Caregiver's Guide to the IEP

September 21, 2023


An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document that details the instruction and services a student with disabilities needs in order to receive a meaningful education.

Once a school district determines a student is eligible for special education services, the district has 30 calendar days to hold an IEP meeting and develop an individualized plan for the student. IEPs should be reviewed at least once a year.

Notable Terminology

Special Education Teacher: Refers to a specialist about disabilities and individualized instruction. They understand how and when to use different teaching styles and instructional methods to meet the student’s needs.

Accommodation: Adjustments to the environment, instruction, or materials that allow a student with a disability to access the content or complete assigned tasks. 

Least Restrictive Environment: Defining principle of special education law that students with disabilities should be included in the general education program and with peers without disabilities, to the maximum extent possible.


When children and youth are placed into foster care, away from parents, siblings, and extended family—they can lose their identity. That is why supporting, encouraging, and honoring a child’s race, ethnicity, culture, and disability is so important. While this may seem hard, one way to support  identity and inclusion is through literacy!

Here are three books we recommend:

  • The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca
  • My Brain is Magic by Prasha Sooful

A Day with No Words by Tiffany Hammond