Individualized Education Program (IEP)

free essayIndividualized education program (IEP) is meant to improve the performance of students with disabilities and difficulties in learning in an inclusive setting. In 2013, 95% of students with disabilities attended regular schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016). For the IEP to be successful there should be regular meetings with all the stakeholders to analyze the student’s performance. Facilitated IEP meetings have better results than non-facilitated ones.

Members Mandated to be Present

Parents are important members of the IEP because they give a report on how a child behaves at home. They explain how the child handles the assignment and what behavior challenges are experienced (Zeitlin & Curcic, 2014). The information is relevant while comparing it with the information of other members. Parents also give information about the medication and therapies they are offering to the child.

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Both special education and regular class teachers are mandated to be present under IDEA. Special education teachers are part of the team as they help to implement the IEP. They know what works best for the child in a classroom set-up and can explain the difficulties they experience in class. Regular class teachers also spend time with the child. Since they have the records of the child’s performance, they can tell when it is improving or declining. The regular teacher aims at helping children with exceptionalities to behave normally like other students and thus strives to treat them the same way. The regular teacher always raises the most concerns that require discussion by team members.

It is important to have one more person who has information about the child’s special needs. For example, behavior specialists may be necessary to confirm that the said child’s behaviors are correct according to their assessment.

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Optional Members

A facilitator is an optional member of the IEP team who is helpful during the meeting discussing the child’s problems and progress. Facilitation is a process in which a trained person helps a group to improve the way they identify, address, and solve problems so that they may make the right decisions for the benefit of the child. Facilitators must be neutral and not be biased when giving their opinions. They ensure better communication during and after the meeting by making it easy for people to understand one another.

Children with special needs may sometimes be allowed to be part of the team to give their views or raise concerns. They can explain why they feel comfortable in certain sitting positions or with some classmates.

IEP Sections

The first part is providing a statement that describes the child’s present level of performance. The latter may be both academic or behavior-wise. The statement is to be presented by all members giving their report on how the child is faring. The class teacher may provide a classroom report and grades while the parent may explain how the child behaves while doing the assignment and what emotional changes are experienced at home.

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The IEP should have measurable goals set for the child, which should have a time frame. The statement should explain the long-term and short-term goals. For example, the report may explain that the child should learn how to read third-grade words by the end of four weeks. The long-term goal may state that the child should be able to read a third-grade passage by the end of the year.

The IEP should also indicate the intervention program given to the child due to disability. The response may include classroom accommodation and devices used by the student. There should also be an explanation of the activities that the child may not participate in with non-disabled classmates and give the reason for not participating.

There is a need to have a statement of when the program will start taking place, its duration, and the venue. For example, the child may attend a special education class for thirty minutes per day. Finally, there should also be an explanation of the assessment procedure and the termination of the project.

Reflection

Items on the Checklist That Are in the Video

In the introduction section, there is the definition of roles, responsibilities, and procedures. The principal explains the agenda of the meeting and asks if there is any additional information that the group would wish to discuss. In addition, training on the IEP process is provided for staff and parents. The principal explains the expected conduct and behavior during the meeting (“FIEP,” n.d.). He gives the rules to be followed and asks if everyone is willing to support them.

How It Works


In the section of questioning, team members are expected to offer data to support comments made during the meeting. All team members should have information on their observations and the student performance. The facilitator asks the parent to give a report on their visit to the doctor (“FIEP,” n.d.). He also asks the regular class teacher, special education teacher, and the behavioral therapist to give their reports on the child.

The methods for decision-making are clear. The principal asks if team members are within the consensus range so that they may reach an agreement (“FIEP,” n.d.). The facilitator also says that they do not have to have the same level of enthusiasm about the idea.

Skills That Might Be Difficult to Perform

The part of the open-minded discussion is hard, especially when one member of the team is accusing you. For example, the parent insists that her idea is right and her child is not receiving the necessary help (“FIEP,” n.d.). It is easy for someone to lose control in such a case after knowing the effort put to help the child.

The best way to develop open-minded discussion skills is to put in mind that parents are as frustrated as I am and they have probably tried harder than I have. Such a thought will help me to be calm even if parents blame me and, hence, we will be able to have a calm discussion.

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Conclusion

Every IEP meeting should have a parent, special education teacher, regular class teacher, and another person with the student’s knowledge. The facilitator and the child may be present but are not compulsory attendants. A good IEP should set achievable goals and give a plan on how to reach them. It is hard to remain calm during a meeting when the parent is accusing the teacher of not trying to help. The teacher should understand that parents are more frustrated and thus should be patient with them even if they seem rude.