At this time of year, many schools assess the progress their students have made, and in turn re-assess their materials needs. Some students are making excellent progress in therapy and some may have already been discharged from articulation therapy, using Speech Buddies and other evidence-based materials. But, as we know from a seminal study I often cite (Jacoby, 2002), 28% of kids make little to no progress in even an extended regimen of therapy.
While a due process hearing for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal procedure, it is also different from a typical court case. It will not be held in a courtroom. Instead of a judge and jury, a hearing officer is responsible for examining the evidence, hearing testimony, and making a binding decision. The hearing officer may not be employed by the school district – he is a neutral third party.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a child who qualifies for special education requires an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This is a written treatment plan that describes your child’s speech therapy needs and how they will be met within the public school system. After your child is evaluated by an interdisciplinary team of professionals, you will receive a notice for an IEP meeting. During this meeting, the team will discuss your child’s needs and write his IEP if he is eligible for special education.
What is the IEP?
The Individualized Education Program is a treatment plan for your child’s speech disorder. It is specially tailored to meet your child’s needs. An IEP is implemented within the public school system in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). While it’s not exactly rocket science, navigating the IEP process may sometimes be frustrating. You’ll likely have a great deal of paperwork to review.