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Special Education Law

Determining eligibility for an IEP

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | IEP |

In California and throughout the country, public schools must provide accommodation for students with special needs. There are several ways to do this. Many students receive what is known as an “individualized education program” (IEP), which is customized to help each student achieve full potential in an academic setting.  

Not all students qualify for an IEP. Typically, a concerned parent or guardian will request one. School officials will then review the request and schedule a meeting with the parent or guardian, as well as other adults, such as the student’s teachers, as well as a representative of the local education agency (LEA) and other advocates or service providers.  

Students with these conditions or issues usually qualify for an IEP 

While school boards decide each case based on its own unique merits, they do so in accordance with state guidelines. The following list shows several issues that create eligibility for an IEP: 

  • Student lives with a disability that impedes ability to function in school 
  • A disability is preventing a student from accessing education programs 
  • Special services may help student progress in an academic setting 

Conditions that typically create eligibility for an IEP include things like autism, vision, hearing or speech impairment, brain injury, or emotional or mental health disturbances. There are numerous other issues that would qualify a student for an IEP, as well. 

Protecting a student’s best interests 

If a parent or guardian believes a student has been wrongfully denied an IEP in a California school, he or she may seek additional support from an experienced attorney. There are attorneys who focus their efforts on special education law issues. Such issues are often complex, which is why it is helpful to seek guidance from someone who routinely deals with the topic in a legal environment.