Every individual born in this world has a unique potential to tap on to. But the expression of the potential may take the time or require specific methods, just like the kids with delayed skills take time to reflect their disorders. Offering special care, meeting their fundamental requirements while educating and training them to unleash their potential is necessary.
Initiatives like the individualized education program(IEP) that came into effect with the passage of updated form of IDEA 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) play a key role in offering the below mentioned valuable service to the children. Explore to know about IEP, and it’s writing goals.
What is IEP?
The Individualized Education Program, or the IEP, is a legal plan or procedure that is documented under the law of the United States. It was initiated to cover every public school child in the United States who is in need of special education. Created for both professional and personal growth, the act adheres to the needs of a child by having a team consisting of the child’s parent as well as district personnel who understand the child’s needs.
Each and every aspect of IEP, right from evaluation to gaining the required support for children from their educational institutions, is completely focussing on a single aim – “analyzing the actual needs of the child and rendering fullest support to their needs.”
The evaluation team comprises of the professionals to understand the exact needs of the child, and a precise report is drafted. Then, the required services are offered by institutions, in accordance with the report.
1. Expert Evaluation Team in analyzing needs
The professionals who would constitute on the evaluation team are, the child’s parent, a psychologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a special educator, a speech therapist, a vision or hearing specialist, and others, if any required, based on the child’s specific needs.
A parent would sign the permission form offering the contest for professionals to undertake tests about the child’s abilities. The major tests check the amount of required specific school skills( reading /math) and also overall developmental skills(speech/language). A comprehensive evaluation report (CER) would be drafted by the professionals that enlist their findings and emphasizes the skills and support the child will need.
2. Target group
The major groups of children who would gain enormous benefits as a result of IEP are children with learning disorders, emotional disorders, autism, visual/speech/ language and/or hearing impairment, cognitive challenges, ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), developmental delay, and physical disabilities.
3. Timely, required Services and aims
There are two twin key goals for IEP:
- First is proposing the scalable and measurable yearly/ annual goals for a child in need.
- Next is stating the special and required education and other related services as well as supplementary aids and various other services that the public educational institutions would provide to, or offer on behalf of, the child.
Thus, IEP aims to offer the child with timely and required services that would fine-tune them and help them cope better with the world. For that, the schools and teachers are guided as to what measures they have to undertake, and progress is noted, and regular updates are received. But, IEP doesn’t force as a contract but rather is just a sample of legal and proper documentation that would push forward the growth of the child.
Also, measurable goals that a child can be made to accomplish in one year are listed, and the child is helped in those aspects. These goals are completely based on analysis and are from what was grasped from the child’s performance in the tests.
These are proposed after 2 phases. Firstly, discussion with parents and after documentation understanding the current levels of performance and focus of the child. The goals aren’t necessarily academic. They might help to add more progression to the general curriculum and can be academic, but can also be emotional/ physical/social/ behavioral/ self-help, or in any other sphere, they require.
4. Offering Legal Rights
Legal rights are offered to caretakers to find what the child has obtained, is yet to obtain, and there are many professional experts to help out to represent their rights. They can check the process, suggest alterations if needed, disagree if inadequate policies are proposed.
To help legally, even, Attorneys as well as the paid advocates accustomed and having knowledge of the IEP process, would offer representation and voice if a caretaker needs it. Thus, offering the essential space and role for a parent to understand and verify the know-how of the process is also a part of the IEP’s major aspects, whereby the parent is also involved in inculcating the best knowledge and skills in such children.
IEP might seem a bit tough nut to crack, but it is actually a great investment for the child’s future if done step by step. It is up to the caretakers to make the best use of all the available opportunities like IEP.
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