Special Education & Individualized Education Plans (IEP)

Developing Your Child's IEP

If your child has a disability, he or she may be eligible for special education services in school. This page offers information on how special education services can support your child, and what part you can play in the special education process.

Learn More

Evaluation Process: Part One

Parents who have watched their child struggle in school can become frustrated and confused. There are specific next steps that parents can take to request an evaluation for Special Education when they feel a disability might be the reason for their child's difficulties in school.

Read part one of the series

Evaluation Process: Part Two

The Disability Suspected Form process discussed in part one of this series is just the first step in securing a relevant and useful evaluation. There are important steps to take regardless of whether there is agreement that an evaluation is needed.

Read part two of the series

Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

All school-age children with disabilities who are eligible for a 504 or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). FAPE requires students with disabilities receive the services they need to benefit from their education.

Learn More

IEP Goals

The special education IEP process is a logical one. Each year the IEP team, which includes parents, develops an IEP for an eligible child. The child's present levels of performance determine the educational needs of the child. The team develops goals to meet those needs.

Read More

IEP Overview

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child's individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP. This resource provides an overview of the IEP process.

Find Out More About IEP

Independent Educational Evaluations

In Iowa, evaluations for special education eligibility are usually done by Area Education Agency personnel, together with the educators at your child's school. However, parents have the right to other options if they believe the information described in the EER is incorrect or incomplete.

Learn More

Iowa's Guidance for Quality IEPs

This area of the Department of Education website provides information for Iowa's special education practitioners. It is hoped that by using the information on this website, Iowa's special education practitioners will be able to lead teams as they develop IEPs that will positively direct the education of all the students in Iowa with special education needs.

Learn More

La Evaluación Gratuita de Niños

Cada Estado debe identificar, localizar y evaluar a todos los niños con discapacidades que necesitan educación especial y servicios relacionados. Esta página describe el proceso de obtener y participar en una evaluación gratuita de un niño sospechado de tener una discapacidad o retraso en el desarrollo.

Aprende Más

Progress Monitoring

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that schools monitor progress and provide regular progress reports to parents of students with IEPs.

Learn About Progress Monitoring

Recursos en español

¡Bienvenido a CPIR! CPIR es la sigla del Centro de Información y Recursos para Padres. Servimos como fuente central de información sobre las discapacidades que pueden tener los infantes, niños pre-escolares, estudiantes, y jóvenes adultos, IDEA (el Acta para la Educación de los Individuos con Discapacidades), la ley nacional de educación especial, ESSA (la lay nacional de educación general, Cada Estudiante Triunfa), por la relación que esta ley tiene con las discapacidades, y los Centros de Capacitación e Información para Padres (Cada estado tiene al menos un centro y ellos típicamente pueden ponerle en contacto con recursos locales y estatales. También ofrecen explicaciones, materiales informativos, y entrenamiento a los padres sobre sus derechos bajo IDEA).

Explorar recursos


As children grow and develop their needs change. For students with IEPs, those changing needs have to be recognized and reflected in the educational planning process. That means periodic reevaluations for special education services are necessary to determine if a student continues to be an eligible child with a disability as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and, if so, to help gather the most current information about the student's needs and abilities to be used for the development of an appropriate IEP.

Learn About Reevaluation for Students with IEPs

Suspicion of Disability

There are good reasons for not evaluating a child for Special Education too quickly. Many children can get low level assistance (usually referred to as "interventions" by schools), and have no need for anything else. However, there are also good reasons for pursuing an evaluation without significant delay.

Learn About Evaluations

The IEP Team

To write an effective IEP for a child with a disability, parents, teachers, other school staff-and often the child-come together at a meeting to look closely at the child's unique needs. These individuals combine their knowledge, experience, and commitment to design an educational program that must help the child to be involved in, and progress in, the general education curriculum-that is, the same curriculum as for children without disabilities.

Discover Who Is Involved in the IEP Process

Understanding Executive Functioning

ASK Resource Center published a two-part newsletter series that focuses on executive functioning (EF) and the important role executive functions have in a child's academic and social development and success. This was published in an effort to share research, resources, and information related to EF, as well as provide an understanding of the important role EF skills have in a child's academic and social development and success.

Learn more About Executive Functioning