How do I know whether my child has enough services in their IEP?
Goals drive services, and present levels drive the IEP. We base IEP goals and supplementary aids and services on the student’s present levels: specifically their current needs. The amount of services needed is directly dependent on the number of goals in that given area. Parents and teams have to consider the impact of additional service time in relation to the amount of instructional time that may pull the student from. The more time away from general education, the more restrictive the placement. Push-in services or co-taught models are great when they are done properly; they require extensive training to ensure they are done correctly.
When it comes to what the law says, a student must make “meaningful progress” in meeting their IEP goals. The law does not say it is the responsibility of the district to close the gap between the student’s deficit and their same-age peers — in other words, the law does not state that the goal of special education services is to catch all students up to grade level.
Dr. Sarah Pelangka reminds us that we can help make sure our kids are making meaningful progress on their goals by asking to see the data (such as classwork samples and progress reports).
For more information, see our article What Are Related Services in an IEP?