IEP Tips

Anthony LeZotte Task 5.1

Chapter 1 Tips


  • In addition to parents, students can be valuable members of the IEP team. You will learn in later chapters about how to prepare students for meaningful participation.
  • As you participate in IEP conferences, and collaboratively develop goals and objectives, you should always consider how the goals and objectives that you recommend will advance equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.
  • Some students who do not qualify for coverage under IDEA do qualify under Section 504. You may be involved in developing a 504 plan for these students rather than an IEP.

Chapter 2 Tips

  • The IEP team must design an IEP that ensures that the student will be involved in and make progress in the general curriculum, and it must do so by addressing the student’s education and education-related needs.
  • As a member of the IEP team, you and your colleagues must identify the supplementary aids and services the student needs to be involved and make progress in the general education curriculum.
  • The IEP team is responsible for making placement decision. Although IDEA allows placement across several settings, it presumes, as you must, that students will be educated in the general education classroom and will participate in extracurricular and other school activities with their non disabled peers.

Chapter 3 Tips

  • During the IEP conference, the results of nondiscriminatory evaluations should be summarized and serve as the basis of planning each student’s individualized program.
  • At the IEP conference, you should develop a discipline plan for a student who needs one, and you should make the plan culturally appropriate.
  • At the IEP conference, you must comply with IDEA by communicating with students’ parents in their preferred language, which may be their native language.
  • When school social workers and school counselors are members of the IEP team, you can partner with them to identify how schools can reduce the educational challenges facing students experiencing poverty.

Chapter 4 Tips


  • As you develop a partnership, ask the family member who is most accessible to you whether there are other family members whom they want you to include as partners in IEP development and implementation.
  • Collaboratively developing the IEP provides an excellent context for building a trusting partnership with families.
  • When you contact parents to invite them to the IEP conference, you can tell them about the resources of the parent training and information center in your state and encourage them to gather information from the center about IEP conferences, if hey believe that it would be helpful to have this information in advance.
  • During an IEP conference, ask the student’s parents if they want suggestions about how to help the student with homework. Don’t presume that they do or do not provide that assistance.

Chapter 5 Tips

  • The IEP should address a student’s emotional and social need, not just the student’s academic needs.
  • Differentiated instruction is a good strategy for all students, not just students with learning disabilities, so you should almost always consider it when developing and IEP.
  • Teachers have opportunities at IEP conferences to learn more about the nature of different assessments and to have questions answered about how assessment links to classroom instruction.

Chapter 6 Tips

  • Unless everyone on a student's IEP team has heard the student communicate, team members should observe him or her before drafting the IEP.
  • As helpful as school-based assessment is, the IEP team should also consider conducting home- and community-based assessments to gain a thorough understanding of how the student communicates.
  • The IEP team will want the student to learn strategies and use augmented communication systems that will allow him or her to communicate with teachers, family, and peers at school.
  • The IEP should specify that every professional who works with a student who uses an AAC or other device should learn how to operate the AAC or other device.

Chapter 7 Tips


  • During IEP meetings, you should address the specific strengths, neds, and preferences of students who experience depression in order to ensure a positive school environment.
  • Complex behaviors and problems often require complex solutions. It’s likely that no single intervention will be sufficient for students with EBD, so you and your colleagues on the IEP team should use multicomponent interventions.
  • If a student is prone to conflict, you should make sure that the student’s IEP included strategies to teach the student social problem-solving and anger-management skills.

Chapter 8 Tips


  • The IEP document should address needs and strengths related to behavioral, social, and emotional characteristics, as well as academic needs.
  • Similar to IEP meetings, 504 planning meetings are very helpful in terms of preparing teachers to provide appropriate acommodations.
  • The IEP team should remember that, in most cases, medication alone is insufficient to effectively change behavior. In addition to medication, students with ADHD need instruction on how to self-regulate their actions and learn more effectively as well as how to set and attain goals.

Chapter 9 Tips

  • When you and your colleagues develop an IEP for a student with an intellectual disability, you will want to consider carefully her home and community environments and teach skills that enable the student to be effective in them. This is because the student needs to generalize the school curriculum to her home and community environments and to adapt to them. To know about those environments, you need to learn from the student’s parents; their participation in the IEP conferences is essential.

  • When there is an obvious connection- or even a a suspicion of a connection—between the student’s intellectual and adaptive functioning and risk factors such as inadequate nutrition, health care, and rest, you and related service providers (such as a school social worker) should connect the student’s family to appropriate school and community resources.

  • Although involving adult support providers, such as potential employers, in transition planning is a good idea at any time during secondary education, it is especially important for students ages sixteen through twenty-one so that their community-based instruction curriculum becomes embedded in their community.

Turnbull, A. P. (1995). Exceptional lives: Special education in today's schools. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill.