Just Precious

Always in support of the IEP

Posted in education, parenting by Julie Meyers Pron on November 11, 2009


A recent friend’s facebook status read:  

…is PISSED at his kindergarten teacher!… now they are trying to get him labeled IEP, more money for the public school, … already had him tested over summer and educationally speaking he is fine, I have the documentation! He is SO smart he shocks us!!He has other issueses from [an injury] but NONE having to due with intelligence
I’m paraphrasing. As an educator, this status frustrated me. Reading it made me want to reach through the computer, grab her and shake her. “Do you know how wonderful a kindergarten IEP is?! Do you know how far ahead of the game you’ll be with a little Individualized Education Plan in place?!”
Once one has an IEP, it can never, ever be taken away. It will always be in the child’s file, even if you move to a different system, even if the child “graduates” from the IEP. An IEP allows for a group of adults and, at times, the child, to discuss and analyze the child to determine the best method for that child to learn.  Special services may be determined necessary. And, really, why not?! Why not get everything there is from the public educational system? Why not bring a little attention to your child, in a positive, forward thinking manner? Why not accept smaller classes and a lower student:teacher ratio? Why not, possibly, offer a child special testing conditions, special learning conditions, and special consideration and attention to help the child succeed?
Having your child pin-pointed as a child in need (any need) isn’t a bad thing; its a good thing. With overcrowded classrooms and under-assisted teachers, getting your child out of the middle (where students needs are often overlooked) and into a specialized plan should be considered a goal. Its a way to help your child to succeed.
Its also important to know that a teacher can’t just send a note home and write an IEP. Screenings take months of discussion, meetings and assessments. The process begins with a referral to assess. What follows is a stream of events that call for approvals, signatures, discussions and observations. This timeline gives an example of the timeline in California. Its a great example, though it may change from state to state.
An IEP opens doors for students. It defines their learning styles, needs and offers suggestions (usually practices) that helps the student to succeed.


More IEP Resources*:
IEP Process
Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (M-Team or MDE)
IEP Guidelines
Teacher resources and key terms and definitions
*Just Precious does not guarantee the information in the resources to be correct. We recommend them only as articles for further reading. Image created by Dominik Gwarek.