What is an IEP and how and when do I get one?

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What is an IEP and how and when do I get one?

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An IEP is an Individual Educational Plan. And it's a legal document that's created by a school system to help make sure that a student gets the type of education that he or she needs. Parents like to know how do I get an IEP? How do I start this process? In many cases, parents who are worried about their kids can ask the school to do an evaluation that leads to the development of an IEP or Individual Educational Plan. In other cases, a teacher can refer a child to the special education department, which every school system has. It's the office within a school system that takes care of children and provides for children with special education needs. And that process can ultimately lead to an evaluation and then the creation of this document that guides what teachers and other specialists will then do with a child over the course of his or her life in the school. Usually an IEP is developed after a school system has done a reasonable job trying to meet a child's needs through a variety of different ways in the school system. If those reasonable efforts don't work, it means that it's something more special needs to be put into place. And that's why an IEP exists.

Watch Video: What is an IEP and how and when do I get one? by Jerome Schultz, PhD, ...

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Jerome Schultz, PhD

Clinical Neuropsychologist

Dr. Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is a former middle school special education teacher. He is currently in private practice as a clinical neuropsychologist and is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry.  For over three decades, he has specialized in the neuropsychological assessment and treatment of children with learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other special needs. He was on the faculty of Lesley University in Cambridge MA for almost 30 years, and served there as the Founding Director of a diagnostic clinic called the Learning Lab. Before returning to private practice, Dr. Schultz served as the Co-Director of the Center for Child and Adolescent Development at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Teaching Hospital.

Dr. Schultz received both his undergraduate and Master’s degree from The Ohio State University and holds a Ph.D. from Boston College. He has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of a journal called Academic Psychiatry, and is on the Professional Advisory Boards of a website called Inside ADHD.com, and the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

In addition to his clinical and educational work, Dr. Schultz serves as an international consultant on issues related to the neuropsychology and appropriate education of children and young adults with ADHD & LD and other special needs. In his current role as neuropsychological consultant to several large school districts in the Boston area, he is on the ground, in schools and working with kids and their teachers several days each week.

Dr. Schultz created an award-winning video called “Einstein and Me” about living successfully with a learning disability, and has written extensively about children with learning, behavioral and emotional challenges. He has a special education and psychology blog on the Huffington Post. His book, called Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It, (Jossey-Bass/Wiley) which examines the role of stress in learning, has received international acclaim.

 

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