Individualized Education Program Case Review
If your child is receiving special education services, he or she is required to have an official, personalized education strategy known as an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP spells out the annual goals and objectives for your child and what the special education services should be working to achieve.
The IEP team for a child with a learning disability is comprised of various stakeholders involved in the development and education of the child. This includes the parents and/or guardians, school administrators, and all school personnel charged with educating the child and working through learning difficulties the child may have while attending school. As a member of your child’s IEP team, and a primary stakeholder, you can ask that your child’s IEP be reviewed and revised if you feel like the current plan is not meeting your child’s needs.
At Woodsmall Law Group, we believe every child has a right to thrive, and we are here to assist families in any and all IEP issues they may have. Our firm exclusively practices special needs law and would be happy to represent your child to ensure he or she gets needed services. Call our Pasadena office at (626) 440-0028 to schedule a free consultation.
An IEP meeting must be held at least once a year to review the goals and progress made by the child. However, if you are concerned about problems with your child’s current IEP or feel that a specific educational issue is not being catered to, or a new educational issue has arisen for your child, you do not have to wait until the annual IEP meeting to try to adjust the current IEP. It is possible to request an IEP meeting to discuss your concerns and to potentially adjust the plan to your child’s needs. Once you submit your meeting request to the school in writing, the meeting must be held within 30 days.
Why Would I Ask for a Review of My Child’s IEP?
IEPs are tailored to the specific needs of your child, and if there is any change in circumstances that can affect your child’s education, an IEP review could be necessary. Some reasons for requesting an IEP review include:
- Your child has met one, or many, of the objectives spelled out in the IEP.
- Your child does not seem to be making enough progress toward the goals specified in IEP.
- You feel your child requires additional services or other services in order to make the desired headway.
- You feel that your child no longer needs a service he/she is currently getting under the IEP.
- Your child has experienced a major change that can affect the IEP, such as illness, injury, or surgery.
Managing IEP Disputes
In certain instances, parents may disagree with the school about the goals in their child’s IEP, or perhaps there is a disagreement regarding specific aid being offered by the plan. Issues like cutting or denying service can lead to disagreement between families and other stakeholders responsible for structuring an IEP. When disputes of this nature occur, there are few ways to attempt to resolve them.
Parent may attempt to informally negotiate with the school in order to reach an agreement. This means working directly with the school to come to a resolution or potential amendments.
Another option is mediation with the help of a third party. This involves an outside professional, like a special needs lawyer, who helps you and the school settle a dispute and fight for what is best for your child.
A more formal method to resolve IEP disputes is to undergo due process. However, this method is reserved for disputes that have to do with rights to special education. Due process can be a long, drawn-out affair, and hiring an attorney or advocate is usually necessary. This should only be done if all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted.
The Review Process
Parents and the rest of the IEP team must agree on the potential amendment to a plan prior to implementing the IEP changes. You can propose amendments to your child’s IEP by submitting a written request to the school or IEP team. It’s more likely that the IEP team will agree to the potential changes to your child’s plan if you accurately explain the reasons for the proposed change and the ways it will help your child progress in the desired manner.
If the school district and IEP team do not agree with your proposed amendment, parents have the right to request a formal IEP meeting to attempt to resolve the issue. Calling in a specialist, advocate, or a special education attorney may help the district representatives better understand why the potential change to the IEP would accommodate the child’s needs.
Contact Woodsmall Law Group Today!
If your family needs assistance with restructuring or challenging aspects of your child’s IEP, the Woodsmall Law Group can help. We take pride in being strong advocates for special needs children and their families. If you are having difficulty getting your child the services they need to thrive, our legal team will be by your side every step of the way.
Call us at (626) 440-0028 to schedule a free consultation, and hear how the Woodsmall Law Group can advocate for you today.