Child and teacher working with yellow overlay and black text "reading an IEP services"

How to Read an IEP Service Page

How to read an IEP service page is a such an important part of learning how to read an IEP. Simply put, IEP services are what is being provided to your child in terms of instruction. In particular, we are talking about Specially Designed Instruction (SDI). SDI is what your child is personally receiving, that the rest of the students are not. So, maybe your child is receiving services in the area of physical therapy and how to improve his balance. Or, maybe your child is receiving service in the academic area of reading comprehension to learn how to summarize a text.

What are services?

Services determine how often, how long, and by who a child will receive instruction. Things like data collection and collaboration are also included in the service section. The service section basically summarizes everything that will be done in order to provide those services to a student. Remember, the service section is specific to SDI.

Example Services

There’s several different types of services that can be provided. Examples include things like:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Academic Services
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech and Language Services

Service Provider

One of the important things in an IEP service page is the service provider information. The service provider should be listed in the service section. It could be anyone who is qualified to provide that instruction. Typically, this will be people like COTA’s, instructional assistants, special education teachers, classroom teachers, etc. Only people listed here are allowed to provide the services, so make sure you include anyone who may be providing that SDI.

Service Location

In my district, until March of 2020 this was kind of a silly sentence to put in, IMHO. And, then COVID hit and we all were working from home. The service location determines where the service will physically take place – in the child’s home, in the school, in a rehab setting, or something like a vocational training setting.

Service Time

The service time tells how frequently and for how long the service occurs. It could be things like:

  • 10 minutes x 3 times a week
  • 30 minutes x 1 time a month
  • 5 minutes x 1 time a day
  • 45 minutes x 10 times a month

Method of Service Delivery

This is another sentence in our service section that I always thought was kind of silly (until March of 2020). We now specify if the services will be provided in person or virtually. This allows us to be even more specific in how services will be provided, especially in situations where children are still doing distance learning. We also specify whether the instruction will occur as a 1:1 service, small group service, or within the general education classroom.

Questions to Ask

Consider these questions when you are learning how to read an IEP service page:

  • Who is providing the services?
  • How often will the services occur?
  • Where will the services occur?
  • What kinds of groupings or teaching strategies will be used to provide the services?


How to read an IEP service page is crucial to understanding who, how, and when the services will be provided. This section provides critical information to knowing what will be done to provide the services a student needs.

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