Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Common Questions/Answers about IEPs & Special Education

By law, the required members of your child’s IEP team include:

  • You (the parents)
  • At least one of your child’s special education teachers or service providers
  • At least one of your child’s regular education teachers
  • Someone who can explain the evaluation results
  • A school district representative who is qualified to provide or supervise special education, is knowledgeable about the general education classes and is knowledgeable about your child’s school district resources
  • Anyone else who has knowledge or expertise about your child
  • Your child, if appropriate

LEA stands for Local Educational Agency. In other words, your local board of education.

An IEP meeting is a meeting of your child’s IEP team members with the purpose of reviewing, revising, and updating your child’s IEP. An IEP meeting must be held once every year, but can also be held anytime discussions need to be held regarding your child’s IEP – so more often than once per year of necessary.

The best way to request an IEP meeting is to put the request in writing. Write a letter to your child’s teacher, case manager, principal, or special education office and ask for a meeting.  As a parent, you have the right to ask for an IEP meeting at anytime. 

Transition services prepare your child for life after finishing school.  The services should be individualized to your child’s strengths, needs, and interests. Other transition services include:

  • Daily living skills
  • Adult living skills
  • Improvement of your child’s academic achievement
  • Community experiences, employment, and related services

If you ask your child’s school to evaluate him for a disability, the school must conduct the evaluations within 60 days of your request. Always remember to put your request for an evaluation in writing.

FAPE stands for Free Appropriate Public Education. Federal law requires public schools and public charter schools to provide FAPE to students with disabilities. 

If you believe your child may have a disability and would like him evaluated, you must send a letter to the school demanding an evaluation. The school then has 60 days to evaluate your child.

Most parents are thrust into IEP meetings without any knowledge or experience in special education. On top of that, schools use many acronyms, and the conversation becomes frustrating. To give you a lead, here are a few of the most common acronyms:

IEP = Individualized Educational Program

FAPE = Free Appropriate Public Education

IEE = Independent Educational Evaluation

ESY = Extended School Year

LRE = Least Restrictive Environment

LEA = Local Education Agency

If you have general questions not covered here, send your question to us via email and we will respond.

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