Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Read an IEP: Acronyms and Language

By Marcie Lipsitt, NCLD Parent Leader - National Center for Learning Disabilities

Learning the Language of Special Education

As parents of children with special needs we pride ourselves on being experts. Unfortunately, too often we are expected to be experts in the field of public education, special education, and research-based educational best practices, written in a language that we do not fully understand. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004) ensures that parents are equal members of their children’s IEP teams and with that comes an implied responsibility. Our children’s right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) and meaningful educational benefit rests upon our willingness to embrace the uncomfortable and learn everything that we can about this special education Holy Grail — the IEP — and the special education acronyms inherent in building this document.
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