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NC Education Lawyer Blog

  • Writer's pictureNeubia Harris

How Do I Know If My Child’s IEP is Working?

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes the special services, strategies, adjustments, support, instruction, and goals your child needs to thrive in school.

Like you, many parents whose child has a learning disability are asking, “how do I know if my child's IEP is working.”

Here are ways to know if your child is making progress!

Personal observation

As a parent, you can observe to determine if your child is meeting set IEP goals. For example, if your child is receiving speech therapy, you should see a speech improvement.

Your child should also be able to utilize a skill learned in school in various environments. For instance, a child that has acquired money math skills should be able to apply them in stores and other real-world scenarios. You should also observe if your child's mastery of a particular skill is improving.

Participation in state and district-wide assessments

Just as their peers without learning disabilities, your child has a right to participate in state and district-wide assessments to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

Schools use these tests to measure the academic performance of their students. These tests can help you see how your child compares against others of the same age or grade level and whether progress is being made.

Information from classroom teacher

If your child is partly or fully involved in regular classroom activities, you can ask about your child’s progress from the teacher.

Questions and concerns you have can also be directed to the teacher. You'll be able to get feedback and other information about your child during open houses and other school events.

Annual IEP review

Every year, the IEP team (which includes you) meets to determine how well the plan worked in helping your child achieve the academic, social, mental, and social goals for the year.

A new IEP, which contains your child’s current performance level for each goal, is also created during the annual review. You can compare the current level with the previous year’s level to see whether IEP is working.

Independent assessment

If you feel your child isn’t improving or think the IEP review isn’t a true reflection of your child’s level of performance, you can get an independent evaluation and compare the result to previous indicators.

What if your child’s IEP isn’t working?

If your child isn’t making progress, you can request a meeting to review and modify the IEP. A special education lawyer can help you draft new changes you want to include in the new IEP.

The lawyer can also attend IEP meetings to make sure your opinions are heard and everything is done in your child’s best interest.


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