Thank you for visiting our blog about IEP Learning Disability. This article is for students with learning challenges! This blog post will go over the steps in creating an IEP, the kinds of services and goals schools can include, and methods for helping students with specific learning disabilities in the classroom.
A learning disability is a neurological condition that impairs a person’s information processing and comprehension capacity. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, it can impair someone’s ability to read, write, listen, speak, spell, and do math—abnormalities in how the brain processes information cause learning difficulties rather than a lack of intelligence or effort.
Your child may qualify for special education services through an IEP if identified as having a learning disability. A legal document known as an IEP describes the precise objectives and services offered to your child to help their academic progress in school. Examples of these precise objectives can be found at IEP Goals Examples. A group of educators, parents, and other professionals collaborate to build the IEP and develop a strategy that addresses your child’s particular needs.
We hope that the information and resources on this blog will be helpful to you as you support your child with a learning disability in their academic endeavors. You may also consider visiting Understood.org, a comprehensive resource for learning disabilities.
What Is an Individualized Education Program?
For students with disabilities enrolled in public schools, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a document created for them. The IEP outlines the precise educational objectives and services the school will offer students to support their academic success. The objectives and services in the IEP are based on the student’s strengths and needs as determined by evaluations and assessments and are specifically designed to address those needs.
A team of educators, parents, and other professionals collaborate to establish an IEP, a legally enforceable document that outlines a strategy for meeting each student’s requirements. The team often comprises the student’s teachers, parents or guardians, special education teachers, or other experts. Depending on the student’s needs, other specialists like occupational or speech therapists may also be a part of the team.
The IEP typically contains details regarding the student’s current functional and academic performance level, measurable annual goals, and the special education and associated services the school will offer the child. Additionally, it could contain details regarding the student’s involvement in the general education curriculum, testing accommodations, and transition plans for students approaching the age of majority.
The IEP is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it continues to meet the student’s changing needs. It is an essential tool for ensuring that students with disabilities have the support and accommodations they need to succeed in school.
What Disabilities Qualify for an IEP?
Children with any of the following disabilities may be eligible for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):
- Autistic disorder
- Emotional disturbance
- Hearing impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment
- Specific learning disability (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia)
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment
A child must be determined to be qualified for special education and related services under IDEA to be eligible for an IEP. For the child to succeed academically, they must have a handicap that interferes with their capacity to study and access the general education curriculum. They also must require special education and related services.
My child has an IEP—now what? You can ask your child’s school to evaluate if you think your child could be disabled and need an IEP. If your child qualifies for special education services, the school is required to undertake a thorough review. If the evaluation determines eligibility, the school will collaborate with you to create an IEP matching your child’s requirements.
What are The 7 Main Types of Learning Disabilities?
There are seven main types of disabilities, together with their sample IEP learning disability:
- Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to read and interpret words, letters, and symbols. People with dyslexia may have difficulty sounding out words, comprehending what they read, and spelling.
- Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand and work with numbers. People with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding math concepts, performing calculations, and solving math problems.
- Dysgraphia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to write and express themselves on paper. People with dysgraphia may have difficulty organizing their thoughts, spelling, and forming letters and words legibly.
- Auditory processing disorder is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand and interpret sounds, including spoken language. People with auditory processing disorder may have difficulty following verbal instructions, understanding lectures, and participating in conversations.
- Visual processing disorder is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand and interpret visual information, including written language. People with visual processing disorder may have difficulty reading and comprehending text, interpreting diagrams and charts, and copying from a board or screen.
- Nonverbal learning disability is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand and interpret nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and gestures. People with a nonverbal learning disability may have difficulty interpreting social cues, participating in group activities, and understanding the perspective of others.
- Executive functioning disorder is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to plan, organize, initiate tasks, and manage time. People with executive functioning disorder may have difficulty starting and completing tasks, staying organized, and managing their time effectively.
It’s important to remember that these are only a few forms of learning difficulties that a person may have. The severity of learning difficulties and the particular skills they affect might vary considerably. Some people with learning disabilities could struggle with a specific task, while others might struggle more generally.
IEP Sample for Learning Disabilities
Here is an example of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with learning disabilities:
Student: John Doe
Date of IEP: 9/1/20XX
Present levels of academic achievement and functional performance: John, a third-grade student with dyslexia and a specific learning disability in reading, is diagnosed with these conditions. He now struggles with decoding and comprehension and reads at a first-grade level. John also needs help with spelling and expressing himself in writing. He learns best visually. Thus, graphic organizers and visual aids are helpful to him.
Measurable annual goals:
- Increase reading fluency by at least one grade level as determined by progress monitoring and curriculum-based measures (CBMs).
- Improve reading comprehension by at least one grade level as measured by CBMs and progress monitoring.
- Increase written expression skills by at least one grade level as measured by teacher observation and student self-assessment.
- As measured by spelling tests and teacher observation, improve spelling skills by at least one grade level.
Special education and related services:
- John will receive specialized reading instruction from a certified special education teacher for 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
- He will also receive 30 minutes of one-on-one support from a paraprofessional each day to assist with decoding and comprehension skills.
- John will have access to assistive technology, such as text-to-speech software, to support his reading and writing.
- He will also receive accommodations, such as extra time on tests and modified assignments, as needed.
Participation in the general education curriculum: John will participate in the general education program as much as possible. He will get the essential aid and modifications to participate in class if necessary.
- John will be allowed extra time on tests as needed.
- During tests, he will also be allowed to use assistive technology, such as text-to-speech software.
John is a third-grade student approaching the age of majority. The IEP team will begin the transition planning process to ensure he has the skills and support he needs to transition to adulthood successfully.
The above is just one example of an IEP for a student with learning disabilities. It is important to note that the goals and services outlined in an IEP should be tailored to the student’s individual needs and may vary widely from one student to another.
What are The 3 Most Important Parts of an IEP?
The three most essential parts of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are:
- Present levels of academic achievement and functional performance: The student’s current educational attainment and functional performance are described in this section of the IEP. It should contain information on the student’s requirements, strengths, and any difficulties they may be having in the classroom.
- Measurable annual goals: The student will strive toward these specified, quantifiable goals throughout the academic year as outlined in this portion of the IEP. These objectives must be realistic and cater to each student’s needs throughout the academic year.
- Special education and related services: This section of the IEP outlines the specific types of special education and related services the student will receive. These may include accommodations, such as extra time on tests or modification of assignments, or support from a special education teacher or paraprofessional.
An IEP may also include the following:
- Transition plans for students close to the age of majority.
- Information concerning the student’s involvement in the general education curriculum.
- Testing accommodations.
For the IEP to continue to address the student’s changing requirements, it must be reviewed and revised frequently.
IEP vs. 504
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) and a 504 Plan are documents that provide accommodations and support to students with disabilities.
However, there are some key differences between the two:
- Eligibility: To be eligible for an IEP, According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a student must be determined to be qualified for special education services (IDEA). It means that for students to benefit from special education and related programs and advance academically, they must have a condition that interferes with their capacity to study and access the general education curriculum. To be eligible for a 504 Plan, According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a student must have a disability that “substantially restricts” at least one significant living activity.
- Process: The process for developing an IEP is more formal and structured than the process for developing a 504 Plan. A team of educators, parents, and other professionals who work together to create a plan that meets the student’s unique needs develop an IEP. The student’s school designs a 504 plan, which they can implement without the involvement of a formal team or review process.
- Services: An IEP is a legally binding document outlining the specific goals and services the school will provide to a student with a disability. These services may include accommodations, such as extra time on tests or modification of assignments, or support from a special education teacher or paraprofessional. A 504 Plan is a non-binding document outlining the accommodations and support provided to a student with a disability. These accommodations may include preferential seating or testing accommodations but do not typically include specialized instruction or help from a special education teacher.
IEPs and 504 Plans can be effective tools for assisting students with disabilities in the classroom, and it’s important to remember this. Students’ unique needs and circumstances determine which option is best for them.
The IEP Process
The process for developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a collaborative effort involving the student, their parents or guardians, and a team of educators and other professionals.
The process typically includes the following steps:
- Evaluation and determination of eligibility: You can ask your child’s school to conduct an assessment if you think your child could be disabled and need an IEP. If your child qualifies for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the school must conduct a thorough review.
- Development of the IEP: If your child is determined to be eligible for special education services based on the evaluation, the school will collaborate with you to create an IEP that addresses your child’s needs. The IEP team will consider the evaluation’s findings and any suggestions from the student’s guardians, parents, teachers, or other experts. The IEP will outline the special education and related services offered to the student and specific, quantifiable goals for them to work towards during the academic year.
- Implementation of the IEP: The student’s educational environment adopts the IEP after its creation. The student’s teachers and other professionals collaborate to deliver the services and adjustments indicated in the IEP and monitor the student’s progress toward their goals.
- Review and revision of the IEP: To ensure that it remains responsive to the student’s evolving needs, the IEP is routinely reviewed and modified. At least once a year, the IEP team should get together to discuss the student’s progress and make any required adjustments to the IEP.
IEP Laws And Regulations
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are governed by federal and state laws and regulations that outline the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities, their parents or guardians, and educators.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a civil rights statute that provides students with disabilities the right to a free, adequate public education (FAPE), is the primary federal law governing IEPs. IDEA mandates that public schools give disabled kids access to the general education curriculum and any extra assistance and accommodations they might require to succeed in school.
States and local educational agencies (LEAs) must create and administer IEPs for eligible pupils following IDEA. Each IEP must be customized to address the student’s unique needs and be based on the needs and strengths of the student as determined through evaluations and assessments. The IEP must outline the special education and related services the school will offer students and clear, quantifiable goals for them to work towards during the academic year.
In addition to IDEA, there are several other federal and state laws and regulations on IEPs. These may include laws related to the evaluation and assessment of students with disabilities, the provision of special education and related services, and the rights of students with disabilities and their parents or guardians.
Educators and parents need to be familiar with the laws and regulations that pertain to IEPs to ensure that the rights of students with disabilities are protected and that they receive the support and accommodations they need to succeed in school.
Jennifer Hanson is a dedicated and seasoned writer specializing in the field of special education. With a passion for advocating for the rights and needs of children with diverse learning abilities, Jennifer uses her pen to educate, inspire, and empower both educators and parents alike.