What Is an IEP? - Definition, Examples & Objectives Video

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  • 0:04 Definition of an IEP
  • 1:15 Objectives of an IEP
  • 1:50 Example of an IEP
  • 3:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Peggy Olsen
An IEP is an individualized education program developed for students with disabilities to ensure their educational goals are achieved. Learn more about IEPs, objectives, and examples and test your knowledge with quiz questions.

Definition of an IEP

An individualized education program (IEP) is a required step in the process of receiving special education services. A student's parents, teachers, and other service providers meet to come to a consensus about the educational accommodations necessary to assist the student in meeting the objectives. This group of professionals and parents are known as the IEP team.

Before an IEP can be written a student must be identified as needing services, evaluated, and found eligible (as defined by the Individuals with Disability Education Act, IDEA) for services. IEPs can be written for academic, social, emotional, and behavioral disabilities.

Once the IEP is written and approved by the parents and school personnel, services can be provided. Parents are provided with a copy of the IEP. Progress is reported regularly so parents know if the objectives for the year will be met. At least once a year the IEP team meets to review. During reviews, school personnel and parents (and student if it's appropriate) evaluate the progress and decide if revisions should be made. If they're unable to come to consensus, the parents may ask for mediation or a due process hearing.

Objectives of an IEP

The purpose of an IEP is to meet the child's needs based on the child's development rather than on predetermined expectations based on grade level. The IEP takes both strengths and challenges into consideration, using a child's strengths to improve his or her challenges. The IEP team must determine the proper placement for a child using the environment that is the least restrictive possible. A child is pulled out of a regular classroom and put in another environment only when absolutely necessary for the child's education. Any time spent outside the regular education classroom must be explained in the IEP.

Example of an IEP

IEPs are required to include certain information including, but not limited to, the child's current level of performance, goals, accommodations, modification, services, and least restriction environment explanations.

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