IEP (Special Education)
An Individualized Education Program, also known as an IEP, is a documented plan created at a public school for any child that needs special education. IEPs are required for students eligible for special education services under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers children ages three to 22. Under this law, children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) and an IEP should develop a method by which this right can be fulfilled. Sadly, many parents struggle to get their disabled child’s educational needs met and schools do not always comply with their obligations. If you need to make sure your child has an appropriate IEP in public school, you should discuss the situation with our experienced Washington D.C. special education lawyers.IEP
An IEP is supposed to be tailored to a child’s particular needs. There are children with disabilities who struggle to access educational services they need because there is no one-size-fits all approach to learning. In order to be entitled to an IEP, your child needs to have one of thirteen different types of disabilities covered by IDEA, including autism, speech impairment and orthopedic impairment.
The IEP should incorporate a detailed description of what services a particular child must receive. They should also include the objectives for that child, considerations of what kinds of teaching a child needs to meet those objectives, and observations about the child’s educational status. Other services that might be needed and should be considered in developing the IEP include occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral therapy, and vocational services.
Your student should be integrated in a classroom with students that don’t have disabilities when that is possible. Once an IEP is developed, your child’s progress should be monitored, and periodically, so should the appropriateness of the IEP.Procedure for Developing an IEP and Asking for a Due Process Hearing
After it’s determined that your child should have an IEP, a team should develop it. The law asks that an evaluation of your student occur. The more complicated your child’s situation is, the more crucial it is to get sound advice from our attorneys.
In an ideal world, the school would be willing to create, modify and revise your child’s IEP as he or she progresses in school and his or her needs change. When an IEP isn’t created or implemented or otherwise handled properly, it may be necessary to ask for a due process hearing. Our lawyers can correspond with the district in order to see whether the matter can be resolved short of this hearing. When appropriate, we can advocate for you as parents to ensure that your needs are also represented as your child’s IEP is being developed.
The administrative due process hearing, should it become necessary for us to file an administrative complaint for one, will be similar to a court proceeding. Rather than a judge, however, a hearing officer will evaluate your child’s case. In order to prepare for the hearing, our attorneys would advise you on case strategy. It may be necessary to go to prehearing meetings and participate in mediations and we can advocate for your child and you in those, too. Additionally, as with court, evidence will need to be gathered, including the identification and preparation of witnesses.Retain a Seasoned Washington D.C. IEP Lawyer
Your child has rights to a free, proper education regardless of his or her ability. Unfortunately, parents and school districts may disagree about what constitutes a FAPE along with the details of an IEP program to address needs. If you are concerned about getting your child an appropriate IEP, you should discuss your situation with our seasoned Washington D.C. special education attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti as soon as possible. Mr. Famiglietti represents students in their families in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He also handles matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act and 504 Plans. Complete our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.