What If an IEP Is Not Working?

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools must develop and follow an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for children with disabilities in need of special education services. The IEP must be specifically tailored to address the individual educational needs of each child and identify the services that the school will provide to meet these needs.

IEPs must be reviewed annually and can be revised as needed. In situations where an IEP does not seem to be working, you may need to revisit the plan with your child’s school. Keep in mind that change doesn’t happen overnight, so it is not necessarily a problem if you don’t see immediately see any positive changes after the IEP is implemented. However, you should continue to monitor your child’s progress and raise your concerns if your child continues to struggle.

The first step is to talk about your worries with your child’s teacher or IEP case manager. They may be able to offer you insight on how your child is progressing in the classroom and provide suggestions for how you can facilitate your child’s growth at home. If this conversation doesn’t alleviate your concerns, you can request a program review meeting by contacting the IEP case manager.

At the IEP meeting, your child’s IEP team will review the current plan and determine if adjustments should be made. Come prepared to discuss your questions and concerns and advocate on behalf of your child. If specific accommodations or services are not working, the team can explore other options that might work better. The IEP’s goals can also be updated to better align with your child’s specific learning style and educational needs.

If the school refuses to hold an IEP meeting or modify your child’s IEP as necessary, you should immediately consult with a knowledgeable education attorney. You may need to take legal action in order to ensure your child’s educational rights are protected.  

Can a child with IEP fail?

Yes, a child with an IEP can fail. However, it is rare for children with IEPs to fail classes.  

While an IEP does not guarantee that a child will not fail, it is unusual for a child with an IEP to fail. If a child with a disability is failing classes, the IEP should be revisited to determine if different services would be more appropriate to ensure the child’s education. An IEP is required to offer the child a meaningful Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), and if your child is failing, adjustments to the IEP may be necessary. 

However, if your child is failing because the school is not following the IEP, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the school. Reach out to an education lawyer as soon as possible if your child’s school refuses to stick to the IEP.

Is an IEP legally binding?

Yes, an IEP is considered a legally binding contract for services between a student’s parents and the school district.

If a school fails to provide the services required by the IEP, it has violated the IDEA. In these situations, the child’s parents may pursue legal action against the school district. When the court agrees that the school is not complying with the IEP, it can order the school to comply or provide additional services in compensation for the educational opportunities lost because of the violation. The school may also have to cover the legal fees the parents incurred while seeking to enforce the IEP.

Read More

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