-The role of the IEP is to show proof to the federal and state governments that local schools are putting forth their best efforts to provide a free, public, appropriate education to students with disabilities.. The IEP create a legally, binding agreement between the schools and the parents to ensure that a child with disabilities receives the accommodation services necessary to obtain an education given by highly qualified special education teachers.
The objectives of the IEP include the following: 1) identify the child’s disability, 2) determine the least restrictive environment, 3) determine placement, 4) determine accommodation services he will receive, 5) lay out academic and behavior benchmarks, 6) explain measurable annual goals, 7) supply progress reports and 8) note parental consent or refusal. Parental involvement in the planning process and attendance at the IEP meeting is mandated under federal law. The school must be represented at the meetings by a team of administrators, educators, psychologists and social workers.
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Whatever both parties agree to do to ensure that a child with disabilities receives services, they must do. Since the IEP has so many legal ramifications for the school in particular, parents use it as a weapon to hold them accountable for delivering what they promised. However, if parents are disagreeable and defensive, they hinder the school’s ability to serve the child. Parents must be responsible as well by being hopeful but realistic. They know how their child functions outside the school, and may be able to provide helpful information that is unbeknownst to school staff.
If their 16 year old son likes tending to sick pets, the school may be able to place him in an internship with a veterinarian. This kind of information should be discussed in the transition section. Every member of the IEP team is responsible for tailoring the child’s education to his specific needs, interests, preferences and abilities. With everyone doing his or her part, it should be easier to recognize and resolve issues sooner than later. The IEP gives parents a piece of mind that they can count on the school to ensure that their child get the same quality education as a nondisabled child.
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