The Perfect IEP

How to create an effective individualized education program

First thing's first (Ch.1)...

Always use people first language when referring to students with disabilities (Turnbull, Turnbull, Wehmeyer, & Shogren, 2014, pp.7-8).


Check out what person first language looks/sounds like here!

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Appropriate education (Ch.1& Ch.2)...

Ensure that a student's IEP is designed to meet their individual needs, without lowering standards or expectations for student achievement. Also, a least restrictive environment for learning is essential for a student to make progress in and have access to the general education curriculum (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 16, 38 ).

Fostering self-determination and student advocacy: Student and parental input is valuable input (Ch.1 & Ch. 4)...

According to Turnbull., et al, "In addition to building parental and professional partnerships, extend student inclusion membership within the IEP team. Include students in their IEP process, so that they may grow into their own strong advocates". (2014 ,pp. 17, 82)

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Differentiation; a universal design for learning (Ch.5)...

"Use differentiation of instruction to benefit all students, not just students with disabilities" (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 116).


Check out these strategies for differentiation:

Use Universal Design for Learning (Use UDL)

Non-discriminatory assessment is fair assessment (Ch.3)...

Be sure and use a non-discriminatory assessments to guide in the creation of the IEP. Use current levels of achievement as the basis for developing an IEP to ensure the appropriate and least restrictive education opportunities for all students. (Turnbull et al.,2014, pp.60).

Universal design is not just for learning (Ch.5)...

“Create an IEP that addresses students’ emotional, social, and academic needs” (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 106).

Research the methods for differentiation in alternative assessment (Ch.5)...

“Educators must take time to learn of the difference methods for alternative assessment and inquire as to how they connect with classroom instruction” (Turnbull et al., 2016, pp.113).

Observation is better than assumption (Ch. 6)...

“All members of the IEP Team must closely observe a student’s speech habits in real-time before writing the IEP” (Turnbull., 2014, pp. 129).

The 5 Signs Your Child Needs Speech Therapy

Observe the student in his or her home environment (Ch.6)...

“It is imperative that the IEP team consider conducting home- and community based assessments of students to understand how he or she communicates”(Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 134).

Check this out!

Digital Wisdom is key to writing the perfect IEP (Ch.6)...

“Any adult or professional who works with a student that requires the use of an AAC or other technology should be required, by the IEP document, to learn how to use said necessary AAC or other device” (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 141).

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Create a harmonious environment (Ch.7)...

"Use IEP meetings to discuss the strengths, needs, and preferences of students who suffer from depression to create a positive school environment.” (2014, pp. 150).

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Consider all of the environmental factors (Ch.7)...

When creating an IEP for a student with Emotional Behavior Disorder, IEP members must think about the environmental considerations—school factors and family factors---that contribute to Emotional Behavior Disorder. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 154).

Check out how the Center for Child Counseling uses collaboration to help Children

Center for Child Counseling

Tara Shillhahn’s Six Rules for support (Ch.7)...

Consider school counselor ---Tara Shillhahn’s Six Rules:

1.Reframe challenges and do not use labels.

2. Address the challenges holistically.

3. Regard student feedback as the most reliable measure of success.

4. Be wary of misguided efforts based on separate agendas.

5. Guide, don’t direct.

6. Develop relationships that engender trust.

(Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.155)

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Wraparound services are life changing services (Ch.7)...

Ensure that wraparound services are appropriately enacted to adequately address the students’ educational and mental health needs. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.157)

Watch and see what Wraparound Milwaukee is doing to help children with in their community!

Wraparound Milwaukee

Consider every option for intervention (Ch.7)...

IEP teams should use multicomponent interventions to help students with Emotional Behavior Disorder(s).

(Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 159).

IEPs and 504s Advocate for All (Ch.8)...

504 Plan Meetings set the stage for deciding appropriate accommodations for student with disabilities (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 175).

Universal Design for Accommodation (Ch.8)...

Accommodations and supplementary aids and services signify modifications to the classroom environment to fit individual universal needs (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp. 175).

UDL: Reducing Barriers

A Little Down Time is Good Time (Ch.8)...

Plan breaks for students, so that they may not experience brain drain.

Create Goals that will Last a Lifetime (Ch. 8)...

Make student goals and objectives attainable and meaningful for life (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.178).

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Consider Your Options (Ch. 8)...

Approach treatment of disorders like ADHD from different angles. Consider multimodal treatments strategies that will last a lifetime. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.179).

Facilitate Opportunities for the Development of Adaptive Skills

When developing an IEP for a student with an intellectual disability, carefully consider his or her home and community environments and teach skills that enable the student to be effective in them. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.191)

Development of Adaptive Skills :)

Generalization Skills for Making a Proper Transition

Generalization between the general school curriculum and the home, community environment are important ensuring progression in adaptation skills for students with Intellectual Disabilities; parent involvement the entire process, IEP and actualization, are critical to student success. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.191)

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Collaborate with Professionals in the Community for the Well-being of ALL Students

With the help of related service providers, connect with students’ families to make sure that they have appropriate school and community resources: healthcare, nutrition, rest. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.194)

Connecting Students with Their Community

Collaborate with professionals in your community to ensure meaningful transitional planning and community based instruction for students with disabilities. (Turnbull et al., 2014, pp.200)

Transition Services