Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

The Special Education process was created to make sure that each child with a disability will have an education that is individualized to meet his or her needs. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a written plan developed by an IEP team that includes the child’s parents or guardian.

At the IEP meeting, the IEP team (including parents) meets to develop an appropriate planfor serving the child, and educational needs are discussed. The team sets measurable annual (yearly) goals and, possibly, some short-term goals.. Based on the goals, they decide how to best meet the child’s educational needs, including what Special Education and related services and supportive services will be provided. A number of other factors related to the child’s education must also be considered. The IEP sets forth in writing a commitment of the resources by the school district that are necessary to serve the child. The IEP also serves as an evaluation device and can be changed at any time.


The team (including parents) decides upon the placement of the child based upon the program agreed upon in the IEP meeting. The team determines where the services can be delivered. The student must be served in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) appropriate for that student.

Annual Review

The team (including parents) meets to evaluate the child’s total plan and progress at least yearly. The review meeting is also the time to update the IEP and set new goals. If the team finds and agrees that the child no longer qualifies for or needs Special Education, the child will not continue with the IEP process.


No later than age 14, the team must include a statement of transition services needed to help the student move from school to post-school activities (after high school). Transition services must be provided. Identified students with disabilities receive special education and related services in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Education Act (IDEA) through age 22.


Information & Support

For Parents and Patients

Center for Parent Information and Resources
A large resource library related to children with disabilities. Locate organizations and agencies within each state that address disability-related issues.

Find Your Parent Center
Parent Centers provide education and referrals for families with a child who has a disability, as well as the professionals who work with them. There are almost 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US states and Territories; Center for Parent Information & Resources.

U.S. Department of Education
Official website of the U.S. Department of Education.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Official U.S. Department of Education website of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act including Part B (ages 3-21) and Part C (ages birth-2).

IDEA Procedural Safeguards (Part B)
Information about safeguards available to the parents of a child with a disability.

Services for Patients & Families in Utah (UT)

For services not listed above, browse our Services categories or search our database.

* number of provider listings may vary by how states categorize services, whether providers are listed by organization or individual, how services are organized in the state, and other factors; Nationwide (NW) providers are generally limited to web-based services, provider locator services, and organizations that serve children from across the nation.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: February 2021
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Esperanza Reyes, MS
Reviewer: Tina Persels