An individualized education plan (IEP) can help you ensure that your child receives the services he or she needs to succeed in school. Your Monmouth County, NJ, developmental pediatrician, Dr. Alison Smoller of G & A Medical Associates, offers IEP evaluations and can provide advice and recommendations on the ideal accommodations for your child.

Who needs an IEP?

An IEP may be helpful if your child has special needs or disabilities that make learning in a traditional setting a little challenging. An IEP can be a good idea if your child has autism, learning disabilities, dyslexia, speech or language difficulties, vision or hearing impairments, mental health or emotional issues, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognitive problems, physical disabilities, or dyslexia.

What is an IEP?

An IEP details what services your child needs during the school day. Before the plan is prepared, your child may receive a diagnosis from your developmental pediatrician and be evaluated by Monmouth County school personnel, counselors, therapists, or psychologists. Input from the teachers and parents are also crucial. An IEP will be granted if your child's disability has a demonstrated impact on his or her ability to function at school.

Your child's plan includes information on assistive tools and devices, special equipment, alternate testing methods, and other accommodations. For example, if your child has a learning disability that affects reading speed, he or she may be given more time to take tests or finish in-class work. If your child has a physical disability, physical or occupational therapy may be part of the IEP. Therapists and counselors also work with teachers to ensure that classrooms are inclusive.

The IEP will break down each service your child will receive, note who will provide the service, and mention how often your child will receive a particular service. Your child will be assigned an IEP team who will meet with you yearly, or as needed, to ensure that the plan continues to meet your child's needs.

Could your child benefit from an IEP? Call your developmental pediatrician in Monmouth County, NJ, Dr. Alison Smoller of G & A Medical Associations at (732) 660-0220 to schedule an appointment in her Ocean, NJ, office.

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