Individualized Education Programme (IEP) is a written document to document use of and modification made on a student’s learning journey in school. IEP can be used to plan, monitor and review a student’s learning progress. In addition, it is a plan that incorporates a child’s strength and weaknesses in their learning journey.
What is Individualized Education Plan, IEP?
A child with additional needs should have an IEP when they start schooling. School will be able to provide an IEP which clearly states how the school will help your child to improve and build their skills. IEP is usually a year-long plan which tracks and support your child in school. Schools will provide timely update on the progress made based on IEP goals.
Who should be involved in IEP planning?
Everyone who will be working with your child to support him / her in school should be involved in the IEP planning, including parents. It should include at least a head teacher, class teacher and special education teacher in the process of IEP planning.
What should be in an IEP?
IEP includes a review of child’s current performance level in terms of abilities, skills, challenges and strengths. This review can be done by any teachers who are working with your child and who will be working with your child on his / her yearly goals.
From the current performance level, teachers / school can plan for annual goal for your child which includes academic and functional skills of your child. Each of the annual goal will then be broken down into shorter term goals. Note that each goal should be measurable and achievable within the time frame stated.
The next item that should be included in an IEP is progress report. School / teachers would be able to provide a timely update (quarterly, at least) on the progress of your child towards the goal set. This progress should include assignments, quiz work, observations or written reports of your child’s achievement.
Furthermore, IEP captures services that your child is receiving to achieve his / her goals. For example, if your child requires additional reading support, he / she may receive additional hour of reading guidance by a certain teacher. If your child is receiving other instructional support, such as less homework or if your child is allowed to take a breather when he / she feels overwhelmed, this will also be captured in the IEP.
Finally, parents should be included in the IEP planning. Parents need to agree with the IEP for school / teacher to provide the support needed by your child in school. For older children or children who are able to express themselves, their input or thoughts can be included in the IEP plan.
How can you make use of IEP?
As parents, do review and keep track of the progress of your child in school through IEP. Meanwhile, if you have concern or queries on each goals set, do seek clarification with the school / teachers. By looking at the goals, you will be able to identify areas where your child requires further support. Speak to teachers on other activities that you can do at home with your child to support his learning.
For example, teacher has identified one of the areas of social skill is to build responsibility by putting materials away independently.
What you can do at home is to support your child by providing opportunities for your child to put away toys or clothes. By assigning task or chores to your child, you are also building his independence skill.
If your child is in a school that accommodates your child’s needs, the school should be able to prepare an IEP for your child. IEP captures how the school is accommodating to your child’s learning needs and areas where your child requires additional support.
Read more about IEP here from understood.org