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What is included in an Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

Angela Oswalt Morelli , MSW, edited by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

The Individual Education Plan is a very detailed plan for a specific child's special educational needs and identifies the services that will be provided to meet those needs. The plan generally contains six main components:

magnifying glass on question mark1. It documents the skills and abilities of the student at the start of the plan,
2. It describes specific goals and accomplishments that are expected by the end of one year,
3. It identifies how that progress will be measured and reported,
4. It defines what special services, equipment, or curriculum modifications are necessary to achieve the plan's goals,
5. It defines how often a student will receive those services, and,
6. It specifies where those services will be delivered.

IEP Performance Section

The first section of an IEP discusses a child's present level of educational performance. If this is a child's initial IEP development, the evaluation data used to prove the student's eligibility can be summarized in this portion. Likewise, if the IEP is written after a re-evaluation, the summary of the evaluation information can be described here. However, if the IEP is being reviewed between evaluations, data including grades, academic assessments, functional assessments, and descriptions from other staff could be included. If parents disagree with any statements being made, they should make sure they voice their disagreement and explain their viewpoint and supporting evidence, such as behavioral reports from home, or other settings, other assessments the child may have received, a child's own report, etc. All of these viewpoints should be entered into the IEP. Furthermore, caregivers should also advocate that their child's strengths are included in this document, and not just their weaknesses.