Who Qualifies for an IEP?
Who qualifies for an IEP? This is outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in federal statute, which says a child must have a qualifying disability that falls within 13 categories that are outlined in federal statutes. The child has to have a disability that falls within those categories. Still, not only that, but it also has to be shown that the disability has adversely affected the child’s ability to learn. Because they have a disability doesn’t mean they automatically qualify for an IEP. Because the disability first must affect them lately, they need this IEP.
13 IEP Categories
Let’s go through the 13 categories listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The first one is a specific learning disability. I would say that the best example of this would be dyslexia. If you have a disability with reading or interpreting words or anything specific to learning, dyslexia is the most common one. So, that’s what I’m using as an example. And if it adversely affects your education, then you would likely qualify for an IEP. The next one is other health impairments. So again, I’ll keep saying this, anything that’s a health impairment that would adversely affect your ability to learn.
One good example here would be AHD. It is a health impairment and affects the child’s ability to focus and process information in the classroom. So, therefore, it would likely be that that student would qualify for an IEP. The next one would be autism spectrum disorder. As you know, autism spectrum disorder is a spectrum. So, if your child has a diagnosis, we use the term on the spectrum or, as I said, autism spectrum disorder. And it adversely affects them in the classroom, so they’re likely to qualify for an IEP. That one is straightforward. Next, emotional disturbance. Suppose they have emotional disorders or trouble regulating their emotions, such as depression and anxiety; these things will fall within that category. And again, then they would likely qualify.
The fifth category would be speech or language impairment. This is the one where the adverse effect has to come into play. Just because this child has a speech impediment, it may not adversely affect their learning. So, they might not be qualifying for an IEP. A 504 plan is required if therapy is brought into the school. But if they do have a disability that is considered a speech or language impairment, then they could qualify for an IEP. The sixth category is visual impairment, including blindness. And that one is straightforward. If you have a diagnosis of extreme visual impairment or blindness, then you would likely qualify as well.
And then deafness. Again, if the student cannot hear, it would interrupt their learning, and there would need to be other ways that the information is brought to the student. Next is hearing impairment. Not just deafness, but maybe there are hearing impairment issues that don’t rise to the level of deafness. That would be the eighth category as well. Then there’s also deaf-blindness. When a child is blind and deaf, that will fall into that ninth category. Next is orthopedic impairment. Again, I’ll touch on this as well because just because a child has an orthopedic impairment, if it’s not adversely affecting their education, they wouldn’t qualify.
However, if it is, then they would qualify for an IEP. And they fit within that 10th category. The 11th one is an intellectual disability. The best example of this is if the child is just not at the academic level of their peers, and maybe they need different types of instruction. Then they would likely qualify for an IEP. Traumatic brain injury. So, an accident, damage, or something like that would adversely affect their learning ability because they’re working with a brain injury. They would likely qualify as well.
And then multiple disabilities. If there are multiple disabilities working together to affect that student, again adversely, they would be likely to qualify for an IEP. So, to summarize that list again, it would be a specific learning disability, and I gave dyslexia as an example. Other health impairments include autism spectrum disorder, emotional disturbance, speech impairment, visual impairment, deafness, hearing impairment, deaf-blindness, orthopedic impairment, intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, and multiple disabilities. Those are the 13 categories that your child must fit in. And again, I’ve probably said it a million times in this blog; it needs to affect their learning ability.
Arizona Individual Education Program: How Arizona IEP Attorney Can Help
Statistics in 2016 showed that more than 53,000 students in Arizona had specific learning disabilities. Such students must be subjected to the Individualized Education Program (IEP). This form of special education has been designed to assist Arizona students with various learning disabilities. It’s also essential to communicate that this program has been prevalent in the country for many years.
If you believe that your child needs special education, it’s essential to consider taking them for an Individualized Education Program. However, for this system to work for your child, they must meet a few fundamental requirements. Understanding some unique factors behind IEP will enable you to seek this program for your child seamlessly.
What are Team-Based Early Intervention Services in Arizona?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that helps to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate education. The law also requires states to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. In Arizona, these services are known as Team-Based Early Intervention Services (TB EIS).
TB EIS is a statewide system of services and supports designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers with developmental delays. The system is based on the belief that all children have the right to participate in meaningful activities in their homes, communities, and schools.
Is AZ IEP Free?
You might have a perception that education is expensive. However, the good news is that IEP is a free program in Arizona. The federal and state government have put in place adequate measures to ensure that all children with disabilities can access this form of education at no cost. However, this does not mean that the program is entirely free. Families must pay for some costs associated with IEP, such as travel expenses, books, and other materials.
How Do I Get an IEP For My Child in Arizona?
As a parent or guardian, you can request an IEP evaluation for your child if you think they might need special education services. You can make this request to the school district in which your child attends school. The school district must evaluate whether your child is eligible for special education services.
If the school district determines that your child is eligible for special education services, they will develop an IEP for your child. The IEP is a document that outlines the special education services that your child will receive.
What Are the Components of An IEP In Arizona?
The components of an IEP vary from state to state. However, in general, an IEP must include:
- A statement of the child’s present level of educational performance
- A description of the child’s special education and related services
- Annual goals for the child’s educational progress
- A description of how the child’s progress will be measured
- The date by which the IEP will be reviewed and revised, if necessary
It’s essential to understand that an IEP is a living document that can be revised. As your child’s needs change, the IEP can be revised to address those changes.
What Is the Difference Between A 504 Plan and IEP In Arizona?
You might wonder whether your child needs an IEP or a 504 plan.
IEPs and 504 plans help children with disabilities succeed in school. However, there are some critical differences between the two. IEPs are individualized education programs created for students who need special education services. IEPs must be reviewed and updated at least once per year.
504 plans are for students who do not need special education services but still need accommodations to help them succeed in school. For example, a student with a 504 plan might need extra time to take tests or have a quiet place to work. 504 plans do not need to be reviewed as often as IEPs.
What Is the Arizona IEP Timeline?
As a parent with a child in the Arizona IEP process, it’s essential to understand the timeline for each process step. This timeline can vary depending on your child’s individual needs and the school district in which you live.
However, in general, the Arizona IEP timeline looks like this:
- The parent requests an IEP evaluation from the school district
- The School district evaluates the child to determine if they are eligible for special education services
- If the child is eligible for special education services, the school district develops an IEP
- The IEP is reviewed and revised as necessary at least once per year
When Must an IEP Meeting be Convened?
Understand that the team must convene an IEP meeting within 30 days of the child’s eligibility determination. The IEP team will meet to discuss the child’s needs and create an individualized education program. If the team did not meet the time frame for the IEP meeting, you, as the parent, have the right to request a due process hearing.
What Should You Not Say at An Arizona IEP Meeting?
It’s natural for parents to want to advocate for their child at an IEP meeting. However, there are some things that you should avoid saying during an IEP meeting. These things can jeopardize your child’s chances of getting the necessary services.
Some of the things you should avoid saying at an IEP meeting are:
- Making demands
- Threatening legal action
- Saying that you don’t trust the IEP team
- Speaking in a negative tone
It’s also important to remember that an IEP meeting is not a place for you to vent your frustrations. Instead, it’s a place for you to collaborate with the IEP team to create a plan to help your child succeed.