Dr Scott B. McCabe

Does my child need IEP?


For the EQAO standardized testing the Ministry of Education states “in order to receive accommodations during Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessments, a student must have an IEP that identifies the accommodations required.”


So the best time to have the assessment done and in place would be the year prior to the EQAO.

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The week of May 1-7 is the time to really reflect on our Mental Health. It is the opportunity to learn more about mental health and to speak up that it is time that mental health care is important too! getloud.mentalhealthweek.ca

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IPRC complete and now the IEP

There are some institutions that will develop an IEP without an IPRC or without an assessment. However, when an assessment is completed and there is a diagnosis of exceptionality, it is clear that the school must develop (& follow) an IEP.

There are protocols for this process just as there are for the IPRC.

This is from the Ministry of Education website.

What is an IEP?

The IEP must be developed for a student, in consultation with the parent. It must include:

specific educational expectations;

an outline of the special education program and services that will be received;

a statement about the methods by which the student’s progress will be reviewed; and

for students 14 years and older (except those identified as exceptional solely on the basis of giftedness), a plan for transition to appropriate postsecondary school activities, such as work, further education, and community living.

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What to do with the psychoeducational assessment?

Generally, parents have the assessment completed because there are concerns regarding learning. If there are learning problems, then it is within your parental rights with your child’s school to confirm that they are supporting your child’s learning. The best way to do that is to have all documentation formalized. This will involve an IPRC (Individual Placement Review Committee) followed by an IEP (Individual Education Plan).


The IPRC process is to determine if there is a need for an IEP. With the results of the psychoeducational assessment, the need will be written within the report. This is then followed by having an IEP written for your child. Both of these steps have protocol in place and involve the parents.

This directly from the Ministry of Education.


What is an IPRC?

Regulation 181/98 requires that all school boards set up an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC). An IPRC is composed of at least three persons, one of whom must be a principal or supervisory officer of the board.

What is the role of the IPRC?

The IPRC will:

decide whether or not the student should be identified as exceptional;

identify the areas of the student’s exceptionality, according to the categories and definitions of exceptionalities provided by the Ministry of Education;

decide an appropriate placement for the student; and

review the identification and placement at least once in each school year.

How is an IPRC meeting requested?

The principal of the student’s school:

must request an IPRC meeting for the student, upon receiving a written request from the parent;

may, with written notice to the parent, refer the student to an IPRC when the principal and the student’s teacher or teachers believe that the student may benefit from a special education program.

Within 15 days of receiving a written request, or giving the parent notice, the principal must provide a copy of the board’s Parents’ Guide to Special Education to the parent, as well as an acknowledgement of the parent’s request and a written statement of approximately when the IPRC will meet.


With a psychoeducational assessment completed by a certified psychologist this will make this process very easy and clear because the exceptionalities will be identified within the report.

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How to survive the Christmas season.

There is no way one blog can provide the answers to that million dollar question. But here are two things to keep in mind.

Learn to say ‘no.’ Some families have many demands on them this time of year – family, neighbours, co-workers, teammates all want to celebrate Christmas with you and your family. You may have to decide if it is necessary to attend the work Christmas party when you are tired from the work week.

It doesn’t have to be perfect! Media has a way of making it look like everyone is having a perfect Christmas. It only takes a look through cooking websites to see everything that you SHOULD do to make a perfect meal. The perfectly decorated tree? That is just in the movies. Truly, is it life changing if the candles aren’t the right colour and the silverware is mismatched. Who says you even need candles?

Let Christmas be the time to STOP and REFLECT. Remember the wonderful things that have happened in the last year and let go of the things that didn’t go as planned.

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Random Act of Kindness November 4th, 2016

This is a feel good idea that reminds us that not everything is negative around us and that the unexpected can bring a smile to someone’s face and provide a positive memory for them. Since there is a day dedicated (indeed some communities have a RAK week) the action might not be as spontaneous as the original intent.  What it does do though, is remind us to see past ourselves. Take a moment on November 4th to do your part of kindness.

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Staying Organized for September

For some families, summer is the best time of the year, schedules are more flexible, no arguing over homework or chores, stay up late and sleep in.  And then September arrives! It is important to get everyone back on track with schedules and being organized.  There is a reduced amount of stress in a home when everyone is aware of schedules and staying organized. 

Have the kids pick out their clothes before they go to bed.  Make it part of the routine: brush your teeth, pick out your clothes and 15 minutes of reading or being read to before tucking in for the night.

Keep bedtime at a regular time.  Children (& adults) function better with restful sleep.  Turn of the wifi at night to avoid teens from sneaking on line and loosing track of time.  Better yet, keep all phones in the kitchen for the night. There is no reason to sleep with your phone!

Don’t forget breakfast in the morning. It really does get the day started even if it something light.  Don’t let people leave the house without something in their tummy.

Decide on an after school routine. Each family is different, try different ideas until you find one that works for you. Homework first? Put away school lunch bags? Do a chore first? 30 minutes of ‘free time.’?

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Too often parents believe that once their child is assessed and has accommodations at school that this will not need to be updated.  This is not the case.  When a student reached post-secondary, they will need an updated psychoeducational assessment.  This means that even if your child was on an IEP in high school, without the updated report, the school is under no obligation to provide accommodations.

An assessment should be done when your child is in their last year of high school in order to maintain the validity of the testing.  Some post-secondary institutions will provide a ‘grace’ period while the student is being re-tested.

Kudos to the high school guidance counsellors that are pro-active with their caseload and advise their students/parents of the importance of staying ahead of the need for an updated assessment.  It certainly helps the student with the transition to post-secondary learning if they don’t have to stress about the accommodations that were in place that help them be successful learners.

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Mental Health Week 2016.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario division, over 70 landmarks provided visual reminders of the importance of getting loud about mental health.  They were lit with green lights. Kudos to the city of Hamilton that had almost 40 buildings participated.  All of our cities should strive to increase that number for next year’s campaign. It is important to spread the word to help destigmatize mental health issues. Campaigns sponsored by Canadian Mental Health Association and Kids Help Line assist with fantastic initiatives that assist with this task.

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This year marks Canadian Mental Health Association's  65th Annual Mental Health Week. It was originally introduced in 1951 to raise awareness of mental illness in Canada.  We have come a long way but there is still more to do.  So with this year's theme #GET LOUD you can speak up to stop the discrimination and stigma that goes with mental illness. Use your voice to raise awareness and build support.


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Dr. Scott B. McCabe
April 20, 2020
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