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Developing Your Child's IEP - Are IEP Services Based on What's Available at the School?

Question 6. My child's school says IEP services are based on what is available at the school. Is this right?

Answer

No. The IEP team is required to develop an IEP that meets all your child's needs, regardless of "what's available" at the school.

The school must comply with the legal requirements for IEPs. The services "available" or the delivery system is irrelevant.

Your child's IEP must be individualized.

"What we have available" usually refers to a one-size-fits-all program that is not individualized to meet a child's unique needs.

The amount of a special education or related service the school provides only may be stated in the IEP as a range (e.g., speech therapy to be provided three times per week for 30-45 minutes per session) if the IEP team determines that stating the amount of services as a range is necessary to meet the unique needs of the child.

The school may not use a range because of personnel shortages or uncertainty regarding the availability of staff.

Legal Resources

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 3rd Edition. Chapter 4 is an Overview of IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA with extensive commentary. Chapter 5 is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act with extensive commentary and analysis. Chapter 6 is the IDEA Regulations (34 C.F.R. Section 300.320).

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 3rd Edition, is available in the Wrightslaw Store.

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs Chapter 4 - Present Levels, Measurable Goals, Services

More Resources

How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Your Child's Special Education

Must Services in the IEP be Provided by a Special Ed Teacher?

Identifying and Meeting a Child's Language Needs

Can Parents Demand a Member of the IEP Team be Excluded?

State Special Education Regulations and Guidelines. You will find your specific state regulations at your State Department of Education website. Use the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities to locate your state site.

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