Deciphering your IEP
March 22, 2017
Individualized Education Plans are meant to bring teachers, specialists, therapists, and parents together to develop an educational program for the student. This plan – IEP – will support progress in the general curriculum and meet other educational and functional needs resulting from the disability. In general IEPs are meant to help the student, parents and school personnel all get on the proverbial “same page” when it comes to the needs of the student. Unfortunately, some educational terms and acronyms are confusing and get lost in the wording of the plan. Here is a quick cheat sheet to help you decipher an IEP.
- IEP – Individualized Education Plan
- Accommodations – Resources given to the child. For example, taking a test in a small group, having a longer time to take the test, taking the test in a different environment. While the test had not changed the needs of the student have been taken into account.
- Early Intervention – These are services provided to children 0-36 months who are at risk of having a disability or have been diagnosed with a disability. Early intervention has been shown to help children progress.
- Inclusion – This is a term used to describe services given to a special education student in the general education classroom with appropriate supports and modifications.
- Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) – Special Education and related services are provided at the public’s expense, without charge to the parents.
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) – In 1975, legislation was written guaranteeing students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education and the right to be educated with their non-disabled peers. IDEA was revised in 2004.
- Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) – The placement of a child with special needs in the general school population in a manner that promotes the maximum possible interaction with general education students.
- OT – Occupational Therapy/Therapist – An Occupational Therapist supports school staff in the areas of fine motor and sensory integration. Fine motor being skills such as writing, picking up objects, and pointing.
- PT – Physical Therapy/Therapist – A Physical Therapist supports school staff in the area of gross motor. Gross motor focuses on larger muscle sets and include walking, throwing, climbing.