December 8, 2010

Individualized Education Plan

Bertrand's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) was completed and signed only one day prior to his 3rd birthday! Since we've gotten a wide range of questions from "What is an IEP?" to "What is in Bertrand's IEP?" I'll give the Cristina-fied version of what an IEP is and what our experience was with Bertrand's.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) made parents of kids with special needs members of their child's education team. Parents work with educators to develop a plan--the individualized education plan (IEP)--to help their kids succeed in the public school system. So, the IEP is simply a document that describes the goals the team sets for a child during the school year, as well as any special support needed to help achieve them.

IEP meetings must be held at least annually, but may be held more often if needed. Parents may request a review or revision of the IEP at any time. It is worth noting that federal regulations do not require states to provide an "ideal" educational program or a program the parents may feel is "best." The state must provide an appropriate educational program, one that simply meets the needs of the individual student.

Going into Bertrand's IEP, my anxiety was ratcheted up to HIGH because of this last point. Endless amounts of parental anguish can be found online due to a divergence of opinion between the school district and the parents on what is "appropriate" for their child. My anxiety was unfounded. Matthew and I came out of the meeting with a strong sense of support and understanding from the people who'll be working with Bertrand. Furthermore, we felt that the goals and support outlined in the IEP document (and Health Plan) were appropriate.

Summary of Bertrand's "Team Evaluation Summary Report":

Primary Disability Considered: Multiple Disabilities
Definition: Concomitant impairments (such as intellectual disability--blindness: intellectual disability--orthopedic impairment, etc.) that affect a student's education performance. The combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accomodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf/blindness.

Assessment for Classification
Bertrand qualifies for the "multiple disabilities" classification under all following 6 criteria: intellectual ability, assistive/augmentative communication and motor systems, sensory/motor skills, vision & hearing, additional assessments by the team, medical history

Areas of Evaluation
Cognitive: Battelle Developmental Inventory 11/12/10 - Percentile 0.2
Adaptive: Battelle Developmental Inventory 11/12/10 - Percentile 0.1
Communication: Battelle Developmental Inventory 11/12/10 - Percentile 0.1
Hearing: Normal peripheral hearing
Vision: Cortical visual impairment
Motor: Battelle Developmental Inventory 11/12/10 - Percentile 0.1
Medical: Bertrand has a vast medical history. Health Care Plan to be developed.

Bertrand has a disability, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), that adversely affects educational performance and requires special education and related services.

Summary of Bertrand's "Individualized Education Plan":

1. Student Information

2. Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance
This is a LONG summary going into detail on Bertrand's Battelle Developmental Inventory scores, medical records, therapist notes, and parent statements. I am too lazy to type it out. Suffice to say that Bertrand has "complex health issues" and is severely globally delayed.

3. The IEP Team considered the following Special Factors:
  • Bertrand has special communication service needs such as a student who is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Bertrand needs for special communication services are addressed in his IEP.
  • Bertrand needs assistive technology devices and/or services without which he would not benefit from special education.
  • Bertrand's needs for assistive technology devices and/or services are addressed in his IEP.
4. Measurable Annual Goals
  • Annual Goal 1: Bertrand will use eye gaze with an adult in the classroom to indicate turning the pages in a book or continuing a preferred activity or toy.
  • Annual Goal 2: Bertrand will stay alert for 5-7 minutes during group activities.
  • Annual Goal 3: Bertrand will tolerate a variety of textures and various sitting positions throughout the school day.
  • Annual Goal 4: Bertrand will demonstrate anticipation of upcoming events when presented with a touch cue.
  • Annual Goal 5: Bertrand will indicate a choice among two preferred items.
  • Annual Goal 6: Bertrand will use a switch to activate a toy consistently within the classroom.
5. Services plus Adaptation Support
  • Special Ed. Preschool - 150 minutes 2 times/wk
  • Speech Services - 30 minutes weekly
  • Occupational Therapy - 30 minutes monthly
  • Physical Therapy - 30 minutes monthly
  • Visional Services - 30 minutes monthly
A registered nurse will assist Bertrand in class through Spring in order to train his teacher and her aides in seizure identification, treatment, handling, etc.

6. Participation in State & District Assessment (N/A)

7. Notices & Participants
  • Eligibility for Extended School Year (ESY) services will be determined later.
  • Parent Prior Notice for Free Appropriate Public Education.
  • Medicaid Consent

1 comment :

  1. So glad to hear it went well and you feel supported. I left Charlotte's pre-preschool IEP meeting absolutely enraged, crying,and wanting to get the school district rep fired. Ha ha! But then her teacher ended up being awesome and preschool was a wonderful experience.