Make sure the IEP reflects your child's future goals

The IEP can help your child qualify for services during transition.

But it must be detailed and specific. A diagnosis or explicit description of their challenges can sometimes make the difference and allow them to qualify.

Make sure the following are all written into the IEP explicitly:

  • All diagnoses that your child has (for example, write “autism” and “intellectual disability” if they have both)

  • Detailed descriptions of the challenges they have that might affect their ability to live independently, get a job, or do academic work

  • Detailed explanations of why they need the services and accommodations

  • A clear description of your child’s vision for their future. (See the suggestions in the last slide.)

When making goals, set a high bar for your child!


Remember, your child has a legal right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)!FAPE means more than just getting by.

Students should be getting the support they need for their own goals. Make sure those goals are as high as you can reasonably expect!

Click on the box below to learn more:

FAPE stands for a Free and Appropriate Public Education.

Every child has a legal right to get this from their public school system. Students with disabilities have a right to get FAPE that meets their unique needs.

 What does "appropriate" mean?

  • Students should be getting the support they need to make effective academic progress, and meet the goals that they and their families have set for them.

  • It may be very different for different students. 

  • If you think your child is not getting an education that meets their unique needs, then you could argue that it is not appropriate.

Source: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The IEP should reflect your child’s goals — even as they change.

Things change as your child gets older. They might have more trouble as things get harder in high school, or as they start to go through puberty. Or maybe they'll have a new goal like learning to drive or going to college.

Keep up with these changes as you look at your IEP. You can sometimes increase your child’s services if you think it’s needed. And even though you only have an IEP meeting once a year, you can ask to meet with the team anytime.

If you think your child needs more — ask for more!

Speak up if you don't get what you need! You know your child best, and you have a right to push for the services that support their goals.