Navigating the IEP Process
After a long break for the summer, it's time to start thinking about getting back into school. As most of the area public schools start back this week, it's a great time to start thinking about ways you can maximize success in school.
For parents of children who are beginning to struggle in school, getting assistance can be a daunting proposition. If your child is struggling with learning problems, behavioral issues, or other struggles that interfere with successfully participating in the classroom, then requesting an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) may be helpful.
Under the IDEA act - a.k.a. "No Child Left Behind" - schools are required to provide accommodations to children who qualify. The IEP process is how children are evaluated and provided with services through the school.
To help parents understand the process a bit better, I have created this infographic to help deconstruct the process. Please note that the times indicated are generally considered the maximum allowable number of calendar days for each part of the process here in California. If you are in a different state or if your IEP process includes the summer or school breaks, your numbers may vary somewhat. This is intended to give a general guide for the maximum amount of time each step *should* take. If you have concerns about the length of time your process is taking, consult with your district or a special education advocate in your area.
For more information on the IEP process, the following websites may be helpful.
Guide to the IEP Process by Disability Rights California
If you are concerned about your child's behavior or lack of progress in school, consulting with a child psychologist or therapist privately can also be incredibly helpful for better understanding your child and developing a plan for addressing the problems.