Making Changes to the IEPAfter the initial IEP is finalized or later IEPs are agreed upon (usually annually), IDEA 2004 provides new ways that parents and schools can make changes:
- Once the annual IEP team meeting has taken place, schools and parents are allowed to amend or change the IEP without holding another meeting of the full team.
- The entire IEP does not need to be rewritten in order to include such changes; however, parents may request a copy of the revised IEP with the changes included. At a minimum, you should receive a copy of the IEP changes in writing.
While these new provisions make it more convenient for both parents and schools to make IEP changes, you should be cautious about using this approach to changing your child's IEP. Minor changes involving things such as accommodations can be easily revised like this, but significant revisions such as changes in the services, frequency of those services, and how behavioral or disciplinary issues are addressed are good reasons to have a full IEP team meeting. When making IEP changes without a team meeting, you should make sure that the school representative making the change(s) is authorized to do so by the school district. Parents are free to request an IEP meeting at any time, and requests should always be made in writing.
Our IDEA Parent Guide, specifically Chapter 7: IEPs – Developing Your Child’s Education Plan, will be helpful to parents grappling with questions like these and other about Individualized Education Programs.