IEP Tips

Megan Kolbe

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Tip #1

  • Design an IEP the student will be involved with and continue to make progress with in the general education curriculum ( this is done by addressing student's education and educational needs)

Make sure the student is involved in his or her own IEP! Listen to their ideas

IEP No No-s

Tip #2

  • Identify supplementary aids and services the student needs to be involved and successful


  1. Supplementary Aids and Services: supports that are provided in regular education classes to help children with disabilities to be educated with their non disabled peers to the maximum possibility. These can be accommodations and modifications to the curriculum or direct services to the child

Tip #3

  • Responsible decision making is the IEP team's job when it comes down to placement decisions for a child.


IDEA allows placements across several settings but it presumes the student will be educated in the general education classroom as well as participate in extracurricular activities with their non disabled peers.

Tip #4

  • During the IEP meeting, the results of the nondiscriminatory evaluations should be summarized and serve as the basis of planning each student's IEP


  1. Non Discriminatory Evaluations: has two purposes: to determine if a student has a disability and if there is a disability to determine whether the student requires special education/related services. If they do, then this begins to determine which service they need

TIP #5

  • Develop a discipline plan for a student who needs one. Make sure the plan is culturally appropriate for the student.

Tip #6

  • Comply with IDEA by communicating with students' parents in their preferred/native language

Tip #7

  • Take advantage of other members on the IEP team such as school social workers and counselors. You can partner with them to identify how schools can reduce the educational challenges facing students such as students' experiencing poverty.

Tip #8

  • Develop a partnership/relationship, ask the family member who is most accessible to you whether they want to include other family members in the IEP development and implementation

Tip #9

  • Collaborating on the development of the IEP provides an excellent context for building a relationship with families.

Tip #10

  • Provide resources when contacting parents to attend the IEP meetings.

For example, you can tell them about resources of the parent training and information in your state and encourage them to gather information

Below is a great site for parent information and resources with the IEP process!

Tip #11

  • During an IEP meeting, ask the parents if they want some suggestions about how to help the student with homework

Don't presume that they do or do not provide that assistance

Tip #12

  • IEP should address a student's emotional and social needs NOT just their academic needs.

Tip #13

  • Learn! Teachers have opportunities at IEP meetings to learn more about the different assessments and to have questions answered about how assessment links to classroom instruction

Tip #14

  • Use differentiated instruction. It is a great strategy for ALL students.


  1. Differentiated Instruction: modifies traditional instruction. A teacher will use more than one instructional method.

Tip #15

  • IEP team members should observe the child communicate before drafting an IEP to meet their needs

Tip #16

  • IEP team should consider conducting home and community based assessments to gain a better understanding of how the student communicates

Tip #17

  • IEP team will want the student to learn strategies and use augmented communication systems that will allow them to communicate with teachers, family and peers at school.


  1. Augmented Communication: communication methods used to supplement or replace speech/writing for children with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken/written language.

Tip #18

  • IEP should specify that every professional who works with a student with an AAC or other device should learn how to operate it!

Below is a link to the Dynavox Website....a VERY common AAC device used with children with speech disorders as well as autism.

Tip #19

  • In an IEP meeting, address the specific strengths, needs and preferences of students who experience depression in order to ensure a positive environment

Tip #20

  • No single intervention will be sufficient for students with make sure to use multi component interventions.

Complex behaviors/problems require complex solutions

Tip #21

  • If a student is prone to conflict, make sure the IEP includes strategies to teach the student social problem- solving and anger management skills.

Tip #22

  • IEP should address needs and strengths related to behavioral, social and emotional characteristics as well as academic needs

Tip #23

  • 504 planning meetings are very helpful in preparing teachers to provide appropriate accommodations


  1. 504 plan: plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.

Tip #24

  • IEP team should remember that 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

Look at the link below for some teaching tips!

Tip #25

  • When developing an IEP for a student with intellectual disability..consider the student's home and community environments.

Make sure to teach skills that enables the student to be effective in these environments. Students need to learn to generalize the school curriculum to their home and community environments.


  1. Generalization: ability to transfer knowledge or behavior learned from one task to another

Tip #26

  • When you suspect a connection between the student's intellectual and adaptive functioning and risk factors such as: inadequate nutrition, health care and rest...connect the student's family to appropriate school and community resources

Tip #27

  • Involving adult support providers in transition planning is a good idea at any time..especially in secondary education

It is especially important for students ages 16-21 so that their community based instruction curriculum becomes embedded in their community

Tip #28

  • Consider using positive behavior intervention and support if the student's behavior impedes his or her or other's learning.

Tip #29

  • Conduct a functional behavioral assessment AND implement a behavior intervention plan.


  1. Functional behavioral assessment (FBA): process used to determine a specific relationship between a student's behaviors and the circumstances that triggered those behaviors

Tip #30

  • Collect data about each student who is receiving positive behavioral supports.

Use tools such as the SET and the BoQ


5 Tips for Handling EBD Kids (Emotional Behavior Disorder) in an Inclusive Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2016, from

IEP No No-s. (n.d.). Retrieved February 09, 2016, from

How Can Teachers Help Students With ADHD? (n.d.). Retrieved February 29, 2016, from

(n.d.). Image Retrieved from

Tobii Dynavox - Augmentative and Alternative Communication. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from

Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Wehmeyer, M., & Shogren, K. (n.d.). Exceptional lives: Special education in today's schools (8th ed.). Retrieved February 9, 2016.