Who can have an IEP (Individual Education Plan)?
Did you know that a student does not have to be formally assessed
to have an IEP?
An IEP or Individual Education Plan describes what the school will do to help your child, Many times, as we discovered, the accommodations can be helpful at home too. In our case, we used the mini trampoline to expend energy (10 minutes before dinner): we used our homemade study carrel to reduce distractions and we let our son stand while doing homework – all simple changes that helped us help him.
I have coached many families in obtaining IEPs – most of whom were let to believe that the student had to be assessed in order to have accommodations in the classroom – something that is simply NOT true. If you are getting feedback from your child’s teacher that your child is struggling, open up the conversation. With their knowledge they will likely be able to suggest a few accommodations that will help your child both at school and at home. These can then be formalized with an IEP (which is reviewed yearly) follows them through to the end of grade 12. We also found it invaluable to create post-secondary accommodations and modifications.
Here are just a few of the accommodations that we had success with:
-study carrel which (can be homemade) similar to this
-extra time to complete the work or reading given
-visual charts and reminders
–weighted blanket which helps calm the nervous system (can be especially effective for those on the spectrum)
-sensory breaks-the student can carry down attendance sheets or just a few envelopes down to office to allow for movement
Great resource for accommodations, modifications and strategies (from the US but still many are implementable) : Ultimate List of IEP Accommodations, Modifications & Strategies (SDIs)
Another great read from a special education teacher in the Peel District School Board. “A Parent’s Guide to IEPs – Tips From an Insider”
This post from People for Education is a great two pager with great tips for parents and special education.
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