From birth until they reach age 22, children who are blind or visually impaired and who are entitled to receive special education services have either an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or an Individualized Education Program (IEP). If your child is under age three, she’ll have an IFSP; once your child reaches age three, she’ll then have an IEP. You may want to think of these documents as roadmaps—they lay out the services your child will receive as she moves from infancy through her childhood and are based on assessments of her strengths and needs. Both documents are developed by your child’s educational team, of which you are an important member. Because services that are not mentioned in IFSPs and IEPs are not usually required to be provided, it’s important that you take an active part in developing the IFSP or IEP for your child. You’ll probably find that understanding the law that sets out what is included in an IFSP or an IEP will be very helpful.

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