What the IEP Gives You: Services and Transitions
So to date we have covered the IEP and what to do when you get one assigned. But what happens once you get it? What does the IEP give you?
Well, first and foremost, the IEP gives you the ability to develop your child's educational program (until 18, but we will talk about that). But it also gives you access to related services. Let's first talk about the related services, because they often determine where you would like your child to be, and which classroom setup should be made available for your child.
Related services are services that are not directly involved in your child's education, but are required in order to supply an environment that is best dedicated to your child's education. These include developmental, corrective, and supportive services as well as transportation to and from class.
1. Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology: If necessary you can get a speech and language specialist to help guide your child through their education by developing their language skills. This is pretty common with non verbal and semi-verbal children with Autism.
2. Psychological services: if your child requires counseling or any type of psychological support, the IEP allows for that support to be provided. Not often required for children on the Spectrum, it may be necessary for any child who has had a tramatic event in their life and it gets in the way of their education.
3. Interpreting Services: For those children who need an interpreter, generally for those who are deaf, one can be provided. This may also be an aspect of your child's language services, if your child's therapist determines sign language is the best way for them to communicate.
4. Physical and Occupational Therapy: Very common with children on the Spectrum, these therapies are designed to help them perform common tasks. But they can also be used to find ways to calm a child down when they feel too stressed and are unwilling or unable to attend to the learning task at hand.
5. Recreation: Every child needs to blow off steam when stressed, just like the rest of us. Recreation, and even therapeutic recreation is an essential part of the child's daily routine. That should be provided for your child's educational success.
6. Social Work Services: Again not very common with children on the Spectrum, but if a social worker is necessary, those services are available.
7. School Nurse Services: If your child has other health problems, a school nurse may be necessary. The IEP will outline those requirements and require the school to have a nurse on staff.
8. Counseling Services: Great for those who need them, including rehabilitation services.
9. Orientation and Mobility Services: Sometimes it's necessary to require ramps or other mobility aides be available for your child.
10. Medical Services: Sometimes just a nurse on campus isn't enough: your child may need full diagnostic or evaluation services for their medical condition. The IEP will outline those requirements to the District and School, and provide you with a way to address the issues.