Developing the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Articles,  Blog

Developing the Individualized Education Plan (IEP)


>>Welcome to the IEP series on the IEP
meeting, preparing and participating. My name is Jody Jones and I’m a parent
consultant at the Utah Parent Center. I’m also the mother of children
with disabilities. I’m also a licensed foster care provider and
so I get the opportunity to also work with them with their school, their education, and
their IEP’s when they are needed at times. So, to begin with I’m just going to do a
short overview of evaluation and eligibility. The IEP team will have conducted some
evaluations with the parents consent and upon receiving all of the data and
information they will then review it and make a decision based
on two primary criteria. Number one, the child needs to have one or
more of the identified disability categories and also require the special education
services and related services. If the child does do this then they
are eligible for special education. And for more information on the criteria
and other workshop presentations, please contact the Utah Parent Center. This is a list of the thirteen categories
that your child can qualify for. What is special education? Special education is specially designed
instruction at no cost to the parents to meet the unique needs of a child
with a disability, including instruction that can take place at home, in a hospital,
in an institution, or in other settings, and it also instruction in physical education. There’s also related services and
related services can include, like, speech and language pathology,
interpretation, psychology, nursing services, there’s several areas and transportation
and such developmental, corrective or other supportive services that are required
to assist the child with a disability to benefit for special education is when
those services can come into place. So, after we look at the assessment
and the needs of the child, then we put all of the information together
and they use what’s called present level of academic performance and from
there they develop IEP goals. So we are going to talk about
developing the IEP now. Do you guys know what IEP stands for? What’s an IEP? Linda?>>Individualized education plan.>>It is. And it’s also said as
individualized education program. But when we get talking about
it a lot of time with our team, we do call it a plan because
it’s a written plan. So, and it is developed and reviewed
and revised in a team meeting. Some of the key elements of our
individualized education program is that it guides the child’s
education which is really important. We want to know where our child is going,
where they are, where they are going to, the goals they are going to be achieving. It helps determine the placement. There are several classrooms and we can talk about the least restrictive environment a
little bit later, but there are several areas or classrooms that a child can be placed in. It’s written in a team meeting and the
team meeting does include the parents. And if there is an IEP that’s already
been made, it needs to be in effect at the beginning of each school year. For initial IEP’s, a meeting to develop
the IEP needs to be held within thirty days of determining that the child qualifies
and is in need of special education. Now, sometimes you might here
the word IFSP instead of an IEP. Are you guys familiar with that? A little bit? If you had children that needed services
from birth to the third birthday, they will have possibly have had an ISFP. Here’s a little chart showing
the difference between the two. An ISFP is an individualized family
service plan as apposed to your IEP, which is your individual education program. Here are some more key issues about
your individualized education program. Before the services can be provided it
needs to be in effect, so the parents need to have signed, the meeting took place
and it needs to be implemented as soon as possible following the meeting. It needs to the accessible to the regular
ed and the special education teachers and all others responsible
for servicing that child. That’s really important because if your
regular ed teachers doesn’t have the goals or doesn’t understand your child’s
needs, then they can’t be met. One key part to this is when your
child gets into, like, junior high and high school, they have multiple teachers. So it’s really important for the parents to take
that IEP, themselves even, and get copies made and go ahead and give them to the teachers
and ask them if they have any questions, because at your IEP meeting a lot of times
every general ed teacher won’t be able to attend, one is only required. And then the teachers and providers need to
know their responsibility that are in the IEP and any accommodations and modifications
that need to be provided to that student. This is a cute little queue card and
it is preparing for the IEP meeting. These are important parent tips
that are great for you to use. Number one, try to keep a file of all of the
important papers, that would include assessments and evaluations that they give you. That would include copies of your child’s IEP. Also you can always ask to
review the existing data. Know who will be attending the meeting. It’s nice to know ahead of time so that you
don’t feel overwhelmed or caught off guard with people that might be the at the meeting. And if you have information that would
be helpful to the teachers or the team, make sure that you bring it with you. If you have done independent doctors
evaluations or doctors reports or any of that, please bring it, they definitely will look at it
and consider it to help write your child’s IEP. Write down your questions ahead of time. I love doing this. I always have lists and notes with me
when I go to the doctor or anywhere I go. It’s great to have those questions
written down ahead of time, and I also write down your priorities. Know what it is that you want for your child. One other thing that’s great to do is bring
a picture of your child and kind of talk for a minute about your child and say, this
is my child, this is what they like to do, or have your child there and have
them talk to the people themselves and let them say this is what
I like to do, these my goals. And then if you cannot make the
meeting time, please let somebody know, because the meeting time for the IEP can
definitely be renegotiated and reschedule. It’s important for you as the parent to be
there because you have an important role. You are definitely part of the team
and you have a lot of information and input that’s important to them. So, what is a team partner? Who participates in the IEP? Do you guys know? I have given you some hints. Tell me who you think would
be part of the IEP team.>>Parents.>>Absolutely. Patterns are essential.>>The student, if they are old enough.>>The student, if they are old enough. That’s great. And sometimes even a younger student can come,
even for maybe the first five minutes to say hi to everybody and, you know, let them
really get a feel for this is a real child and a real person that we
are developing goals for. Who else might be an essential part?>>An LEA.>>LEA. Can you tell us what an LEA is?>>Ah, yes, it’s actually someone who is like
the principle, the vice president or something from the district who can allocate funds and know the general curriculum
and they over special education.>>That’s perfect, perfect. Thank you. So they know the services, they know
what monies are there and they kind of can govern the meeting a little bit. Good. So other people would be regular ed
teacher with a minimum of one attending, a special ed teacher, and another key person
is somebody who can interpret the results of the evaluations that have been done. For instance, if the child psychologist
has done some evaluations on your child, it’s really important for that child
psychologist or somebody else who is capable and able of interpreting those results, because
it would be a little confusing at the meeting to have them say, well, your child has a low IQ,
but not be able to tell you why or, you know, what the information was based on. So, members of the team, there are a
couple important bits of information that you will want to know with this. Attendance is not necessary for, for
instance, the speech teacher to be there if their part is not being discussed or
revised and if the parent has given consent and the team agrees ahead
of time and in writing. Another team member can also be excused if they
get the parents’ consent, again, ahead of time, in writing and if they have
submitted in writing their piece that would be important to that child’s IEP. So a revision of goals or data on how the child
is progressing and information that the parent or family or team might need to know. IEP development, some really important
things when you sit down to develop that IEP, remember to consider the child’s strengths. We want to always look at the child for
their abilities, not just their disabilities. So consider the child’s strengths. Always make sure as a parent that you are
expressing any concerns that you might have. Feel free to talk about anything that you think
the child might be afraid of or may not be able to successfully complete, because there are ways that you can work together as
a team to brainstorm ideas. Also the accommodations and
modifications can be put into place. Make sure that the results of the initial or most recent evaluations are
part of the development of the IEP. And make sure that you are looking
at the academic developmental and functional needs of the child. Here are some great IEP parent need to knows. To the extent appropriate, the regular education
teacher should be helping to develop the IEP. Why do you think that’s important to have
the regular ed teacher help develop the IEP? Why Ashley?>>I think it would be important to see if they
can implement those plans into their curriculum and into the classroom and see if it will work.>>Absolutely. That’s absolutely right. And parent and the school may agree
that after the first annual IEP meeting to amend your modify the IEP without
having another meeting that school year. And reevaluations and IEP meetings
may be held at the same time. The IEP may be changed in a meeting or
without a meeting and just be amended. They can write it and add
amendment pages to the IEP if the parent and the team has agreed to that. And then the parent can ask
for those amended pages. For example, my son started junior high school
and I felt like it was not appropriate for him to have to shower and also they
required a combination lock and I thought that he probably wasn’t going to able to
remember the combination to a school locker and a gym locker and an art locker. So we went ahead and I requested that we
write a small amendment to the IEP stating that Collin would be allowed
to, one, not shower, and two, that he could have a key locking
lock for the other lockers and then we just took an
extra key to the school. So that was a great way to be able to add on
to the IEP without calling a whole meeting and having everybody need to be there
and match up schedules and times. As far as educational placements,
parents are members of any group that makes decisions on placement. And there’s alternate ways to meet. Do you guys know of alternate ways to meet? What if they plan the meeting
and you need to be out of town, but it’s really important to have that meeting? Rebecca?>>Um, a conference call.>>A conference call, that’s fantastic. What else?>>Could you do it my e mail?>>You could if you agreed to it? Or by video, absolutely. Just know that there’s other options if
you are not able to attend the meeting but you feel it’s important that
it take place at that time go ahead and propose other ideas to
get that meeting done. Now we are going to talk about the actual
individualized education program or your IEP. There are some very specific components that
need to be part of this to make the IEP work and to be following Utah State Office
of Education rules and regulations. So the number one area that we are going
to talk about is the present levels of academic achievement and
functional performance. You may here this called the PLAFA. It’s a mouthful. Make sure that you include how the
disability effects the involvement and the progress in the general ed curriculum. Those are important to have in there so that
other people reading the IEP can understand where the goals are coming from
and where your child currently is. For pre school age children, it needs to talk about how the disability effects
participation and appropriate activities. Number two, there should be
benchmarks or short term objectives for children taking alternative assessments. Have you guys heard of the
alternative assessments? Do you know of name of the
alternative assessment, Rebecca?>>UAA (assumed spelling).>>The UAA, yeah. The Utah Alternative Assessment. So if your child is taking that assessment, make
sure that you have some short term objectives or benchmarks in your IEP that can be met. The next one is that it has measurable annual
goals including academic and functional goals to meet, one, the needs of the
child so that they can be involved and make progress in the general ed curriculum. And, two, other educational needs
that result from the disability. Number four, we want to make sure it has the
information about how progress will be measured and when the reports of progress will be issued. What do you guys feel like would be
appropriate if you have a child with an IEP in special education, how often
would you want to receive the reports and what do you think would
be appropriate for that? Linda?>>I would at least want to
hear with every report card, when I get the report cards of my children.>>Good. Good. At least as often as typical children are
getting, or at least as often as you are getting from the general ed teachers
as far as report cards. Good. And then those reports can be
varied, you can talk to the teacher about if you need a little more information
or if you feel what they are doing is great. I know with my child’s report,
she usually graphs thing so we have a really good idea about, you
know, she puts a date timeline with a graph and so we know, you know, days maybe
that Callie was having better days or worst days and that’s great. I love it. It really helps me to understand. Number five is the special
education and related services and other supports and services to the child. We want to make sure that the
goals are written in a way that they can advance towards their
annual goals and that progress in the general curriculum it being made,
that participation in extracurricular and nonacademic activities are within their
reach, that they are able access those. And that they would be educated and participate with all children, including
non disabled children. Number six, we want to make sure that
there is written in there the extent that the child will not participate
with non disabled peers in the regular ed classroom or activities. So, if your child is going to be in the
special ed classroom for the first hour of class each morning to do maybe there
math or writing, then we want it written in the IEP stating that, you know, one hour each
morning the child will not be with their peers, that they will be in the special ed classroom. And number seven, any individual accommodations
needing to measure academic achievement and functional performance on the
state and district wide assessments. If the IEP team determines that an alternate
assessment is needed for your child, they need to include a statement
of why it’s needed and why the child cannot
take the regular assessment and the alternate assessment is appropriate. They need to statement that it is appropriate and why your child cannot take
the regular ed assessment. And number eight, make sure
there are dates that the services and modifications are going to begin. Have on there the frequency,
the location, and the duration. It helps parents to be able to follow along
with that information is on there too. So, we are going to talk about
some examples of IEP goals. Do you guys have an example
of a good or a bad IEP goal? Let’s go with a bad first. Do you guys have an example? Let me give you one. Oh, do you have one?>>This is one I kind of thought of, like, Johnny will finish his school
work 80 percent of the time.>>Good. That is a fantastic not good goal. Johnny will finish his school
work 80 percent of the time. Why do you think that would
be a hard goal to achieve? Do you guys have any ideas?>>Well, I think 80 percent is
not a very good measurable tool. How do you know what 80 percent
is in terms of that homework?>>Good. Absolutely. And 80 percent of which school work? Does that include art projects
or, you know, all of that? So, that’s fantastic. We have a couple on here and I’ll just tell
you one because Ashley already gave us one. Um, Jenny will stay on task 90 percent
of the time, with 90 percent accuracy. Do you guys stay on task 90 percent of the time? I’m probably not on task 90 percent of the time. One, it’s not a good measurable goal and,
two, it’s probably not a realistic goal. Like, so, you are going to have poor Jenny
sitting there at attention 90 percent of the day while her friends are
talking or getting a drink or, you know, transitioning to the next subject. So, what about a good measurable goal? Do you guys have a good measurable goal or
would you like me to give you an example?>>Give us an example.>>Okay. By May 15th, Sarah will
orally read 7th grade material at 75 to 100 words per minute with zero to two errors. Does that sound like something that you would
actually be able to monitor and collect data on and, you know, it goes
towards a good end result? More examples of goals can also be found in our
Parents as Partners in the IEP process handbook and that’s available through
the Utah Parent Center. So, once you have got together with your
team and written some goals with your team, based on your child’s needs, here are some
good questions to consider just as a follow-up and make sure that you feel like the
IEP is appropriate for your child. One, are the IEP goals measurable? Two, is my child in the regular education
environment all or part of the day? Why or why not? Know where your child is going to be. Are they going to be 50 percent in each? One good thing about that is if you ever have
to show up to the school to get your child, you are not looking all over
and wondering where they are. You know, you know that they are in
the right place at the right time. Three, does the IEP list modifications,
accommodations and supports including for the state and district
wide test accommodations? Those need to be in there. I did get a panicked note from our
special ed teacher because we had forgot to list the accommodations that would go
with her accessing or taking the assessments. And so we went ahead and, again, just
did an addendum to the IEP and added that she was allowed to have, you know,
breaks and some treats and some other things that were appropriate to help her
make it through the assessment. Four, is the school expecting the kind of
progress that I believe my child should make? You know, let’s not hold our children
small, make them reach, grow, strive, that’s how we all grow and they are
very capable of doing the same thing. Five, is transportation a
needed related service? You should know that that is a related
service that you can access if it’s needed for your child to receive their free and
appropriate education and special education. Six, is my child expected and able
to meet graduation requirements? You may want to look at that as they get
a little bit older, closer to junior high, the end of junior high maybe even. But it is something definitely
to look at and think about. And then last, when will the IEP be reviewed? You know, know how soon that’s come up, besides, then you can get your new
list of questions ready to go. Here are a couple other things to consider,
looking at to see if your child might need them. Assistive technology and let’s
talk about assistive technology. The device would be any piece of equipment or
product or product system used to increase, maintain or improve the functional
capacities and capabilities of a child. So, then we have the word service
under assistive technology. And a service would be any service that
directly assists a child with selecting, acquiring or using assistive technology device. And the term can include evaluation,
providing equipment, maintaining, customizing or replacing the equipment, coordinating
other therapies with assistive technology, training and technical assistance for
the child, families or others involved in a major life function of the child. The one exception to this would be
any surgically implanted devise, like a cochlear implant. That is not covered under this; the school
has no obligation to get your child any device that would be surgically implanted or to
have to replace it should there be a problem. Extended school year may be an option
that you and the team may want to consider if your child has, um, regresses easily or if
they are just not quite making their goals, then extended school year might be an option. Extended school year is special
education and related services that go beyond the normal
school year in accordance with the IEP and at no cost to parents. It must be provided if services are necessary to
ensure the provision of FAPE, which is your free and appropriate education, and services met
state standards, not limited to categories of the disability or automatic limited
time durations and if it is in the IEP as the team determines it necessary. Next we are going to take about placement. Placement of your child is a very
important part of their education. If they are not placed where they can be
successful or happy, or if it’s too overwhelming or if it doesn’t challenge them enough, they
may not be able to grow to their full potential. So, the guidelines state we want to place the
child in their least restrictive environment and the definition of that would be
to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including
children in public or private institutions or other care facilities are educated
with children who are not disabled. Supplementary services are to be provided in
conjunction with regular classroom placement. So, the placement part of this is,
one, made by a group of persons, including the parents, so your IEP team. Two, that it’s in conformity with your
LRE, your least restrictive environment. Three, that it’s determined annually,
so go ahead and look at it each year as you review your IEP to make sure
that the placement is still appropriate. Four, that it’s based on the IEP. And, five, that it’s as close
to home as possible. The continuum of alternative placement must
include, and now, let me explain what that means so when you are looking at the
appropriate placement for your child, it can start are the regular ed classroom and
then may be the next appropriate thing to look at would be special classes,
special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. And placement in the school also can be, um,
that they are in the general ed class for, like, 90 percent of the day with just a small amount
of pull out services, all of the way up to being in like a self contained classroom. So, it’s a good thing to ask
your team what the continuum is and what they are looking at for your child. And then make sure that you have, you
know, that you participate in that. Positive behavior interventions. Positive behavior interventions. What’s positive? Can you guys give me a definition
of positive as far as behavior? Like, if your child was behaving positively,
what kind of behaviors would you be seeing?>>Saying on task and working in the classroom.>>Good. Good. Anything else? Maybe not acting out very much or, um, positive
would be characterized by displaying approval, acceptance or affirmation behaviors. And then the behavior would be
the manner of conducting oneself. It’s also something an organism
doesn’t in response to its environment. So, it’s important to know that our
children also may react and behave in response to their environment. And the intervention is to enter a course
of events so as to hinder or change it. So, if we are getting behaviors that
we are not liking or wanting or we feel like your children are capable of more, we want
to go ahead and put some interventions in place. If you have concerns with behaviors that
your child might be manifesting in the school or showing or, you know, the way that they
are reacting and acting to things in school, there is an incredible assessment that
the school staff can do for your child. It’s called a functional behavioral assessment. And the functional behavioral assessment looks
at the behavior of your child and why they do it and when they do it and if there is
something leading up to this behavior, so that they can then take all that information and put it together in a
plan to help your child. The functional behavior assessment would be a
guide that would help drive the decision making on what to do to help your child. It would lead to strategies that
help meet the child’s needs. It’s required when a child has been removed from
their educational program for more than ten days and it also should be considered in any
evaluation when behavior is a concern. So, after they have done the
functional behavioral assessment, they can put together what’s called
a behavioral intervention plan. In the behavioral intervention plan we want
some good positive behavioral interventions. Do you guys have an idea of what some good
positive behavioral interventions might be? Rebecca?>>Um, a token rewards system.>>A token rewards system. That works for a lot of kids, absolutely. Then they know when they are doing
things right and good and on task. What else? Linda?>>Sometimes just going up to the
student and patting them on the shoulder.>>Absolutely.>>A pat on the shoulder. Sometimes a high five or, you know, a special
handshake, some of those things are great. So positive is going to be characterized
by displaying approval, acceptance or an affirmation to the child’s behavior. We want them to know when they are on the
right track and we want it to be something that they are starting to crave the positive
reinforcements rather than having to act out to get negative reinforcements. And then the behavior, um, is
the manner of conducting oneself so it’s something an organism does
some response to its environment. So we are going to look at
the behavior of the child and sometimes we can even head off their
negative behaviors if we are paying attention to that child and so we can look for
the signs that something is coming. A lot of times a positive intervention
or a little high five or a “hey, you are doing great today” can
head off their negative behavior. And, of course, an intervention would
be to enter a course of events to hinder or change maybe the up coming negative behavior. In the case of a child whose behavior impedes
his or her learning, or that of others, consider, when appropriate, strategies
including positive behavioral interventions, supports to address that behavior. So, if you are finding that you
are getting lots of phone calls from the teacher saying I’m having a hard
time teaching, or could you give me some ideas that you child might respond better to,
it’s okay to go ahead and ask the school, and I always recommended
that you do it in writing, to request that they conduct a
functional behavioral assessment on your child then they can write what’s
called the behavioral intervention plan. The behavioral intervention
plan should be in writing. It should be teamed developed. It should use strategies to
strength appropriate behaviors. A lot of times it’s also good to
have a crisis intervention plan. Some kids can escalate pretty high and so if you have a crisis intervention plan
it’s a great tool for the teachers to have, for the principal to have and a
lot of times families can carry over that crisis intervention plan to their own
homes so that the child is getting the same type of rewards and interventions in both
environments so that it’s consistent. Yes, Ashley?>>So is crisis intervention plan in that
behavioral plan, are they the same thing?>>Yes.>>So they will be at the same time?>>Well, it will just be part of the plan. So, for instance, let’s say that when you get
to school every day your child has meltdowns. The principal could even have in their
hand like a little treat or a token that they could deposit in their token reward
system has soon as they make it into the class. The other part of that would be what if the
child continues to escalate or meltdown? That’s when your crisis plan
would come into place. You know, does the principal or does somebody
have permission to kindly pick up your child and remove them so they are not
hurting themselves or others? Or do we just get another teacher and just stand
around them so that they are not, you know, we can intervene if something
more it starting to escalate. So, we are going to have a plan that talks
about some pre steps and precursor things that we can do to help prevent it and then
the crisis intervention plan will talk about if we can get to that level, what are the
steps that we need to take now to deescalate or remove the child from the situation
so that we can go on with the day. Does that help?>>Mm hmm.>>Okay. We definitely want the
general educator to have input again, so your child’s regular ed teacher is
great to have as part of the input. And to have modifications in the curriculum
or the classroom expectations, if needed. Maybe the child can’t go to circle time
or, you know, reading time the second that the kindergarten teachers needs him to,
maybe they need to transition over into two or three minutes because they, you
know, they can’t handle the stress of walking over with all of the kids. So that would be a great modification
or accommodation, actually, to put in. If there is a safe school
violation the team needs to hold an manifestation determination review. That’s where they will look at the
behavior that the child manifested or showed and they will compare it
to the child’s disability. So they can say the behavior
that this child had, is it specifically related to their disability? For instance, if they, you know, are nonverbal
or lower functioning and they don’t understand that a toy gun or their little brother’s
water gun would be a safe school violation because you can have no object even looking
like a gun on school property, you know, did that violation relate to their disability because they simply didn’t
understand and it was an accident. This review is to determine the
relationship and whether we need to have a disciplinary action or not. If the team decides that the behavior was a
manifestation of the student’s disability, then the school must conduct a
functional behavioral assessment, which is what we were just talking
about, if one has not been done. And then implement the behavior
intervention plan or review the existing one. And they also need to return the child to his or her previous placement unless there are
special circumstances or if there was a change in placement agreed to by the team. Transition is an important
part of your child’s IEP. And that comes into place no
later than their 16th birthday. The Utah Parent Center has put together a series
of transition workshops, like these IEP ones, and so for more information
please refer to those. I’m only going to give you
a brief overview to help you with the IEP part of transition in a mini scope. For transition, we have members of your
IEP team and they are going to be a lot like the same members that are
part of just your regular IEP team. But the transition team needs
to invite the child. When your child is old enough that
they are looking at transition, they must be invited to that IEP team meeting. They need to be able to have their input and
say what are their likes or what are their goals and then the team must consider those
as part of the IEP team meeting. If the child does not attend, the school
must insure that his or her preferences and interests are considered in the planning. And where appropriate, the school must
invite participating agencies that are likely to provide or pay for transition services. When other agencies are invited,
the parent and student need to be informed of that and give their consent. So, the members of the team meeting that we want to make sure they are attending would be the
student, the parents, special education teacher, the regular education teacher, the local
education agency representative, the LRE, and related service providers and
other adult service providers. When you get to the point where your child is
going to transition into adulthood you, um, it’s a great time to start looking broader
as to what jobs they might be able to have or who can support them with that. Are they going to live with you? Can they live independently? Do they know how to take the bus and get around? So that’s why these are key
players that are important to have as part of your transition IEP meeting. Let’s talk about the transition timeline. It needs to begin no later than the first IEP
that will be in effect when the child turns 16. It can start earlier if it’s appropriate,
and needs to be updated annually. What is the age of majority? Do you guys know what the age of majority is? Yes, Rebecca.>>It’s eighteen, isn’t it?>>Eighteen is the age of majority. Why is that important when we are talking
about IEP’s and team meetings and transition? What happens when you turn eighteen?>>You become an adult. Doesn’t matter if you have a
disability or not, all those rights and privileges pass right over to you.>>That’s right, and that’s really
important for parents to know. Sometimes when you have a child that is very
low functioning and very dependent on you, you are not necessarily thinking
that at eighteen all of the rights and decision making powers
then go to that child. So, there are some safeguards to help
parents key into that before it’s too late. The transition teams needs to let you know
that the rights will transfer to the student at age 18 unless guardianship has been awarded. And that any notice required by IDEA must be
provided to both the parent and the student so both the parent and the student are aware
of the changes that will happen at eighteen. The statement must be included
in the IEP not later than one year before the student’s birthday. So by the time before the child turns
17, or at the IEP of their 17th birthday, it needs to state to you
the parent and to the child that all rights will then be
that of the child at eighteen. The purpose of the transition IEP
meeting should be to determine the needs of the student, does that sound familiar? Did we look at that already
with their regular IEP too? So we always always are looking
at the needs of the student. To target the services that are available. Like Linda said, she did a great
job targeting services and agencies that might be helpful to her son. To develop a formal transition plan, and
to monitor the progress of the student, and to provide information
and training for the parents. When the transition goals are being written
and listed on the IEP, they should be based on the academic subjects, the child’s skills,
their daily living skills, and the needs, including interests and preferences
of your child. That is the whole idea of the transition
IEP is so that it is a good solid foundation to carry your child through into adulthood. And the activities that can also go along or
the goals that go along with the transition, IEP would be further education and vocational
training, especially if there’s training for a specific job that your
child might be interested in. Getting and keeping a job. Is that important? I mean, we love our kids, but at some point
we would like it if they could move on and keeping a job might be
an important piece of that. Living independently and community activities. So, we have some agency linkages
that could be helpful. We want to identify any transition services,
service providers that are likely to help assist or pay or provide information
or support to the child. We need to always obtain the
parent and the student consent, like we talked about, before
they come to the meeting. And if you are doing your IEP meeting, and let’s
say that your child is just 16 and you feel like its not needing or not
yet appropriate to look at for your child, then you
can check not needed. Please know that if you feel like that’s a
concern, you can write in the anecdotal notes that parents request that we relook at this in
a year or as needed, and that may alleviate some of your concerns with checking the not needed. Additional information is to make sure that they
have appropriate measurable post secondary goals that are based on the age appropriate
transition assessments related to the post secondary training or education
and post secondary employment as well as independent living skills where appropriate. And transition services including
course of study designed to help the student reach
the post secondary goals. So do we have some continuing
education that might be good for them? Or would there be some college classes that
would be good for them to achieve those goals? Another great piece to the transition
IEP is called a summary of performance. I loved having this when my
daughter graduated high school. My district actually called it
an exit summary of performance. And what it is, is a list of what your child
has accomplished, what their goals are, if they have taken any adult transition
evaluations, then it’s a summary of maybe the skills that they have
or the skills they want to acquire. It’s fantastic, so the summary of
performance must contain a summary of their academic achievement
and functional performance, and you have heard that a few times now. So, it’s important to have in all of your IEP’s,
and recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting their post secondary goals. It is required for students who exit the
school system through either graduations or through the diploma or
by reaching the maximum age. And for more information on this, again, please
refer to our transition series or our workshop that we do through the Utah Parent Center. So, we are to the point where the IEP
has been developed based on evaluation, based on team decisions and written based
on the needs of the child and implemented and we have talked about
transition, so you are done. Right? Yay. No. We have to do some follow-up. We want to make sure as parents
that things are happening. And that our children are headed on the
right track and being able to meet the goals that have been laid out for them. Please remember that the
IEP is not etched in stone. It is not a permanent carved
document that is unable to change. An IEP can be changed and as a parent you have
a right to call an IEP meeting if you feel like it’s appropriate and needed. Or better than that, you always have the
right to go in and talk to the school, to the teachers, to the service providers and
just tell them your concerns and questions. And if it’s too big, you know,
just to handle right then, then you guys can decide to call a team meeting. Monitoring and following up on your IEP. Remember that you need to
receive regular reports. Monitor your child’s progress. Feel free to shoot an e mail
that says how’s my child doing, or I got this report and I
don’t quite understand it. Which leads me to the next one, stay
in communication with your school and there are several ways to do that. You can send e mails, which teachers actually
really love right now because they can check it, you know, in between kids reading times
or when they are with a specialist. The parents aren’t showing up
and interrupting the class. Another way that I have done for years with my
children, I just take a spinal bound notebook and we just send it back and forward because
then the teachers can write this comments or this is what your child did today or tomorrow
is our field trip, don’t forget to send a lunch, you know, any information like that,
then I can send information back. And it’s dated, it’s written, I can
refer back to it and go, oh, yeah, we did this or, um, Kyle needed this. And then anticipate that the IEP is
going to be reviewed yearly as a minimum so that you can be really for that. So you can have your questions
and your notes ahead of time. You can make a difference. Our children are an important part of our lives
and we are an important part of their lives. You are absolutely a member
of your child’s IEP team. As John F. Kennedy said, some men see
thing as they really are and say why? I dream of things that never
were and say, why not?

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *