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IEP Basics for Families of Preschool Students


So your child has been found eligible for special education services. Now what?? Now begins the process of developing an educational program for your child that is designed to meet his or her specific needs as identified in the Evaluation Report. The program that you develop will be written down in a document called an Individualized Education Program — or IEP for short.

An IEP is an action plan created by parents and educators that explains and sets out the services and supports deemed necessary for a student with a disability to learn. It is a written document which is individualized for each student with a disability who is found eligible for special education services. It sets achievement goals and instructs how progress towards these goals is measured and specifically states where the child will be educated. IEPs must be reviewed at least once a year to update contents as needed.

Depending on how long your child remains eligible for special education services, he or she may have many IEPs over the school years. Learning about the IEP process and contributing to the development of your child's IEPs are two of the most important things you will do for your child.

The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.