A FULL PARTICIPANT IN DEVELOPING YOUR CHILD'S IEP
parents are guaranteed the right to be full and equal participants in
the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for their
sometimes, as parents, our level of participation is limited due to a
sense that our input is not valued or taken seriously.
At times, we lack confidence in our own abilities to determine
appropriate goals for our children.
To establish effective home-school partnerships and become full
participants in the process, we as parents need to learn how to present
our unique knowledge of our children to the other members of the team.
Parent Involvement Tools included in this section will help you share
your ideas with your Child Study Team.
This is YOUR data and will help you shape your agenda items for
discussion. Ask that the
information be included as part of the IEP development.
We are giving you sample forms to use as a guide.
We also provide you with blank forms for your child.
group of materials in this section is centered around the theory of
Multiple Intelligences. In
addition to information about this theory, we have included some tests
that can help you identify the areas in which your child shows
strengths, and strategies you and your child's teacher(s) can use to
take advantage of those strengths.
The information you gather from this section can be reflected on
their Positive Student Profile.
"Positive Student Profile" enables parents to provide the team
with a "snapshot" of their child, focusing on the child's
strengths and capabilities. The
form also reflects information concerning the child's educational needs,
long-range goals, and the types of supports required for the student to
"Goals-At-A-Glance" form provides a format for the parents to
present the major goals they feel the IEP should address.
Another use of this form is to provide a shortened version of the
IEP for the classroom teacher, which can be updated as necessary to
reflect the student's most current needs.
We recommend that you complete these forms and send them to the
team two weeks before the IEP meeting so that your input can be
reflected in the working copy of the document presented at the meeting.
You should also bring copies of these forms to the meeting to
ensure that the discussion incorporates the points you have outlined.
encourage you to fill out the following forms with your team.
The Classroom Activity Analysis Worksheet is not an activity that
you can do by yourself because you need some input from the Child Study
Team and teacher. This will
help you determine the nature of supports and adaptations needed to
ensure success. IEPs can
become very lengthy. Therefore,
summarizing the information on the IEP Goal/Activity Matrix can make a
tremendous difference, particularly to your child's teacher.
He or she will have a brief reminder that can be reviewed each
week as lesson plans are developed.
Encourage your child's teacher to keep the Positive Student
Profile together with the IEP Goal/Activity Matrix because it will serve
as a reminder of the child's interests.
addition, we have included Questions for the Collaborative Team to Ask,
which, if completed prior to and during the school year, will facilitate
the development of an appropriate IEP.
An IEP Checklist is also provided which can be used as a guide to
insure that your IEP has all the required components.
we think these Parent Involvement Tools can really help you develop an
effective program for your child. Use
the forms you are comfortable with or develop your own.
But the important issue here is that you get on the team and make
your views known. These
tools cannot be discussed in a thirty-minute meeting to plan for next
year, so let your team know you want sufficient time to discuss your
views. Ask that they review
your information before the meeting and also provide you written reports
and assessments in advance, so that the focus of the meeting is the
YOUR GOALS FOR YOUR CHILD
often, families like ours that include a child with disabilities get so
involved in "treating" the disabilities that we neglect to
allow ourselves the time to dream about future goals for our children
and ourselves. We need to
believe that we have some control over the future, and that our children
will be allowed the choices and fulfillment that people without
disabilities take for granted. The
more positive experiences our children have in the real world, the
easier it is for us to envision how our children will contribute to our
communities in adulthood. These experiences also enable us to refine and revise our
vision, based upon the emerging strengths our children display.
Ann Turnbull of The Beach Center on Families and Disabilities in Kansas
talk about the need for us to have "Great Expectations" for
Expectations are for everyone. All
of us have dreams, visions and anticipations for the future.
Most of us go out into the world, get feedback from it, and alter
our dreams, visions and anticipations.
Like everyone else, people with disabilities and their families
have Great Expectations; like everyone else, they too need help to be
able to have their expectations come true."
important for our children to have opportunities and experiences in the
real world so that we can begin to develop these Great Expectations for
their future. Inclusive
Education will provide these opportunities for our children.
To begin planning for including your child, it is important for
you to give some thought to clarifying your own goals for your child.
Some areas that you might want to consider are:
do you want for your child's future?
kinds of skills will your child need to succeed in the future you
school programs and activities might help your child develop these
supports and services are needed for your child to be involved in
these programs and activities?
additional programs, services, supports and activities are necessary
to meet your child's unique needs?
of long-range planning will help you to know what short-term goals are
appropriate for your child. This
input will be helpful when you, as part of the planning team, begin to
develop an Individualized Education Plan for your child's inclusive
from The Beach Center on Families and Disability, Families and
Disability Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 1, Spring 1990
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