IEPs don’t mean that some people want to get out of classes and have paperwork that allows them to.
On the contrary, IEPs often mean that kids likely work harder outside of class. But, what’s important and what I think we should all focus on is that kids who have IEPs or 504s are getting the instruction and education they need (hopefully!).
Yeah, but how, though?
That is the whole point of this article. Read to the end and learn how an IEP can help kids with learning disabilities get the education they need to thrive as adults.
IEP is short for Individualized Education Program. It is a program approved formal documentation that helps kids with learning disabilities get the specialized instruction they need. Each kid with a learning disability gets a unique IEP designed only for them because that is the essence of the program; it’s individualized.
Public schools offer IEPs, but private schools don’t. Kids with learning disabilities in private schools can be offered an individualized services plan that provides special education.
Getting an IEP starts with an evaluation of the child’s strengths and challenges after a parent or teacher request for district testing.
When the results are available, they usually show how a child experiences learning challenges.
Dyslexia and dysgraphia are two examples of learning challenges identified with a thorough evaluation. Currently about 13 learning disability categories require an IEP to be created for any child older than 3 years but the statistics very both by state and by year.
While dyslexia and dysgraphia are individual learning challenges, they often occur together. So, the testing results are out, and both the child’s parents and teachers can finally name what’s behind the learning challenges.
Next, a team is set up to review the evaluation results and design an education program that addresses what and how that child needs to learn, keeping dyslexia and dysgraphia in mind. This GO! Team is usually made up of specific teachers from the child’s school or a learning specialist and parents.
An IEP, once ready, can be implemented in school and THIS is when a child may get a reduced workload, class pull-out, or private instruction outside the school that supplements the work.
IEPs are an important opportunity for kids with learning disabilities in elementary and high schools to gain the education they need. Some people prefer to think they’re strict, but I think the better word is structured.
In public schools, sometimes, the structure is just too general. Some kids can handle the general structure and curriculum flow from first grade till they graduate high school. Other kids will need a lot of special instruction, so that they can have equal access in society with their peers. IEPs provide that special education, and it is not something to be ashamed about.
If you feel ashamed of having an IEP, think of this post as a friendly reminder not to. You’ll be thankful for an IEP as you gain better skills that augment your learning disabilities.
I hope this helps!