The IEP Process Explained by an Attorney

Christopher Knauf is the founder of Knauf Associates in Santa Monica, CA. His law firm specializes in disability rights and education-related legal disputes. He has also served as an independent hearing officer for Section 504 special education disputes. Mr. Knauf was kind enough to speak with and answer some questions about the overall IEP process.

I&RS vs. 504 Accommodation Plan vs. IEP

You’ve heard about the I&RS Plan and the 504 Accommodation Plan as well as the IEP, but what are these documents? How are they different? When are they relevant to your child? And most importantly, how do you get one if you need one?

Let’s begin with the plan that is least involved and I’ll get into the plan that is the most involved.

Intervention & Referral Services Action Plan

NYC Department of Education Planning Changes to Special Ed

New York City is behind only Washington, D.C. for the worst record in the United States regarding integrating special needs students in mainstream classrooms.  The city plans to align NYC with other school districts by including more special ed students in these classrooms.

IEP Goals for Children with Autism

The IEP is an important tool for educating children with autism.  IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan, and the “individualized” is a key term.  One goal that is ideal for one child is not the best for another child.  However, you can follow some of these examples and modify them based on your child’s or student’s needs.  These IEP goals and objectives are ideal for childr

How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting

It’s the time that parents refer to as “IEP season,” and many parents face it with a mixture of hope and apprehension.  The IEP is an individualized document designed to outline goals and treatment plans for children with special needs.  The IEP meeting gives parents, teachers, therapists, school administrators, and services personnel to work together to create and implement individualized goals.

The First Step of an I.E.P.

When enrolling your child with special needs or a learning disability into school, you may have heard the phrase I.E.P. tossed around a few times.  If this is your first child that needs to enter special education, the I.E.P. process can be a daunting one.  However, with a little research and help from other parents, you can secure your child a spot in special education without any problems.

Preparing for the First IEP Meeting

Enrolling your child into special education is the best thing you can do for your child if they have severe learning disabilities or special needs.  However, getting started with the program can be intimidating since there are so many steps and meetings.  Don’t feel overwhelmed by this new adventure; instead rely on helpful teachers or school administrators and other parents who have been down the same path before.

What Information is Included in an IEP?

Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) are established for special needs children or children with learning disabilities to ensure that they have an equal chance at learning and education.  The whole IEP process can be an intimidating and time-consuming one.  Your child’s individual IEP will contain a lot of different information regarding your child, his or her learning abilities and disabilities, as well as the extra resources and assistance the school will grant them.

Your Part in IEP Meetings

As you may have already discovered, getting a child enrolled in an Individual Education Plan, (IEP), and special education can be a momentous task.  However, once your child gets evaluated and approved into special education, things will get easier.  As your child’s advocate, IEP meetings are essential to getting your child the proper education they need for their unique needs.

Using RtI Data to Get Ready for IEP Season

Now that the holidays are done and even though it is not yet Spring, the time is now to get ready for what is commonly known as "IEP season." While the thought of the next annual review or domains meeting to decide on a round of evaluations may be enough to provoke an anxiety attack, there are some strategies that can be employed to give you more control and a plan going into the next round of meetings. The following are some useful things to do that I have been using recently as I get ready to represent parents at IEP meetings.