Thursday, April 20, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop: 5 Days of Homeschooling Children with Special Needs - IEP

Does my child need an IEP? What is an IEP? Doesn't this label my child as different? What are the benefits of having an IEP? For homeschoolers, the choice of whether or not your child should have an IEP varies widely. Some parents choose not to have an IEP for their children as it is one more hurdle to jump through at the end of the year when completing paperwork. Other parents choose to have an IEP for their child. The choice is individual and must be based upon what is best for your child.

My son, who has diagnoses of ADHD, Autism and various learning disabilities, has an IEP. When we switched to traditional homeschooling, I opted to keep his IEP in tact. Before I explain my reasons, I should explain what an IEP is. An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan. Every child who receives special education services must, according to the law set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, have an IEP.

The purpose of an IEP is to ensure that the child's learning issues are addressed and establishes attainable educational goals. The IEP includes a list of educational supports and services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy). It also includes a list of modifications (ex. using Dragon Speak instead of writing essays) and accommodations (ex. untimed tests) your child can use to help them be successful in learning.  Finally, it provides transition planning for life after graduation.

The reason I chose to keep an IEP for my child is that it will go with him to college. Should my son decide to seek further education, his IEP can be used at a college level to provide accommodations and modifications that can be essential to his success as a student. I have never seen the IEP as labelling my child. Rather, I have seen it as a valuable tool to help my child have all of the tools he needs to be successful. As I said at the beginning, choosing to have an IEP for your child is an individual choice that each parent must make based upon what they feel is best for their child. I hope this post and the links contained herein help shed some insight on IEPs.

The Homeschool Review Crew's 5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop 2017. Join us April 17-21, 2017. Check back here on my website for new posts throughout this week as well as the Homeschool Review Crew's website to see what new posts crew members have shared as well.

You can join in the fun. If you have a homeschool post that meets the criteria, please feel free to use the link-up below to share your post.

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