What To Do If Your Child Is Under Age 3
From infancy until age 3, children can receive help through early intervention services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act , a federal law, requires that every state provide early intervention. You dont need a referral. You can request a free evaluation from your states early intervention services program.
If your child qualifies for these services, youll work with a team of educators to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan for your child. The IFSP is a legally binding document that specifies which services and supports the state will provide to your child.
Theres no benefit to waiting if youre concerned about your child. Getting answers as early as possible can help keep your child from falling behind.
A Parents Role And Rights In The Iep Process
The IEP is a legal and binding contract between the school district and the parents, and is developed at the IEP meeting. The New Jersey Administrative Code states that parents are a part of the IEP team. As members of the IEP team, parents may provide input into the development and implementation of the IEP as well as placement decisions.
School districts must provide parents with a copy of Parental Rights in Special Education , which includes forms and instructions on requesting complaint investigations, mediation, due process hearings, and emergent relief. This booklet must be provided by the school district one time per year, such as when a child is referred for an initial evaluation, when a reevaluation is conducted, and when a request for a due process hearing is submitted to the Department of Education. At other instances, the school district must provide parents with a statement explaining that parents have rights under the special education law, how parents can obtain a copy of PRISE, and sources they may contact for assistance.
Need For Further Research
The findings from the study suggest the need for teacher training, accountability, and monitoring in several areas. Improved teacher training programs and IEP development activities might include: increased measurability of IEP objectives, including clear descriptions of conditions under which behavior is to occur and specified criteria of goal attainment described increased assessment of needs for ESY better specified individualization of IEP objectives from state academic content standards inclusion of parental concerns and inclusion of social as well as communication objectives. Additionally, research based on direct observation and evaluation of the implementation of IEP objectives into practice, including an examination of how well teachers are able to develop instructional procedures conducive to attaining objectives set forth in the IEP has been suggested for many years , yet remains an area lacking in the literature.
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What Is The Difference Between Accommodation And Modification
Accommodations are changes in HOW a student accesses and demonstrates learning, but do not reduce learning expectations. Rather, they provide access to reduce the effects of a students disability.
Modifications or alterations change WHAT your child is expected to learn and refer to practices that change, lower, or reduce learning expectations.
How Are Services Delivered
In most cases, the services and goals outlined in an IEP can be provided in a standard school environment. This can be done in the regular classroom or in a special resource room in the regular school. The resource room can serve a group of kids with similar needs who are brought together for help.
However, kids who need intense intervention may be taught in a special school environment. These classes have fewer students per teacher, allowing for more individualized attention.
In addition, the teacher usually has specific training in helping kids with special educational needs. The children spend most of their day in a special classroom and join the regular classes for nonacademic activities or in academic activities in which they don’t need extra help.
Because the goal of IDEA is to ensure that each child is educated in the least restrictive environment possible, effort is made to help kids stay in a regular classroom. However, when needs are best met in a special class, then kids might be placed in one.
What Other Information Is Included In The Iep
The IEP is designed to provide as complete a picture as possible of the student. The following information can help make that happen:
Relevant medical or health information about the student as well as any specialized health support services required
Relevant information from assessments or reports supporting the need for an IEP
Information about what the student has achieved and is working on
Levels Of Transitions In The Iep
- between activities & settings within the routines of the school day
- entry into school
- from elementary to secondary school
- from secondary school to post secondary, community & work
Each transition should be seamless and represent a: prepared family, prepared student, prepared educator, and prepared environment.
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The Trouble With Generalizing:
Children with autism tend to have trouble generalizing skills. Generalizing is what happens when a child takes a skill that he learned in one place and uses it somewhere else. Our children with autism may be able to learn how to do a skill with one person really well but that doesnt necessarily mean that the child will be able to do it with anyone else or even in a different location.
For example, if you teach a child with autism to count to 5 using the same 5 yellow cups at the kitchen table and you never practice counting anywhere else, the child will do great at counting to 5 in that exact situation but may not be able to transfer that to counting anything else.
The same goes for communication. If a speech therapist teaches a child with autism to communicate with her in the speech therapy room, it doesnt necessarily mean that the child will then start communicating with other people and in other settings.
Ive worked with several children who will learn to say words during our speech sessions but no matter how hard the parents try, they cant get their child to say those same words at home or at school.
To counteract this, the child must practice the same communication skills with a variety of different people and in a variety of different settings. For that reason, it is vital that the child does not spend every waking moment with the speech therapist. We want the child to communicate in any situation, not just when the speech therapist is present.
Guide To Individualized Education Programs
New! Autism Speaks is excited to launch of the newest Guide to Individualized Education Programs, the organizations first interactive, mobile-friendly, video-based resource for families in the autism community.
The popular original IEP Guide has been updated, revamped and digitized to provide you with the advocacy tools you need to make sure your child is receiving the best possible education tailored to his or her unique strengths and challenges.
The guide includes a video series featuring a renowned attorney, school psychologist and speech pathologist answering your frequently asked questions. The experts share advice on how to be the strongest advocate for your child at school.
The new interactive format is divided into six simple sections filled with videos and tools to guide you in the right direction as you navigate the IEP journey and the school system with your child:
- IEP Basics
- Important Things to Remember
Note: For simplicity, the pronoun he/him is used throughout the resource.
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Creating Measurable Goals In The Iep
- Once a day, Sarah will walk up to a peer who is playing alone and say Hi . can I play with you? over 3 consecutive days.
- Once a day, Sarah will walk up to a peer who is playing alone and say Hi . can I play with you? with reinforcement but no adult prompting over 3 consecutive days.
- Can I see this action?
- Can I measure it?
- Can I put it on a scale or range? (more or less? faster then before?
Who Determines Eligibility For An Iep
Before an IEP can be created for a child with autism, there is a process to determine whether they are eligible for special education.
To start the process, your child needs to be evaluated for a disability. That includes autism spectrum disorder or ASD. Either you as a parent or an educational professional in your child’s school district needs to request evaluation. If the district makes the request, your consent is needed before the evaluation can be done.
Professionals within your child’s district are usually the ones who do the evaluation, but it can also be done by a developmental pediatrician or psychologist.The evaluation is what determines that your child is eligible for special education. It also helps identify the special services your child might need.
If you think your child’s evaluation isn’t accurate, you can ask for an independent evaluation. That will be done by a professional from outside the school district. Your child’s district may pay for that evaluation.
If the evaluation shows your child needs special education or services, creating an Individualized Education Program is the next step. The IEP will be tailored to your child’s needs and abilities.
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Extended School Year Services
If there is evidence that a child experiences a substantial regression in skills during school vacations, he or she may be entitled to ESY services. These services would be provided over long breaks from school to prevent substantial regression, but not to acquire new skills.
It is important for the family to remain involved in determining appropriate goals, communicating with the educational team about progress, and working to provide consistency between home and school.
For Early Intervention Services, if a child is under the age of three, call the local Early Intervention Agency. Contact information is included in the Autism Speaks Resource Guide.For Special Education Services, if a child is three or older, contact the local school district.Before Service can be provided, it may be necessary to complete further assessments and evaluations. These may include:
- An unstructured diagnostic play session
- A developmental evaluation
Individualized Education Programs For Autism
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act states that all children in the U.S. have a right to a “free appropriate public education.”
For children with autism and children with certain other disabilities, this act mandates the creation of an Individualized Education Program . Each IEP is designed for one child. Its purpose is to meet that child’s specific special education needs. It sets goals and objectives and describes what services a child will receive as part of their special education program.
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Who Is On The Iep Team
Parents are considered equal partners with school personnel in making these decisions, and the IEP team must consider the parents concerns and the information that they provide regarding their child
The IEP team consists of the parents, the child , a general education teacher, a special educator, and an individual who can interpret instructional implications of evaluation results .
The team must also consist of a representative from the school system who is: qualified to provide or supervise the provision of a specially-designed instruction to meet the unique needs of the student knowledgeable about the general curriculum and knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the school system. This representative must have the authority to allocate resources.
The IEP team may also include other individuals at the discretion of the parent or school system who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child. These specialists may include an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a speech therapist, a hearing therapist a vision specialist a mobility and orientation specialist an adaptive physical educator, a school psychologist, nurses, counselors, social worker, and behavior specialists. Specialists can be conferenced in they do not have to be present.
Does My Child Qualify For An Iep
Your child might qualify for an IEP if she has both of the following.
- A disability, and,
- A need for help with school. The need can be related to your childs learning, behavior, or social and emotional needs. St. Jude psychology staff members can help learn if she has these needs by doing tests, talking with you and your child, and in other ways. Your childs school staff will decide if she qualifies.
Below is a list of the categories to qualify for an IEP. These are from the law called the IDEA. They are called eligibility categories because to qualify for an IEP, your child must have a disability in at least one of these areas.
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
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Determine With Your Iep Team Which State Assessment Tests Are Most Appropriate For Your Child
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires that ALL STUDENTS be assessed and that students receive an individual score in reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 and a high school grade. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, also requires that states provide an alternate assessment when implementing statewide accountability systems. An alternate assessment is an assessment designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in a regular assessment, even when accommodations are provided.
Does my child participate in state assessments?
My Child Needs More Time With The Speech Therapist
This is one of the most common requests that I hear from parents of children with autism and I TOTALLY get where youre coming from. A speech therapist helps children talk better. You want your child to talk better. It makes sense that increasing the amount of time that your child sees the therapist would help them talk better more quickly, right?
Well, its more complicated than that.
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How Can I Request An Iep
You can request an IEP by writing a letter to the school asking for an evaluation. Ask for a full and individual evaluation in your letter. Make sure the letter has the date on it, and keep a copy of it. If you have a psychological or neuropsychological report, you can include a copy of it with your letter.
The next steps in the process include the following:
Things For Parents To Address At An Iep Meeting
Parents are the best advocates for their children. You know your child best, and you will be the one providing additional support beyond school hours. It is important to ensure that the IEP addresses your childs needs in a way that will be optimal for them to grow and learn. Your input will be vital to this process.
- Understand and ensure everyone is aware of your childs current level of social, functional, and academic skills. Dont just discuss disabilities and shortcomings. Talk about their strengths, progress, and interests.
- Be aware of your childs eligibility category. There are 13 different categories, and children often fit into more than one category at a time. Whichever category has the most significant impact on learning should be the top priority.
- Find out how progress is measured. Different schools have different metrics. Learn how often progress is assessed, how it is measured, and when you will be notified about this.
- Ensure that goals are appropriate for your child and the timeline for the objectives.
- When appropriate, discuss extended school year services if your child is apt to lose skills during school breaks and vacations.
- Discuss a behavior intervention plan to help your child develop coping strategies. Talk about strategies for modeling behaviors.
- As your child approaches high school and graduation, a transition plan will need to be put in place. When the time is right, discuss this in the meeting.
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How Is The Iep Developed
A childs eligibility for an IEP must be determined within a team-based process. Either the school or the parent can start this process. At no cost to the parent, the school will evaluate the child in all areas of suspected need. A team of individuals, including both school staff and the parents, will review the testing to determine if the child meets eligibility requirements. From the time when the parents provide written permission for the child to be assessed, the school has 60 days to complete the testing and review the resulting report at a properly convened team meeting.
Eligibility for special education requires that the childs disability have an educational impact. If the team determines that the child needs special education supports and services, a draft IEP must be written and discussed during a team meeting within 30 days. In addition to the assessments, the IEP team should consider, for example, classroom observations, classroom assessments, classroom data, behavioral records and progress notes. Parents are co-equal partners in the IEP process. All members of the IEP team are to be heard in a respectful, open environment. The IEP process should be collaborative and conducted in good faith.