If your child struggles in school, you may have heard someone mention the term IEP, which stands for Individualized Education Program.
Whether you are new to the process and have never heard of IEPs before or if your child has already received an evaluation, we know the desire to understand what an IEP is and what it could mean for your child’s learning and future.
Getting an IEP evaluation can feel like a really big step to take and even overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t need to be with the right help. Understanding what the IEP is and how to effectively navigate the IEP process will help set you up for success as you start on this new journey towards getting your child the help they need to thrive not only in school but for the rest of their lives.
However, there are common misunderstandings about what an IEP means for a child’s learning program. In some cases, an IEP slows down the learning process to your child’s level, rather than helping your child speed up their learning to catch up with the rest of the class.
What Is an IEP and What Purpose Does It Serve?
An IEP is a “plan” for students who struggle with learning, to help give them the special education services, support, and resources they need to succeed in school. The main purpose of an IEP is not to help the child speed up their learning, but instead to slow down the learning process so the child has a better learning experience at their own level.
The IEP is developed by both the school staff and the child’s parents. They are made for eligible students in the public school system and the plan itself is free for the student and parents. In fact, it’s covered by special education law or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), so parents can work with the school to develop a plan and team that works for their child’s specific learning needs.
Navigating Your Child’s IEP
Under the IDEA, the parents have the right to be involved with their child’s IEP. The parent is a crucial part of a child’s IEP journey – you attend meetings, you advocate for your child, you are the one who makes sure your child is improving, and the one who is really going to stick up for your child if the IEP results aren’t working.
After the initial IEP meeting, there will likely be several more meetings that you will attend. The purpose of these meetings is to review your child’s learning plan, make revisions where necessary, and update the plan on a regular basis.
You may feel like the original results of the IEP aren’t enough to help improve your child’s learning progress in school or feel like the plan isn’t meeting your child’s specific learning needs. In these scenarios, you have the right to call a new meeting with the school staff involved in your child’s IEP journey along with a special education advocate, if you have hired one.
If you find that you aren’t seeing the progress that you feel is right for your child, you may need to consider additional services such as an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) or working with a learning expert like Hardy Brain Training to help your child make long-lasting progress.
Hardy Brain Training Helps Children Succeed In School
Hardy Brain Training offers personalized learning programs designed to help school-age children who struggle with learning and are falling behind in school. We often help children who already have an IEP and find that the IEP plan the child’s school developed may not be enough to improve the child’s ability to learn and process information.
Evaluations like the IEP don’t always provide clear answers about what steps parents should take next to help their child and that’s where Hardy Brain Training can help. We work with you, your child’s school, and your child’s special education advocate to create a learning program that follows along with your child’s IEP goals while simultaneously working to permanently improve cognitive and processing skills, which are the foundation of learning.
Improving cognitive and processing skills will help make learning easier, faster, and more fun so school can be an enjoyable experience. As well, we provide a clear path forward with steps that parents can take to help their child in school – steps you may not have received from your child’s IEP.
Contact us today to learn more about if Hardy Brain Training is a good fit for you and your child and as an additional resource to help, we also have a free online diagnostic quiz to identify key areas where your child may be struggling.