Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)
Present level of performance
Toby is a seven grade pupil whose disabilities prevent him from reading and writing on his grade level. He can perform listening comprehension on his grade level while other activities are below it. Communicative skills, motivation, general knowledge belong to his areas of strength while he still lack of social skills, attention and memory. The last evaluation was held in 05.05.2014 where he showed above average performance on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Revised (WISC-R). On the other side we can observe his poor performance both on the Wide Range Achievement Test (SRAT) subtests of reading and spelling. Sometimes his behavior impede his learning and that of others because of the hyperactiveness and small size Toby is in conflict with other students.
Developing of social skills: to be able to raise his hand in the class, to work in small groups, to understand social and emotional traits, to get acquainted with environment, to develop the ability to engage in conversation.
Developing of narrative skills: to be able to tell about the main idea, background and participants and related information about the story,
Developing of ability to follow the instructions of teachers and parents.
Toby will remember 99% of learnt words and use appropriate words.
He will be able to spell the words and explain its meaning.
The child`s progress will be measured with the help of oral, written tests and interviews. It will be presented to the parents and others in the form of reports in order to show the progress of reaching the annual goals. It will be measured once a month and the evaluation criteria will be 80% accuracy of words for written test and 90% for oral examination.
Accommodations, modifications and support service
It is hard for Toby to participate in ordinary assessments as he needs more attention because of his misconduct. Toby also need more detailed instructions. A length of time to finish the task should be increased. The usage of full-colour cards and pencils will help in encouraging Toby. Sometimes he will need the re-reads of instructions, special teacher`s guidance. Usage of audio and visual aids at least times a week. All tasks should be both written and told for Toby. He should be given a role model with the positive characteristic.
Least restrictive environment and related services
The student can be fully served in regular classroom. Toby will receive 70% of his education in the classroom while the rest will be given at home. That is why some of the home assignments will be given to the parents beforehand so he can better prepare. He also will get psychological therapy. He will be examined by the physician to see if his medications can influence his proficiency level in any subject.
Participation in state and district-wide assessments
Toby is eligible to participate in a state and district wide assessments. At first Toby will take a test based on the modified achievements standarts. With the increasing of proficiency and discipline the testing method will be written examination.
Frequency and duration of services
The service of physical and psychological therapy will be delivered for 40 minutes every week. The Education class will last 1 hour for 5 days a week.
Enroll in career awareness course.
Enroll in adult learning courses.
Learn about obtaining driving evaluation form.
One of the most important steps in developing individualized educational plan is IEP Meeting which is also obligatory according to the The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) since 2004. But sometimes the point of view of the parents as the persons who are emotionally attached to the child, spend almost all the time with their son or daughter can quite differ from those of official representatives. The role of parents is to decide what is good for their child but unfortunately the idea of not having enough medical and educational knowledge make them underestimate themselves which can be reflected in poor attendance of meetings by parents while their subjective observations can help the doctors and teachers to make profitable well-grounded treatment and educational plan. Anyway they should learn some additional information beforehand to be prepared and organized. Parents are more familiar with the patient so they can give more information about his condition and symptoms, emotions and inclinations. Role of officials is to make all the services and accommodations eligible according to the current law.
Another issue is hidden in the assessment of progress or in other words how should it be measured? Such a trifle as subjective assessment instead of an objective one can cost the child and his or her parents a lot of consequences. Here what the law says about this problem: ”Without an adequately drafted IEP, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to measure a child's progress, a measurement that is necessary to determine changes to be made in the next IEP. Furthermore, an IEP that is incapable of review denies parents the opportunity to help shape their child's education and hinders their ability to assure that their child will receive the education to which he or she is entitled.” So the objective evaluation should also consists of subjective in order to complete a full educational and psychological profile. It is possible for evaluations to be done with the help of independent instructors to make them more objective.
Some issue may be with passive parents who trust the instructors so much and didn`t check with the child. They believe that their child is making a progress while it is just wrongly evaluated. Such an subjective evaluations and opinions can doubt the teacher`s professionalism. If you want a true information about child`s progress you should get objective assessment of his communicative skills: reading, speaking, writing, listening. Public evaluations are recommended to be held composed of a team of professionalisms as it will be hard for school to lower the criteria and we will get as transparent evaluation of progress as possible. It leads to another problem whether your child is making progress or not. If not the Individualized Educational Plan should be revised or modified.
If we have a closer look at a real law cases we can observe that schools are not obliged to ensure all the services, transitions and accommodations to the handicapped children. But even if a person is not eligible for study he or she has still the right for accommodations and services. Many schools lower the level of tests and evaluation in order to show the “ghost” proficiency level, so we should emphasize the significance of objective assessment and testing one more time. Some of the schools can justify the failures of programs with the lack of money and resources which leads to uninvolving the staff in implementing the Individualized Educational Plans.
Parents can disagree with tools and means presented in the Individualized Educational Plan and appeal against IEP for adding some additional services or changing goals and objectives required for a specific child. That is a reason why should there be specialists of all aspects: legal, educational, parental and psychological on the IEP Meeting. As we can observe from the Toby`s case many teachers try hard to teach their pupils but after some time they give up and want to “wash their hands” of such students. This can affect students and theirs` progress in a bad way because it takes long to a pupil to get used to a new teacher. And it also required some time for teacher to get acquainted and accustomed with educational plan. Unscrupulous teachers or parents can endanger the fulfilment of IEP.
Most of the legal cases based on the IEP`s issues are based on the inaccurate observations, subjective assessments, inappropriate services and accommodations. The key of good treatment and education lies in a precise decision making. All the accommodations, tools, devices and other aids should be approved by IEP team and current laws.
Bateman, B. D, & Herr, C. M. (2006) Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives. Verona, WI: Attainment Company
Twachtman-Cullen, D. & Twachtman-Bassett, J. (2011) The IEP from A to Z: How to Create Meaningful and Measurable Goals and Objectives. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass
Wilmshurst, T. & Brue, A. W. (2005) A Parent's Guide to Special Education: Insider Advice on How to Navigate the System and Help Your Child Succeed. Washington, DC: AMACOM