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Individualized Education Program Assignment

Individualized Education Programs Case Study Trina Kelsey EDU-720 Special Education Law for the Classroom February 12, 2012 University of New England

Individualized Education Program Assignment Case 7.1 Thomas Question Was Thomass IEP reasonably calculated to provide educational benefits? How do you know? You may want to review goals, services, and the transition plan. Answer

Thomas has multiple disabilities that impact his ability to successfully complete work on a regular program. He has visual impairmentsignificant cognitive delay, central auditory processing disorder, speech and language delay and *occasional+ seizures (Weishaar, 2007). His disabilities are significant and affect his education, yet his goals only address his difficulties with cognitive tasks and do not consider either his physical disabilities or his transition after graduation. It is important that his team develop measurable annual goals that address both academic and functional areas (Hulett, 2009). To receive Free Appropriate Public Education, students with an IEP must have a program specifically designed for him or her(Hulett, 2009). Thomas has a significant physical disability that requires intervention. His goals should address his difficulties with vision and could include Orientation and Mobility training (Kingston, 2006) to increase his independent functioning while maneuvering through his environment. At this point he is entirely dependent on an education assistant for this. It makes me wonder if he could become more independent if he learned how to use a white cane to feel obstacles in his path. This could also be considered part of the transition, because using a cane to maneuver about the community is a skill that he will need. The significant cognitive delay that Thomas struggles with is going to make high school academics extremely difficult and not overly applicable to his transition plan. The

Individualized Education Program Assignment accommodations in his English class should give the latitude to focus on materials that will be needed after school, such as reading a menu, writing a resume and filling out forms. This could be done with the one to one support he receives in the classroom, while he is still maintaining

the social ties with his classmates. His grades of As and Bs, which are based on effort, are likely misleading his parents to think he is successfully completing the academic work in his classes. It seems that it would be more appropriate to give him high marks for his work habits, rather than applying the grades to academic learning outcomes. So far, Thomas has not been engaged in vocational activity (Weishaar, 2007). This may partially be due to the fact that his parents want him fully integrated with his nondisabled peers (Weishaar, 2007). The team should be considering that Thomas requires transition services to be considered as part of the IEP because of the importance of planning for the students life after the completion of secondary education (Hulett, 2009). Due to the nature of Thomas disabilities he is going to need support with training, supported employment, integrated employment, adult services, community participation, and independent living skills (Hulett, 2009). BC Perspective The rules regulating IEPs in BC are largely the same as the ones described in the Hulett text. We are required to write the first goal to match the category of the student. If I was writing an IEP for Thomas, his first goal would relate to his vision, because that is his primary disability and his funding would be tied to that category. He would also have a goal related to cognition and given his approaching graduation he would have a transition plan.

Individualized Education Program Assignment Question At what point should students purely academic curriculum (tied to the general education curriculum) be changed to a functional curriculum? Answer An academic curriculum should be changed to include functional curriculum when it is

appropriate and is needed to meet a childs individual needs, because every student with an IEP must have a program specifically designed for him or her (Hulett, 2009). The IEP must be designed by a team and there is no exact science or formula for determining the program. Therefore, IEP teams always must work diligently to look at as many factors and options as necessary (Hulett, 2009). The change to a functional curriculum often comes about with the transition plan in preparation for adult living. In 1997, amendments to include transition services for students with disabilities were added to IDEA to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living (Pub. L. No. 105-17, 601(d)) (Hulett, 2009) which are functional aspects of life. The transition plans are written into the IEP in two phases, the first begins when a student is 14 years old and the second at the age of 16 years old. The entire process can begin at an earlier time if it is seen as being beneficial to the students learning and functioning. The required transition at 16 especially focuses on functional, practical outcomes and *includes] the critical requirement that non-education agencies, where appropriate, be involved in the provision of services (Hulett, 2009). This ensures that students with special needs make connections that will

Individualized Education Program Assignment promote movement from school to post-secondary activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living and community

participation (Hulett, 2009). Providing students with the function skills to move into adulthood is essential. Thomas has not been provided with the opportunity to learn functional skills that will ease his transition from school into the community. As a ninth grade student, he should be starting to acquire skills that are required for post secondary, or life in the community. Although he does not know what career path he would like to follow, he would definitely benefit from community experience employment and other post-school adult living objectives daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation (Weishaar, 2007) as is required by his transition plan. Currently he has no experience with any of these skills, because his parents want him fully integrated with nondisabled peers (Weishaar, 2007). Perhaps if Thomas was included in the IEP meeting as mandated, his opinions would impact the team making the decisions about his program. BC Perspective
In BC, transition planning happens two to three years before school leaving (BC Ministry of Education, 2011), rather than at a specific age. To ensure continuity of programming, the transition should be continuous; occur as part of a planned education program; [and] should be articulated in the Individual Education Plan (BC Ministry of Education, 2011). The transition team includes school staff, district personnel, parents, the student and community supports. Overall, the format of the transition plan is very similar to that found in the United States.

Individualized Education Program Assignment


BC Ministry of Education. (2001). Career/life transitions for students with diverse needs. a resource guide for schools. Retrieved from website: BC Ministry of Education, (2011). Special education services: A manual of policies, procedures and guidelines. Retrieved from website:

Hulett, K. E. (2009). Legal aspects of special education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Kingston, J. (2006). The o&m resource site. Retrieved from Weishaar, M. K. (2007). Case studies in special education law. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.