Students with special needs have to be evaluated using an Individual Education Plan. Also referred to as the IEP, it identifies the strength and weaknesses of the student while providing guidelines in the delivery of a more effective education. IEP of any student should be assessed yearly. The special education program must also be evaluated to determine its effectiveness at reaching the academic goals of the student.

For parents, detail first the weaknesses and strengths of the child, even including the things that are not related to the academic life of the student. For instance you can cite the child’s talent in reading and problem solving. On the other hand the weaknesses can be their difficulty lacing their shoes, or following directions.

Then make a list of goals you want for your child. It can be short term as well as long term goals. These goal types are to be discussed in the IEP meeting.

After this you need to evaluate the list and prioritize the goals. This way you are enabling the IEP team to come up with teaching strategies which can focus on the main concerns first.

Discuss your goals, concerns, and expectations with the IEP team. You can also inquire on how the academic program can be set to meet the needs of your child. You may also desire to chat with the teachers of your child to learn how your kid is doing in school. It can give you a way to learn more on the behavior, struggles as well as triumphs that your kid may not have shared with you. Then talk with your kid to learn their sentiments on their special education program.

For educators, assessing the special education programs begins with knowing the student. They should also identify the accommodations that the student needs in order to be thriving in school. Then a review of the existing academic plan of the student is needed to know the areas of the plan which needs to be adjusted.

An evaluation of the existing IEP should then be made based on its effectiveness in addressing the physical, academic, and emotional needs of the student. It can also provide insights on what services the child requires.

Lastly attend the IEP meeting of the student to have a better understanding on how effective the existing IEP is, and what needs to be adjusted to make it more effective.

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