10 Steps to the IEP Process

The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a federal law, part of the Individual with Disabilities Act. The IEP must be written at least annually for all children with disabilities. Below are the following steps to an IEP.

Step 1. Child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services.

“Child Find.” The state must identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities in the state who need special education and related services. To do so, states conduct “Child Find” activities. A child may be identified by “Child Find,” and parents may be asked if the “Child Find” system can evaluate their child. Parents can also call the “Child Find” system and ask that their child be evaluated. Or —

Referral or request for evaluation. A school professional may ask that a child be evaluated to see if he or she has a disability. Parents may also contact the child’s teacher or other school professional to ask that their child be evaluated. This request may be verbal or in writing. Parental consent is needed before the child may be evaluated. Evaluation needs to be completed within a reasonable time after the parent gives consent.

 

2 Step 2. Child is evaluated.

The evaluation must assess the child in all areas related to the child’s suspected disability. The evaluation results will be used to decide the child’s eligibility for special education and related services and to make decisions about an appropriate educational program for the child. If the parents disagree with the evaluation, they have the right to take their child for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). They can ask that the school system pay for this IEE.

 

3 Step 3. Eligibility is decided.

A group of qualified professionals and the parents look at the child’s evaluation results. Together, they decide if the child is a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA. Parents may ask for a hearing to challenge the eligibility decision.

 

4 Step 4. Child is found eligible for services.

If the child is found to be a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, he or she is eligible for special education and related services. Within 30 calendar days after a child is determined eligible, the IEP team must meet to write an IEP for the child.

 

5Step 5. IEP meeting is scheduled.

The school system schedules and conducts the IEP meeting. School staff must:

  • contact the participants, including the parents;
  • notify parents early enough to make sure they have an opportunity to attend;
  • schedule the meeting at a time and place agreeable to parents and the school;
  • tell the parents the purpose, time, and location of the meeting;
  • tell the parents who will be attending; and
  • tell the parents that they may invite people to the meeting who have knowledge or special expertise about the child.

 

6 Step 6. IEP meeting is held and the IEP is written.

The IEP team gathers to talk about the child’s needs and write the student’s IEP. Parents and the student (when appropriate) are part of the team. If the child’s placement is decided by a different group, the parents must be part of that group as well.

Before the school system may provide special education and related services to the child for the first time, the parents must give consent. The child begins to receive services as soon as possible after the meeting.

If the parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. If they still disagree, parents can ask for mediation, or the school may offer mediation. Parents may file a complaint with the state education agency and may request a due process hearing, at which time mediation must be available.

 

7 Step 7. Services are provided.

The school makes sure that the child’s IEP is being carried out as it was written. Parents are given a copy of the IEP. Each of the child’s teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and knows his or her specific responsibilities for carrying out the IEP. This includes the accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child, in keeping with the IEP.

 

8 Step 8. Progress is measured and reported to parents.

The child’s progress toward the annual goals is measured, as stated in the IEP. His or her parents are regularly informed of their child’s progress and whether that progress is enough for the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year. These progress reports must be given to parents at least as often as parents are informed of their nondisabled children’s progress.

 

9 Step 9. IEP is reviewed.

The child’s IEP is reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year, or more often if the parents or school ask for a review. If necessary, the IEP is revised. Parents, as team members, must be invited to attend these meetings. Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP goals, and agree or disagree with the placement.

If parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. There are several options, including additional testing, an independent evaluation, or asking for mediation (if available) or a due process hearing. They may also file a complaint with the state education agency.

 

10 Step 10. Child is reevaluated.

At least every three years the child must be reevaluated. This evaluation is often called a “triennial.” Its purpose is to find out if the child continues to be a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, and what the child’s educational needs are. However, the child must be reevaluated more often if conditions warrant or if the child’s parent or teacher asks for a new evaluation.

IEP Articles and Links

8 steps to a successful IEP meeting- Great Schools

10 things to cover at your child’s IEP meeting- Autism Support Network

17 things autism moms want you to know about IEP’s and your child- Living Well Mom

All about the IEP- Center for Parent Information and Resources

How can an IEP help someone with autism?- Applied Behavior Analysis

How are IEP’s designed for students with ASD?– Applied Behavior Analysis

IEP FAQ- Wrightslaw

IEP Guidelines- Down Syndrome Association of Ontario

Individualized Education Program for Autism- WebMD

Individualized plan for a student with cerebral palsy- Knoji

Learning about IEP’s– Understood

Learning Disabilities and IEP’s-Focus on Family

The short and sweet IEP overview- The Parent Center Hub

Understanding IEP’s– Understood

What is an IEP? – Great Schools

 

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15 Teaching Strategy Resources for Students With Hearing Impairments

 

Accommodations for students with hearing loss

Five tips for teachers of students with hearing impairments

How to teach hearing impaired students: Strategies for success

Inclusive teaching: deaf and hearing impaired

Instructional strategies for students who are deaf or hard of hearing

Modern teaching techniques for deaf and hard of hearing students

Strategies for hearing impaired students

Suggested teaching strategies

Teaching a child with hearing loss

Teaching hearing impaired children

Teaching strategies for deaf and hearing impaired

Teaching strategies for hearing impaired students

Tips for teachers

Tips for teaching a preschooler with hearing loss

Visual teaching strategies for students who are deaf or hard of hearing

10 Important Facts On Trisomy 18

Today is National Trisomy Awareness Day. Below are 10 important facts on Trisomy 18.

  • It is also known as Edwards Syndrome
  • It is a condition caused by an error in cell division
  • An extra chromosome in 18 develops
  • Occurs in 1 out of every 2500 pregnancies in the United States
  • It is 1 in 6000 live births
  • Only 50% of babies who are carried to term will be born alive
  • Children are often born with heart defects
  • Features include a small head, small jaw, clenched fists and severe intellectual disabilities
  • It is named after John Hilton Edwards, who first described the syndrome in 1960
  • It affects different organ systems

 

Cerebral Palsy and Co-occuring Disorders

Cerebral Palsy is defined as a group of disorders of movement and posture causing limitations due to abnormal development in the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many children and adults with cerebral palsy also had at least one co-occurring condition and in some cases more than one. for example, it is not unusual for and individual to have a diagnoses of cerebral palsy with a co-occurring condition of epilepsy and an intellectual disability and associative  issues with an eating disorder.

Understanding both co-occurring conditions and associative disorders is essential in order to develop an effective teaching strategy.

associative issues include aspiration, dysphagia, digestive issues, seizures, intellectual disability, sleep disorder, and speech impairments.

The following links and articles includes information that contain research studies, articles and practical information.

 

Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy– Cerebral Palsy Guidance

Cerebral Palsy and Seizures– Cerebral Palsy Guidance

Cerebral Palsy and Speech Therapy– Cerebral Palsy Group

Children with spastic cerebral palsy experience lower leg fatigue when walking study shows- Cerebral Palsy News Today

Common health problems associated with cerebral palsy- My Child Without Limits

Communication and swallowing issues for adults with cerebral palsy-EPI

Difficulties in swallowing and coughing in spastic cerebral palsy focus of study– Cerebral Palsy News Today

Digestive health tips for kids with cerebral palsy-Sarah Halstead

Gastrointestinal and nutritional issues in cerebral palsy-practicalgastro.ocom

How does cerebral palsy affect people?-Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Prevalence of cerebral palsy and intellectual disability among children- NCBI

Sleep disorders in kids with cerebral palsy often remain untreated study suggest– Cerebral Palsy News today

Sleep issues among children with cerebral palsy-CP-NET

Seizures in children with cerebral palsy and white matter injuries-Pediatrics

Understanding more about cerebral palsy and seizures– Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Identifying Street Signs Worksheet

This is an introduction to identifying street signs for children and young adults learning how to cross the street safely. The worksheet includes signs needed in teaching street crossing safety.

Learning Objectives:

  • Will match the traffic sign correctly
  • Will identify the traffic sign correctly
  • Will name the traffic sign correctly

Material Needed:

Traffic sign worksheet
laminated (optional)
laminator paper(optional)
Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Once you have printed the worksheet, cut the individual traffic signs and laminate.
  2. Explain each traffic sign and have the individual repeat.
  3. Once the signs are separated, mix them up and have the individual point to the correct ones.
  4. Have the individual state the traffic signs correctly and match

Traffic Signs Worksheet_ID Signs

 

Teaching Self-Confidence to Children with ADHD

Dr. William Dodson, expert on ADHD issues states that it is estimated that those with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages by age 12 than those without the condition. This may be due to the characteristics of ADHD including:

  • Unable to give close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes
  • Struggles to follow-through on instructions
  • Avoids or dislikes task requiring sustained mental effort
  • Losing things necessary for task or activities
  • unorganized and messy.

Children, teens and adults with ADHD more than likely grew up hearing, “you’re lazy and can’t do anything right.” Low self-esteem develops from constant negative feedback believing they are not smart or good enough.

The following articles provide tips, resources and information on ways to build self-confidence in kids with ADHD:

4 small ways to build confidence in kids

5 ways to boost your ADHD child’s confidence 

10 strategies for helping kids with ADHD build self confidence

Build self-esteem in your child with ADHD

Childhood ADHD and poor self-esteem

Don’t let ADHD crush children’s self-esteem

How to boost your ADHD child’s self-esteem

How to vanquish a child’s low self-esteem

How to Improve Self Esteem In Kids with ADHD

The importance of self-esteem for kids with learning and attention issues

 

Data Collection for Special Education Teachers

Writing IEP goals and objectives includes collecting data to track the progress of the special needs student. The following links and resources includes information on measuring progression, organizing data and tracking IEP goals

16 hacks for making data collection a piece of cake

Data collection for IEP’s: Measuring progression toward a goal

Data collection for individualized education plan implementation

Data collection for special education teachers

How to organize special education data for easy review

IEP and goals data collection 

IEP data collection

IEP data collection methods

Tips for setting and tracking IEP goals

Using Google docs to collect data for IEP goals

Bullying and Special Needs Children

A survey conducted found that half of parents surveyed have a special needs child who had been bullied during school hours.

Warning Signs of Bullying

  1. Unexplained injuries
  2. Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry
  3. Feeling sick or faking illness
  4. Changes in eating habits
  5. Difficulty sleeping
  6. Declining grades
  7. Self-destructive behavior
  8. Feelings of helplessness

A bullying guide for parents. Developed by the National Autistic Society in the U.K., offers tips and resources for parents.

Council for Exceptional Children. Q&A with Dr. Chad A. Rose on the Interpretation and Information regarding the Department of Education’s Letter Addressing Bullying Among Students with Disabilities

National Bullying Prevention Resources. Offers parents and educators bullying prevention resources including educational toolkits, awareness toolkits, contest ideas and promotional products

stopbullying.gov– A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. Provides resources on State laws and policies, training information and school bullying prevention tips.

Wrightslaw. A webpage offering information on laws and disability harassment including the legal obligation of the school.

Articles

8 ways to help your child with autism stop bullying at school

Bullying: Children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder

Bullying among children and youth with disabilities and special needs

Bullying and students on the autistic spectrum

Signs of bullying in special needs children

How can I protect my autistic child from bullying?

How to deal with bullied children with disabilities

Why autistic kids make easy targets for school bullies

Resources For Teaching Sequencing Skills

Sequence is defined as a set of related events, movements, or things that follow each other in a particular order. For many children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities, the ability to arrange thoughts, information and language may be a challenge due to issues with their executive function capabilities. The following resources, tips and strategies will help you teach sequencing skills.

How to teach sequencing skills at home

How to teach sequencing skills to children

How to teach sequencing to preschool children

Sequencing activities for students with autism

Sequencing skills teaching strategies 

Story sequence strategies

Strategies for teaching your child sequencing skills

Teaching sequencing skills

The importance of sequencing skills in a child’s development

Tips to teach sequencing skills in children

Matching Tasks Activities

Matching task activities provide children with special needs an opportunity to learn in a fun, interactive way. Matching activities provide the opportunity for children and adults to master a skill through repetition and leads to higher learning. Matching and sorting helps to strengthen memory and identify the relationship between two or more items. Below are links to worksheets and matching activities.

All words-to-pictures matching worksheets

Color matching activity

DIY kids emotion matching game

Match the number activity worksheets

Matching activities supporting reading development

Matching animals to pictures

Matching colors when you only have a minute

Matching words to pictures

Rainbow bear color matching spinner game

Teaching preschoolers to mix and match