The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Deciphering Your Child’s IEP Report

by Michelle on December 6, 2011

in Parenting & Relationships

Acronyms. Jargon.

Understanding IEP

It’s a wonder you can understand a word that’s on your child’s IEP Report.

You’d think the powers that be would make these “documents” easier to read and understand. But no. That’s too much like right.

The other day when I got my son’s IEP progress report, I glanced at it and put it down. I can’t deal with this. Maybe later.

Two weeks later, I still hadn’t read this report. The stress of understanding it all was not worth it. ¬†Yet, as a mom I’m supposed to…no it’s my responsibility to know how well my child is or is not doing in school.

Understanding It All

If you feel like I did, then there are some short cuts to understanding what’s on your child’s IEP report (and if you’re just a visitor and curious to what IEP is because you don’t actually have a special needs child, it stands for Individualized Education Program).

First, off you don’t have to read every single word of that report. Unless you’re obsessed with the details.

You just need to understand the important things: The general goal and where your child is at. Here’s 3 quickie ways to extract that information:

  1. Know Thy Codes. Scan the document for the codes that reflect your child has not met a goal or is not satisfactorily progressing toward the goal. Then, just read the full section of text where your child is not progressing. Here are the codes commonly used:PG = Progressing Gradually
    PS = Progressing Satisfactorily
    A = Achieved the Goal
    PI = Progressing Inconsistently
  2. Focus on the worlds in bold. The words directly after the bolded words are used to further explain. If you are pressed for time or just plain lazy, you’ll find the bolded words do just fine.
  3. Call up your school’s social worker and have her give it to you in plain English. This way you won’t have to read it at all! Your social worker can give you the highlights and thereby reduce your stress of trying figure all the big words out.
  4. Last but most important, grab your child’s IEP report from last year and compare the progress. You can scan the annual goals for changes in performance to see where your child is actually struggling.

I can’t tell you how liberating it was for me to discover this method. Yes mam. If you’re a little lazy join the club.

These guidelines will help keep you informed of your child’s progress in school without driving you nuts.

Hmmm. I think this should be legalized.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina Moody December 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

I think we’ve all had to do a “lazy” IEP reading from time to time when we have been caught up in the business of actually living. It is inevitably when I drop the ball that the school tries to squeeze something in or one of the kids has a major developmental change though, so those days are few and far between for me these days *Grin*


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