How can a parent challenge an IEP?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2022 | Education Law |

Any parent with a mentally disabled child understands the meaning of this three-letter acronym: IEP. An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a child with possible disabilities is eligible to be tested and evaluated for various services.

One of those services is the preparation and execution of an IEP.

Objecting to the provisions of an IEP

In New York, parents must consent to the initial testing and evaluation. Parents infrequently object to the contents of an IEP, and they erroneously believe that refusing to sign the draft of the IEP will prevent the IEP from being put into effect.

In fact, in New York, the IEP can be implemented even if the parents refuse to approve the draft plan.

The most effective route for parents who wish to object to the provisions in an IEP is to first read the description of procedural safeguards that must be stated in every IEP. These safeguards include:

  • The opportunity to present and resolve complaints through state complaint procedures
  • The time in which an objection must be filed
  • The opportunity for the agency that prepared the IEP to resolve the issues
  • Any differences between the state complaint procedures and due process complaints

By reading and understanding the procedural safeguards, a parent can gain a complete and effective understanding the various methods that can be used to challenge the contents of an IEP.


The mental health and well-being of a child can evoke the most urgent and emotional responses from parents. In order to ensure that a child receives the additional care provided by the Intellectual Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, compliance with the specified complaint procedures is essential.

Anyone with concerns may wish to consult a knowledgeable education attorney for advice on the various complaint procedures available under the IDEA.