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Developing an Individual Educational Plan

Presented by : Ms. Sunita Singh September 11, 2012 Mauritius

The history of education, both regular and special, seems to indicate that much change over the years has been based on strong beliefs........ (Martin, 1993)

The thought processes in the theory of education and the thrust on segregated education and medical model of treatment to an inclusive, social and educational growth are going to overhaul the mechanism of education.

This makes it imperative for mainstream/regular & primary school teachers to prepare themselves for meeting the challenges of accepting children with disabilities and diverse needs.

To work effectively with the child with special needs, the teacher will have to collaborate with professionals and parents. Learning difficulty can be of any kind and any dimension.

Each child needs: - unique support and - earlier it is started the better it is All children are special in one way or another. Children differ, and their needs vary considerably.

A teacher in the classroom is confronted with the job to identify these needs, to assess their precise nature and to provide for learning experiences to cater to those needs. In the large numbers of regular class-rooms the concept of individual differences is forgotten.

Even if the children are taught in the same way, the progress, motivation and responses of all children are not the same. Despite common learning environment the external and internal environment for each child is very different.

The support needs for a Child with Cerebral Palsy are:(Locomotor Disability) - assessment of physical and mental abilities - time allotment for O.T. and P.T. exercises - guidance to teacher by the therapists regarding the seating arrangement in the academic sessions.

A child on wheelchair or with orthotic device needs furniture adjustment to: accommodate the wheelchair. place the orthotic device facilitate movement in the classroom.

At primary age-level, a child with low vision will need different kind of support from a totally blind child who has to be equipped with - mobility training - sense training - specialised techniques & Braille reading - readiness for academic work in inclusive class.

A majority of children in regular schools are being noticed who have specific learning disabilities. They manifest disorders of listening, thinking, reading, writing or spelling. During the last few decades more and more children are being recognised with specific learning disabilities.

Psychological assessment of these children will develop a picture of his/her intellectual abilities and educational assessment will study the interpersonal behaviour, linguistic skills and the area of disability in the environment. Intervention has to be worked out to provide planned support.

It is not advisable at the pre-primary and primary stages to segregate the children with disabilities unless their disability is so severe that there are chances of their getting hurt if they are not able to protect themselves. A lot of learning goes on through peers and all basic skills are developed by studying & playing with other children of the same age.

Assessment of following skills are required for primary and secondary levels. The concerned teacher can decide on the specific areas of need for a particular child. These are:

Communication, language and literacy skills Expressive language and motor skills Social interactional skills Attention skills, co-operative working Spelling, comprehension, free writing

- Literacy fluency, phonics, handwriting - Phonological skills, letter formation, early spelling - Numeracy mental arithmetic, etc. - Independent working, following instructions, - Personal hygiene - Conversational skills, group working, completion of work

Moderate visual impairment independent learning, responsibility for own learning Moderate hearing loss self confidence, oral language skills; Organizational skills, completion of work, spelling, telling the time Literacy high frequency words, phonics, use of ICT for independent working Time-keeping, homework, social skills

An Individual Educational Plan (I.E.P) describes the educational programme that has been designed to meet the childs unique needs (Stricklend and Turnbull-1993).

Each Child who receives special education must have an I.E.P which is a truly individualised document. It is a management tool to ensure that support services to meet the special educational needs of the child are provided by related professionals. It also serves as an evaluation tool to monitor the childs progress in projected domains.

Now the questions are:


How should an IEP be developed and what should its format be? Who should be involved in the development of IEP? How can the myriads of details associated with the IEP process be managed efficiently?

To meet the childs educational needs and the best type of programme eight pieces of information are required for the IEP. 1. The students present level of performance. Typically this information is presented in a statement of educational strengths and weaknesses based on the results of the assessments.

2. Annual goals for the students programme. These are broad general statements that help us to focus on the general areas in which individualized services will be provided. 3. Short term objectives associated with each goal. These focus on the specific things that the student will learn during the time the IEP is in effect.

4. The special education and related services to be provided to the student. The services are described and the names of the people responsible for providing them are included. 5. The extent of the childs participation in regular education. This requirement helps the IEP team to address the normalization concept.

6. The projected date for initiating services. This is given so that all the parties will know when to begin implementing the IEP. 7. The anticipated duration of services for long term goals and short term teaching objectives.

8. Objective evaluation procedures provide - specific criteria for reaching the objective - methods of evaluation, and - time schedule for conducting evaluations The IEP must be reviewed at least once a year.

Measurement Strategies: Include direct testing, observation and interviews that to gather information for specific evaluation purposes.
Parent Participation to examine the long range goals, for their child and to reevaluate the benefit of those goals for the child and the family, is very important.

Teachers should understand the childs culture and interest along with familys aspirations. She should also review strategies for effective intervention and consider meaningful and age appropriate teaching objectives. Developing suitable teaching material is a vital skill for the teacher.

Systematic steps to prepare an IEP 1.Collecting general background information 2. Assessment 3. Setting annual goals 4. Setting short term objectives 5. Teaching strategies 6. Evaluation 7. Parental participation

Teaching is conducting in an effective manner by following the three principles of teaching: - Acquisition - Maintenance - Generalisation In all stages of acquisition, maintenance and generalization the task is analysed. Task analysis is the core of the teaching process. It provides a step by step description of the components of the main task.

Task analysis within it self has various functional strategies that help the special educator to realize the instructional objective effectively. These include various techniques that are unique in their methods and usage. These strategies facilitate the quick learning of tasks, acquisitions of expertise and mastery in the functional task.

Other Teaching strategies are

Shaping rewarding an approximation of a goal. Chaining forward chaining & backward chaining. Modeling Prompting Physical Prompt (P.P.), Verbal Prompt (V.P.), Gesture Prompt (G.P.) Cueing

Models of Inclusive Education


Co-Teaching Special educator co-teaches beside model the classroom teacher. Co-teaching Special educator works with students Consultant in a separate room but also coModel teaches with the classroom teacher several hours a week. Resource Teacher Model Special educator whose students have been distributed to several classrooms works with the classroom teachers.

What is the Relevance of creating an I.E.P -Makes good use of assessments - Gives an opportunity to share information - Establishes priorities - Clarifies expectations - Engages parents - Motivates Students - Documents Successes - Facilitates review - Provides on-going information - Facilitates the team to cooperate

In U.S.A and U.K. IEPs are widely used. In Ireland IEPs are a matter of choice and not a compulsion. A research was carried out in Ireland to explore the utility of IEPs. A resounding 85% of teachers found the process of IEPs to be useful to them in delivering special educational services. (Nugent, REACH Volume 15, No2, 2002)

In India, special schools have the system of formulating IEPs but this practice in inclusive schools has to be developed in a big way. If IEPs are found to be useful in delivering special educational services, then teachers have to be trained to develop IEPs.

Teachers must be given time for planning and organising meetings for developing SMART targets for IEPs, which are: Specific Measurable Agreed Realistic and Timed Development of IEPs is a time-consuming process and is definately a skilled job. Training of teachers and all other collaborating professionals is the first step for implementing this process.

A suggested format for creating an I.E.P for Nursery, Preprimary and Primary levels is:
Name: IEP Start Date: Strengths: Targets Date of Birth: Review Date: Age: Staff Involved: Signed: Special Support Needed Signed:

Nursery/pre-school:

Individual Education Plan(each area should have a corresponding target): Early Years Action/Action Areas to be developed (IEP)
Strategies Provision Success Criteria Achieved

1.

2.

3.

Parent/Carer Involvement: Evaluation and future action:

Childs View:

Additional Information:

For Intellectually challenged children a Curriculum Guide for Individualised Programme of Intellectually Challenged at elementary, secondary and vocational levels has been developed at Amar Jyoti.

This guide can be used in Special and Inclusive schools for mentally challenged students. It provides a profile of the child and enables the teacher to maintain cumulative records of performance. It enables the teacher to be flexible in choice of goals for Slow Learning children.

Behavior Management of children in the classroom is an important skill for the teacher to develop. How to manage socially unacceptable behaviours and also to motivate the behaviour of children that facilitates learning is vital for effective management of any class.

The IEP process is complex, but its an effective way of communications with parents as to how their child learns and functions. If they have concerns, then they should not hesitate to ask questions about the findings of evaluation and the goals recommended by the team.

A parent knows the child best and should play a central role in creating a learning plan tailored to the childs specific needs. Proactive reform systems of bringing the support to the child in an inclusive school will definitely need employment of special education teachers who are able to adapt, develop materials to match the learning styles, strength and special needs of each student in the class

The School authorities and the teacher must be willing to devote extra time for collaboration, consultation and maintenance of assessments and evaluation records.

The teacher must have the attitude and ability to take on the responsibility of the child with special needs and must be willing to correspond will parents for the support .

Another area of teacher willingness is to support and coordinate Circles of Friends and Peer Buddies for recreation, social interaction and having leisure time fun and frolic for the special needs child.

References
http://www.bced.gov.bc.ac/specialed/iepssn/whatiep.htm http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/learning/iep.html accessed on 2.7.2009 http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/iepssn Nugent, REACH Volume 15, No2. 2002 Malhotra, R. Curriculum Guide for Individualised Programme of Intellectually Challenged, Vikas Publication House (2002) Source: Gartner & Lipskys91996) survey on inclusive education. National Centre on Educational Restructuring and Inclusion www.Csusm.edu/thousand/incmodels.html