As children grow, their needs change constantly. Their physical and emotional needs change as they age, as well as their educational needs.
Parents with children who have an individualized education program (IEP) know that it is critical to adjust the strategies and goals of the IEP every year to meet their child’s changing needs. That is often the purpose of the annual IEP meeting.
However, what should parents consider when it is time to revise their child’s IEP?
Important factors to consider when adjusting IEPs
Reviewing the IEP annually helps to ensure the plan meets the child’s needs effectively, but how do parents know they should revise the IEP? The U.S. Department of Education states that parents and the IEP team should carefully consider several factors when reviewing the IEP, including but not limited to:
- Their child’s progress in achieving the goals of the IEP;
- Any results from new evaluations and progress reports;
- The child’s strengths and needs; and
- Specific concerns from parents and teachers.
If there is a gap in the child’s progress or significant concerns, it might be time to reevaluate and revise the IEP.
Distance learning remains a large concern when it comes to IEPs
This year, many parents of students in special education share the same concern as the new school year begins: what will happen with distance learning models?
Many parents and students alike faced significant frustration when schools and districts suddenly shifted to distance learning. Districts failed to adhere to IEPs and meet student’s needs all across California.
Even though Gov. Newsom’s reopening plan states that all distance learning models should have tailored support for children in special education programs, many parents are still worried about how well distance learning models will meet their children’s needs.
This is a valid concern, but parents must remember that they have the right to participate and make decisions regarding their child’s best interests and their education. The Los Angeles Times reports that, especially if they are faced with distance learning, parents should not be afraid to adjust:
- The expectations and goals of their child’s IEP; and
- The plan for how their child will meet those goals.
Distance learning is a challenge for many students, which is why it is more critical than ever to review and revise IEPs and help children obtain the specific support they will need to succeed.