What’s an Individual Education Plan (IEP) & how can I Set One Up for My Child?

An Individual Education Plan, often referred to as an ‘IEP’, is a plan to support your child’s learning and development. The IEP is led by the child’s strengths and learning needs and is developed in collaboration with them, their parents, teachers, special needs assistant (if there is SNA support allocated to the child) and any other professionals who may be involved, such as a psychologist or speech and language therapist. 

While the approach to IEPs differs across countries and across schools, the core process of placing the child at the centre of the process and developing a plan, which is monitored and regularly reviewed, in consultation with all those relevant to the child’s life remain the same. In 2016, the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) developed ‘Guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process, available here:

When chatting with your child’s teacher, you can ask them about how the school approaches IEPs and ask the teacher how you can help in the development of an IEP for your child. Indicate to their teacher that you want to make sure that you can help at home with all of the learning goals identified in the IEP and that you hope to work with them in achieving all of these goals.

Further Information & Links

AsIAm School Handbooks for Parents

Do’s & Don’ts of Autism-Friendly Practices

Pocket Guide to Autism

Professionals in Special Education

What should I ask at Parent-Teacher Meetings?

Dr Emer Ring is the Head of the Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. As part of our #BackToRoutine series for beginning the new school term, she’s answered a number of commonly asked questions and concerns families have when starting school.

This article is one person’s advice and opinion. It does not necessarily reflect the views and positions of AsIAm as an organisation. If you’d like to share your own story about your experiences with autism, email us at blogs@asiam.ie.

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