How does someone graduate based on IEP goals?


New Member
I'm not sure how this works, can someone please give me some detail on this?

My son has an IEP but it is mainly based on anxiety/depression. He has missed so much time this year and has went from an A/B student to barely passing. I know he can do it, it's just with all the crap going on in our lives, things just are not so easy for him anymore, plus I thnk the fear of no more school, the senior jitters? I hate to see him miss out on graduation because of his anxiety issues getting in the way??

Any suggestions?



Graduation has nothing to do with the IEP. If he's in mainstream classes he has to get enough of those credits, the right ones, to graduate... just like every other kid. Because of the IEP he can take till age 21 to accumulate the credits but that's about it.

If your child is on alternative testing, which yours obviously isn't, then your child is headed for a "certificate of completion" or similar wording. Most states are doing this now. Now there are different kinds of diplomas, certificates instead of diplomas, etc.

If your kid is in the middle, and I've got one of each category above, with a third close to the first option but highly questionable as to graduation, you've got to work with them to find a program that will get you the kind of paper you want. Many states are putting in mandatory passing of std tests in order to get the full diploma now. That's problematic for some of us. So each kid will have to be different.


New Member

Because your son has an IEP some accomodations can or may be made to graduation requirements.

Most SDs work with the "accumumlation of HS credits or 21st birthday" rule for services. If a student does not meet grad requirements by his 21st bd, the sd does not have to grant a diploma.

If you son is missing school due to an anxiety disorder, the SD may make accomodations for attendance----Technically a student cannot be penalized for his disability, so if he can't go to school becuase he is suffering from an anxiety attack---but completes all of his school work at home----attendance accomodations can and should be made.

I have also seen SDs waive certain credits for students in order to get them graduated. These are usually minor classes and not those required by the state for graduation.

If you are uncertain if you son is on track for graduation, you should request an IEP meeting. At that meeting you should request that your SD special education rep to detail what classes, attendance requirements, credits, term papers, tests, etc are required for graduation. This should be a clear, understandable checklist.

If your son is way off in terms of being able to graduate, it is not too late to discuss an alternative placement in a school that may be able to get him graduated AND work with his anxiety issues through therapy.

Good Luck