Casi Heartstrong, CCC-SLP
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What is an IEP?

For families and educators new to IEPs, they can be difficult to understand. 

To put it in more digestible terms, an IEP (short for Individualized Education Plan) is an agreement between a family and the school to provide specialized services to meet the academic needs of a student that qualifies for special education.

A student may qualify for special education if they are assessed and determined to have a disabling condition that prevents them from meeting typical academic benchmarks. 

There are 13 categories of special education as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  In order to qualify for special education, the IEP team must determine that a child has one of the following:

  • Autism

  • Blindness

  • Deafness

  • Emotional Disturbance

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Multiple Disabilities

  • Orthopedic Impairment

  • Other Health Impaired

  • Specific Learning Disability

  • Speech or Language Impairment

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Visual Impairment

If you have questions or concerns about qualifications for special education, you should start a conversation with your school administration. Please note, the state and federal governments have outlined very specific qualifications to receive special education services. Your school administration can discuss those qualifications and options. You may also check out this linked page to learn more.