the child has a disability that fits into one of the 13 categories defined by the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and the disability creates a need for special education services. The 13 categories are:
- Other Health Impaired
- Mental Retardation
- Emotional Disturbance
- Hearing Impairment
- Visual Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Step 4: Writing the IEP
If services are warranted, an IEP eligibility meeting be scheduled and the IEP Team will meet to write the plan which will provide a free appropriate education (FAPE).
Step 5: The IEP Meeting
The first IEP Meeting can be intimidating. Make sure you attend! You will have a lot of questions and make sure you get answers. Do not be rushed into signing anything that you do not understand and actively participate in every step of the process. Many IEPs start out positively but end on a bad note. This meeting will set the pace for your child now and in the future.