IEP / IFSP / 504 Basics


Printable Downloads to Help Manage Your Child’s IEP

From Understood

Navigating your child’s IEP can be tricky. These printable downloads from Understood can help make the process easier. Use them to monitor your child’s progress, track communications with the school, and more.

Hands of multi-ethnic business team assembling jigsaw puzzle, top view

Understanding the IEP Process

Strengthening Relationships with Positive Advocacy

A presentation by Beth Benevides, Howard County Autism Society

Mother Helping Son With Homework At Home

How Does a 504 Plan Differ From an IEP?

By Terri Mauro

Both a 504 plan and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) involve special education accommodations, but do you know how these two plans differ from each other? Learn the differences and similarities between the two with this review of how a 504 plan lines up with an IEP.


Common Acronyms and Terms Used During IFSP and IEP Meetings

Maryland Learning Links

IFSP and IEP acronyms and terms are defined here. If you don’t understand something that’s said in your student’s meeting, ask. You are your student’s best advocate.

Common Acronyms and Terms Used During IFSP and IEP Meetings Handout


Strengths-Based IEPs


Imagine an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that focuses as much on your child’s strengths as it does on your child’s weaknesses. Unfortunately, that’s not the norm for most students yet.

In a typical IEP meeting, not much time is given to looking at a child’s strengths. Strengths are covered at the beginning of the meeting, and the rest of the time is focused on deficits.


Does Your Student Need a 1 to 1 Aide?

How to Request a One-to-One Paraprofessional for Your Child
by Wayne Steedman, Esq.

Does the child need one individual who is assigned to work with the child during the entire day? Can the child be successful if several individuals rotate during the day?


A Family Guide to Preschool Special Education Services in Maryland

The Preschool Special Education Services Guide provides families with an overview of the steps in Maryland’s IEP team process for preschool children,


Native Language and the IEP Process

Maryland State Department of Education DSE/EIS Technical Assistance Bulletin
Revised Aug. 15, 2017

If the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is not cognizant of the native language of a student, it may not accurately assess what the student knows and can do. The IEP team must consider the language needs of the student

meeting room

How to Make Your Next IEP Start off on the Right Foot

Autism Classroom News and Resources

You are getting ready for an IEP meeting. You want it to be a positive IEP, but you aren’t sure what to expect. Maybe it’s your first IEP meeting ever. Maybe you are a veteran (of the IEP “wars”), but it’s the start of a new year. You walk into the IEP and are greeted by a table full of people.


Maryland Statewide IEP

An Overview for Parents

Online Presentation by Maryland Learning Links