How to Read an IEP

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  • 0:04 The IEP
  • 0:35 Common IEP Terms
  • 2:57 Reading an IEP
  • 4:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shannon Orr
In this lesson, we'll define and explain what an IEP is before discussing different terms found in an IEP and explaining how to help parents and guardians understand what's listed.

The IEP

Whether you set out to be a teacher when you first started school or decided later on in life that teaching was your calling, one thing you are likely to remember from your courses is how many acronyms are used in education. In addition to all these acronyms, there are also many new terms specific to the educational world. An IEP is one of these key terms in special education. It's important to understand the key components of an IEP so that you can explain these terms to parents when you begin implementing the plans.

Common IEP Terms

An individualized education plan (IEP) is a document that's designed to help teachers assist students with disabilities in reaching academic goals. Once teachers are equipped to serve these students, they can ensure that these students are given opportunities to succeed similarly to students who don't have disabilities. They can also then explain the IEP to parents or guardians.

One of the terms that may be new to parents or guardians as they read an IEP is accommodations. Accommodations are adjustments students with disabilities need in order for them to learn or perform well academically. For example, some students may do better when they are sitting near the teacher during class and/or during tests, so one accommodation listed on their IEP may be preferred seating. As students progress, some accommodations may become necessary that once weren't, and students may outgrow the need for others, so it's important that these accommodations are reviewed annually and adjusted appropriately.

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