All California students deserve a full and fair experience in the classroom. Those who have special needs may need additional support and help in order to accomplish this, which is why some require an Individualized Education Program. An IEP is a plan that outlines the specific types of support and accommodations a child may need for success at school. A school and specific types of professionals will customize an IEP to suit the needs of the individual student.
As a parent, you may wonder if your child needs extra help in the classroom. If you suspect your child might have needs that would qualify him or her for a special education program, you have the right to seek an assessment and support. It may be helpful to know more about which students qualify for an IEP and how you can fight for the educational rights of your child.
Students who may need an IEP
Students may need support services for a variety of needs. Emotional, physical or mental disorders could make it difficult for a student to succeed in the classroom, but having an IEP will ensure he or she has necessary support. Some of the most common reasons why students need and qualify for an IEP include the following:
- Hearing or visual impairment
- Learning disabilities
- Speech or language impairment
- Cognitive delays or disorders
- Developmental delays
- Physical disorders or limitations
- Emotional or behavioral disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
The specific ways your child will receive services depends on his or her needs. An IEP will outline the type of help your student requires, whether that is extra time to finish a test, use of technology, visual learning aids and more. An assessment of your child will reveal the specific ways the school should help your child have a meaningful experience in his or her classroom.
Advocating for your child
Regardless of the specific needs your child has, you have the right as a parent to advocate for his or her rights. If you believe your student would benefit from an IEP, you may find it beneficial explore the next steps regarding an evaluation and IEP meeting. If the school is unresponsive, unhelpful or violates the educational rights of your child, you do not have to remain silent.