The Difference between an IFSP and an IEP

 

Children developmental disabilities make the most progress when they are recipients of aggressive early intervention programs. Early intervention plans are usually the result of one of two different process. The Individualized Family Service Plan or IFSP is directed at the youngest children and is geared toward helping them reach goals development goals. The Individualized Education Plan or IEP is focused on preparing the child to learn alongside their non-disabled peers in the school system.

The following chart details further the differences in the way the health plans are formulated, executed and evaluated.

IFSP

Individual Family Service Plan

IEP

Individualized Education Plan

Target Population

In most states the IFSP is intended for children and their families from birth through age 2.

Target Population

In most states the IEP is intended for children ages 3 through 5.

Focus

The IFSP provides early intervention to meet the unique development needs of the child and family in the child’s natural environment, which typically means the child’s home.

Focus

The IEP provides services and support for the child within the context of the school system. To the maximum extent possible the purpose of the IEP is to ensure that the child has the same opportunity to be educated as his or her non-disabled peers.

Eligibility

Based on an evaluation for children from birth through age 2.

Eligibility

Based on evaluation for children ages 3-5.

Development of the Plan

The plan is developed annually by an IFSP team, which includes the family as well as a group of child development experts (typically a pediatrician, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, a social worker, and an early childhood special education teacher). The plan is based upon the evaluation of the needs of the child and family.

Development of the Plan

The plan is developed by the IEP team and takes into account strengths of the child, concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child, the results of the child ‘s initial and/or most recent evaluation of the child, and the academic, developmental and functional needs of the child

Review of Plan

The plan is typically reviewed every 6 months.

Review of Plan

The plan is reviewed periodically, but usually not less than annually.

Statement of Performance

Contains information about the child’s present levels of motor, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and adaptive (self-help skills) development.

Statement of Performance

Contains information about the child’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance, including for preschool children, as appropriate, how the disability affects the child’s participation in appropriate activities.

Services

Services are provided in the natural environment, which typically means within the home or at child care centers.

Services

Provided, to the maximum extent appropriate within the school alongside children who are not disabled.

Goals and Objectives

Helps the child to reach development goals.

Goals and Objectives

Prepares the child to learn alongside his/her non-disabled peers in the school system.