Wordy Wednesday: IEP vs IFSP; The Difference


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There is no secret we are a military family. With being a military family, there is no secret that we move quiet often. Sometimes every few months and sometimes every few years. Knowing we can move often we always need to have all our ducks in a row for a quick turn around. This means we need to always have copies of past IEP’s, school records, shots and I suggest a letter from the previous teacher regarding the students performance.

Why a letter? TIP: As we know, it takes a unspecified amount if time for a child with ASD to deal with the changes. With the moving process, there are a lot of them. Knowing where your child was pre-move can help the new education team see where regression has accrued and show when normalcy or progress has been made. It is a great bench mark to use.

Monday , I mentioned we might be moving. We have known for a while. However, one month it’s we are moving “here”, the next month it’s “there” and the month after it’s “were staying another two years”. So we are trying to sit back and let the dust settle. In the process of waiting…. And waiting….. And waiting I found out some of our vital paperwork needed to move was expired. Then I found out that the paperwork that was expired was wrong… For 4 years! Yes, I’m aggravated however, there is nothing we can do but fix it. Fixing it means enrolling the right child into an educational EFMP program the Army requires us to due to Bug having a IEP. Why was the paperwork wrong? Bug was never enrolled; he has had a IEP for 4 years. Diva, who never had an IEP, was enrolled two years ago claiming she had a IFSP. Wait, a what? And this is where the old dog learned something new.

There is something called a IFSP; individual family support plan. It is applied for ages birth through 2. At age 3 is where an IEP comes into play. I was going to create a cute little infographic, but why recreate the wheel? I found a great PDF that explains the difference between IEP vs. IFSP from the Pacer Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Click here for link to PDF.

Hope this helps explain some things!

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