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IEP’s, the history of resources and laws for individuals with exceptionalities is clearly explained with descriptive details and data to support the process. In chapters one through four, it explains the valuable information pertaining to the laws, the IEP process and the significant stakeholders involved in implementing services for exceptional students, understanding the three tiers for interventions that may collect data to help support an IEP, and setting long term goals that will set up the exceptional student for success on objectives that will set them up to their on individual needs for the purpose of success.
It’s important to note the having an IEP in place is not just a benefit for the student, but also for the teacher(s) involved. When there is a plan set in motion, the highest success rates will flourish. Thankfully, times have changed and the evolution of support and resources are blooming with abundance today.
The summary will share insight on what chapters one through four shares on IEP’s and ways to set measurable goals fro students with exceptionalities and viewing this process through biblical standpoints.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Master, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him (John 9:1-3).
Chapter one was the introduction to understanding the history special education and important laws passed.
Some laws, such as, the 1975 Education of All Handicapped Children Act, which protected the rights of students with disabilities by meeting their needs and improving their educational outcomes (EAHCA, 1975). This doesn’t come without the effortless work families put in for advocating their exceptional children’s rights. This chapter outlines the history of special education; it more specifically provides a timeline of events, when congress started to pass laws regarding the treatment of children with Special Learning Disabilities. These individuals were placed in mental institutes, left to have basic needs but where not granted educational resources or teachings that could potentially be productive members in society.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the most referenced act today (Claxton, 2018). It states that all children with disabilities receive a free public education. Through IDEA there are administrative values that provide free appropriate public education (FAPE). Today, individual’s classified under exceptional needs or disabilities are granted numerous amounts of services. Thankfully, this opens doors for these special individuals to be a part of a community where they can contribute their gifts to society.
In chapter two, it shares valuable material that is relevant for creating an IEP. It is important for parental involvement to be present for the purpose of helping the school connect the dots for what will best fit the needs of the student being evaluated for an IEP. Having the guardian available and active with the school’s IEP process is important when it comes to deciding what goals will be in place for a student with special needs. Working together will help in building plans that will meet goals needed for success (Claxton, 2018).
The chapter shares that understanding a proactive home environment as well as creating a healthy relationship with parents during the IEP implementation will ensure trust and security. Parents have the right to access to the whole process and documentation of the IEP and knowing and accepting/denying every change that is made. The teacher and school must be aware of any obstacles that could possibly arise between parents. For example, exceedingly intense vocabulary, different culture interpretations, and logistical problems could happen and being aware of these issues and making all stakeholders fully comprehend each step is essential for a positive IEP.
Chapter four focuses on explaining a “major step in the IEP process”(Claxton, 2018), is completing the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP). This is where the baseline of what goals and services the exceptional child will be receiving and reaching for the academic school year.
The educational institute, both private and public, must conduct a full evaluation to ensure whether the child in question has a disability that impacts his/her academic achievement and functional performance (Claxton, 2018). When evaluating a child, it is important that all observations and evaluation are filled out completely, detailed and accurate. Part of the IEP process is ensuring the IEP team is involved with all facets of collecting and analyzing the data provided during the evaluation process. During the PLAAFP, informal and formal assessments will be available for the IEP and parents to view and discuss what is the best solution to take action on.
Chapter four shares that once the PLAAPF is completed, the results are shared of the student’s current strengths and weakness. With this data, the team will “design and educational program” (Claxton, 2018) that will target set goals the student will work towards reaching. To ensure these goals are met, measurable annual goals will be monitored within a 12-month period. Having measurable annual goals are critical for an IEP as it documents what growth the exceptional student has made during the implementation.
Although all parties of the IEP team hold value, only the most relevant individuals are needed to partake in accommodating and employing set strategies. It is a requisite for the IEP team to tackle not just the academic aspects of the exceptional child but also the functional, social, and behavioral aspects of the child (Claxton, 2018). There are four elements required for an annual goal review: audience, behavior, criterion, and documentation. If these four elements are not complete, the goal is not precise (Claxton, 2018). Benchmarks are necessary in an annual goal so that the student is measured for determination of whether or not a goal has been met. All collectable data on the student allows for further goal setting.
Christian Perspective Gained During the chapter study, it was important for me to understand the level of vulnerability parents feel when going through the IEP process and understanding how it affects the family as a whole. With the grace of God, parents, like myself, learn to recalibrate what we invisioned our child’s life should be and accept and embrace what God’s plan is for us to see. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Every step of the IEP process is developed to ensure that the child receives all he/she needs to be successful. At home, the family has the word of the Lord to ensure the path of right be taken with no doubt or question.
For chapters 1-4 in this text, it is imperative to comprehend the full scope of all parties needed to partake in the IEP process and decision-making. The school staff and parents of the exceptional student are key players in ensuring the services offered to the child are relevant and essential to supporting the students success. Planning and implementing the appropriate services to a child will allow the student to reach measurable and realistic targets. Collecting and documenting all pertinent data on the child will allow for further reviews to determine new benchmarks and goals for the student to reach.
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