Individualized Education Programs
Need Assistance with Your Child’s IEP? We Can Help
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was signed into law in 1990, requires all American public schools to provide children with disabilities a Free Appropriate Public Education or FAPE. One essential tool for achieving this is an Individualized Education Program. An IEP is a legally binding blueprint detailing precisely what special education services a disabled child will receive, and why.
If you feel your child is in need of special education and an IEP, it’s a good idea to speak with an experienced special education lawyer. At Woodsmall Law Group, we believe every child has a right to thrive, regardless of any disability. Our firm exclusively practices special needs law, and would love to represent you and your child. For a free consultation, call our Pasadena office at (626) 440-0028.
Who Qualifies for an IEP?
Not every child with a learning or attention issue is eligible for an IEP. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act lists the following 13 disabilities as qualifying for an IEP:
- Specific Learning Disability: This is an umbrella term for conditions that affect a child’s ability to read, write, listen, speak, reason, or do math. Dyslexia, dysgraphia (impaired writing ability), and dyscalculia (impaired mathematical ability) fall under this category.
- Other Health Impairment: Another umbrella term that covers conditions that limit a child’s energy, alertness, or strength. ADD and ADHD fall under this category.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder: This category mainly covers a child’s behavior, and social and communication skills.
- Emotional Disturbance: This category covers such disorders as anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression.
- Speech or Language Impairment: Includes stuttering, impaired articulation, and voice impairment.
- Visual Impairment: This includes both partial and total blindness. Vision problems that can be corrected by eyewear do not qualify.
- Deafness: The complete inability to hear.
- Hearing Impairment: This category covers any type of hearing impairment not covered by deafness.
- Deaf-Blindness: This covers children with both hearing and visual impairment whose needs cannot be met by learning programs for the deaf and blind.
- Orthopedic Impairment: This includes any impairment to a child’s body, such as cerebral palsy.
- Intellectual Disability: This category covers children with below average intellectual ability, self-care, or social skills. Down syndrome falls under this category.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Any brain injury caused by an accident or physical force.
- Multiple Disabilities: Having more than one of the conditions listed above, which creates educational needs that cannot be met by a program designed for a specific condition.
Designing an IEP
An IEP is drawn up by a committee at an IEP meeting. This committee must include the following:
- The child’s parents
- A representative of the school district who has the power to commit school resources for the child, and is knowledgeable about both regular and special education
- At least one of the child’s regular teachers
- At least one of the child’s special education teachers
- A school psychologist or other specialist who can interpret the child’s most recent evaluation and test results
- Any other specialist who has particular knowledge about the child’s condition, such as a neurologist or psychiatrist who has treated the child
- Representatives of any other parties or agencies involved in paying or providing for the child’s special education
- In some cases, the child (this is usually only the case with older children)
The process of obtaining an IEP for your child can be intimidating and overwhelming, and requires knowledge of IDEA that most parents don’t possess. Our special education attorneys at Woodsmall Law Group consider it a mission to represent special needs children and their families. If you’re concerned that your child is not getting his or her educational needs met, please give us a call at (626) 440-0028 today.