Assessment, Individual Education Plans

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The Autistic Spectrum

Information on how the IEP process works, how to write IEP's, advocacy, etc. I will be adding to this regularly. I have many sources for this info, some info is old and I don't know who to give credit to, so if you know the source, please click here: and let me know. :)



1. A statement of the student's current services and present placement.


2. A statement of the student's abilities and present levels of performance.

a. Academic strengths

b. Academic needs

c. Physical/Motor development

d. Self-help/Personal care skills

e. Learning style

f. Social skills

g. Vocational/Pre-vocational skills


3. A statement of annual goals that describe what the student can be expected to accomplish within the next twelve (12) month period.

a. Academic goals (i.e., math, reading, other subject areas)

b. Social/Behavior goals

c. Self-help/Personal care goals

d. Physical/Motor development goals

e. Vocational/Pre-vocational goals 


4. A statement of short-term instructional objectives.

a. Objectives that will help the student reach the stated goals.

b. Objectives written so they can be measured.


5. A statement of the specific special education services/placement and the goals to be worked on in that setting. 


6. A statement of related services which will help the student benefit from special education.

a. Date services will begin

b. How often services will be provided

c. How long services will last per session

d. When services will end

e. Location of services

f. Who will provide each service


7. A statement of how much the student will participate in general education classes/activities.

a. All modifications that will be made in the general education program

b. The name of the "teacher of record" who monitors how the IEP is put into effect in general education and to whom progress/needs will be reported by general education teachers

c. Who will report/communicate with parents and how often those reports will be provided. 


8. A statement of specifically designed materials and/or assistive equipment needed by the student and who will provide it.


9. A statement of the projected year and month in which the student will be re-evaluated.


10. A provision for attaching written opinions.


11. A statement of necessary transition services, if applicable.


12. For students in early childhood special education programs, objectives for parents to implement at home may be included. 


13. A statement of extended school year services, if applicable.


Individualized Education Program (IEP) Checklist


I. IEP Content


A. In General


The IEP for each child includes:


1.__a statement of the child's present levels of performance including how the disability affects the child's involvement and progress in the general curriculum. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(I) IDEA 1997]

2.__for preschool children, how the disability affects the child's participation in appropriate activities. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(II) IDEA 1997]

3.__measurable annual goals and benchmarks (short term objectives) related to the child's needs resulting from the child's disability that will enable the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(ii)(I) IDEA 1997]

4.__a direct relationship between the present levels of performance, any assessments and the educational services to be provided and the student's goals and benchmarks. [5 CCR 3040(c)]

5.__a statement of the special education, related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to or on behalf of the child. [Section 414(d)(1)(A)(iii) IDEA 1997]

6.__descriptions of program modifications and supports for school personnel that will be provided to enable the child to

__advance toward attaining annual goals

__be involved and progress in the general education curriculum and participate in extracurricular activities and

__be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and with nondisabled children. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(iii)(I), (II) and (III) IDEA 1997]

7.__an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular class and activities in #6. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(iv) IDEA 1997]

8.__a statement of how the child's parents will be regularly informed (perhaps through periodic report cards) at least as often as are parents of nondisabled children regarding their child's progress toward annual goals, and the extent to which that progress will enable the child to achieve the annual goals by year's end. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(viii) IDEA 1997]

9.__a statement of whether the child will

__take district, state-wide achievement tests

__without accommodations or modifications

__with such accommodations. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(v)(I) IDEA 1997]

10.__an explanation of why the child will not participate in such assessment of the IEP team makes that decision. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(v)(II) IDEA 1997]

11.__a statement of how that student will be tested in state-wide or district tests are not used. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(vi) IDEA 1997]

12.__the projected date for initiating services and modifications. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(vi) IDEA 1997]

13.__the anticipated frequency, duration and location of the recommended services and modifications. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(vi) IDEA 1997]

14.__the need for extended school year services. [EC 56345(b)(5)]

15.__whether differential graduation standards for the student will be developed. (If so, they

16.__for newly referred pupils, documentation of the consideration of and prior use of regular education resources and that parents are aware of the full continuum of program options. [EC 56303]

17.__documentation that the IEP team considered

__the strengths of the child and parent concerns

__the results of the initial or most recent evaluation of the child. [Section 1414(d)(3)(A) IDEA 1997]

18.__for students determined to have a specific learning disability, the IEP team certifies that

__the disability is not the result of visual, hearing, motor impairment, mental retardation or emotional disturbance

__observations of relevant behavior of the student

__the relationship of that behavior to the student's academic functioning

__the existence of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and academic achievement in oral and written language, reading, or mathematics which cannot be corrected through regular or categorical services

__the existence of a psychological processing disorder. [34 CFR 300.541; EC 56337]


I. IEP Content


B. Transition Requirements

19.__for students beginning at age 14 and on an annual basis thereafter, IEP goals, benchmarks (objectives) that focus on the transition needs of the student in his/her courses of study. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(vii)(I) IDEA 1997]

20.__for students at age 16 or younger if appropriate, a description of a coordinated set of activities designed within an outcome oriented process and reviewed annually which promotes movement of the student from school to post-school activities [34 CFR 300.27(a)] and

__takes into account the student's interests, preferences, and needs [34 CFR 300.27(b)] and

__states the interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages to implement the transition activities. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(vii)(II) IDEA 1997]

21.__for students not requiring transition services in one or more of the four required areas (instruction, community experiences, development of employment, and post school adult and living objectives - and if appropriate, daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation, an explanation of the basis on which that determination was made for each area in which service was not recommended on the IEP. [34 CFR 300.347]

22.__related services continue to be considered and recommended, if needed, for students in every program and age group, by the IEP team. [California Federal Corrective Action Plan 1998]

23.__for students for whom an agency fails to provide transition services, an IEP meeting is called to develop alternative strategies to meet transition objectives set out in the IEP. [Section 1414(d)(5) IDEA 1997]

24.__if an invited agency representative cannot attend the IEP meeting, steps are taken to obtain agency participation in planning transition services. [34 CFR 300.344(b)(3)]

25.__beginning at least one year before the student reaches the age of 18, a statement that the student has been informed of the IDEA rights that will transfer to the student upon turning 18. [Section 1414(d)(1)(A)(vii)(III) IDEA 1997]

26.__for an eligible child moving from an infant program who turns three, the PEA conducts, attends the IEP to establish a transition plan. [EC 56426.9 and Section 1427(a)(8)(ii)(III) IDEA 1997]

27.__transition language in the IEP supports the movement of students from special to general education classrooms, from middle to high school, and from infant to preschool to kindergarten to first grade programs. [EC 56345(6)(B); EC 56326.9; EC 56445(a)]


I. IEP Content

C. Consideration of Special Factors

28. The IEP team considers the following:

__for a student with a low incidence disability, considers specialized services, equipment and materials consistent with state guidelines [EC 56345(b)(7)]

__for a student whose behavior impedes her or his learning or that of others, provide for positive behavioral interventions, strategies and supports to address the behavior

__for a student with limited English proficiency, consider the language needs of the child

__for a student who is visually impaired, determine the appropriate medium/media for the child in accordance with state guidelines (EC 56352(d) and 56136]

__provide for instruction in Braille and the use of Braille unless the IEP team determines, after evaluation, that Braille instruction or use is not appropriate for the child [Section 1414(d)(3)(B) IDEA 1997]

__for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child's communication needs, opportunities for direct communication with peers and professional personnel in the child's language/communication mode that meets all the child's needs, is at his or her academic level, and meets the child's needs for direct instruction [EC 56345(e); [Section 1414(d)(3)(B)(iv) IDEA 1997]

__for any child, consider whether the child requires assistive technology and services. [Section 1414(d)(3)(B)(v) IDEA 1997]

I. IEP Content

D. IEP Meeting Notice Requirements

29.__The public education agency (PEA)* makes every effort to ensure that one or both parents of the child with a disability can attend the IEP meeting.

30.__The meeting notice indicates the meeting's purpose (transition, pre-expulsion, change of placement, three year review, etc.), the location, the time of the meeting and lists who will attend. [34 CFR 300.345(b)]

31.__If the team considers transition services for students of any age, the IEP notice must note that this is the purpose of the meeting and

__indicate that the student is invited to the meeting

__identify and invite any other agency involved to send a representative. [34 CFR 300.2345(b)(2) and 300.344(c); Section 1414(d)(vii) IDEA 1997]

32.__A copy of the Parent Rights Notice is provided to parents along with the meeting notice. [Section 1415(d)(1)(B) IDEA 1997]

33.__The meeting notice, Parent Rights and IEP are in the primary language of the parent unless clearly not feasible to do so. [5 CCR 3040(b); Section 1415(b)(4) and (d)(2) IDEA 1997]

*The term PEA includes not only public schools, but also the California Youth Authority, state hospitals, developmental centers and mental health, among others.


II. IEP Process

A. In General

34.__By the third birthday of a child eligible for services, the IEP is implemented. [Section 1412(a)(9) IDEA 1997]

35.__An IEP has been developed and implemented for each child served by the agency, including any child in private school eligible for special education and related services from the agency. [Section 1412(a)(3)(A), see also Section 1412(a)(10)(A) IDEA 1997]

36.__The IEP is in effect before special education and related services are provided to a child [34 CFR 300.342] and at the beginning of each school year. [Section 1414(d)(2)(A) IDEA 1997]

37.__The IEP meeting is nonadversarial and is held solely to make educational decisions for the good of the child with the disability. [EC 56341(h)]

38.__The IEP is implemented as soon as possible after the IEP meeting. [5 CCR 3040(a)]

39.__The general education teacher participates as appropriate in the IEP, including the determination of

-positive behavior interventions and strategies

-supplementary aids and services

-program modifications

-supports for school personnel. [Section 1414(d)(3)(C) IDEA 1997]

40.__The IEP is reviewed at least annually to consider whether annual goals are being achieved and

__to address any lack of progress toward annual goals and in the general curriculum

__to consider the results of any reevaluation

__to consider information provided by the parents

__to consider the child's anticipated needs

__to consider other matters as appropriate [EC 56343; [Section 1414(d)(4) IDEA 1997]

41.__The IEP team includes:

__the parents of the child

__at least one general education teacher if the child is in or may be participating in general education (the student's teacher)

__a special education teacher/specialist

__a representative of the PEA who is qualified to provide or supervise specially designed instruction for children with disabilities is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the resources of the PEA

__an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of the evaluations

__other individuals with knowledge or expertise regarding the child

__other individuals as the parent or PEA wishes

__the child, when appropriate - must be invited to all IEP meetings that consider post secondary transition. [Section 1414(d)(1)(B) IDEA 1997; EC 56341]

42.__Interpreters for the IEP meeting are obtained for parents who are deaf or whose primary language is other than English. [34 CFR 300.345(e) proposed]

43.__The PEA gives the parent a copy of the IEP at no cost, and when requested and if feasible, in the primary language of the parent. [5 CCR 3040(b)]

44.__The parent is provided with a copy of the evaluation report and the documentation that formed the basis for the determination of eligibility. [Section 1414(a)(4)(B) IDEA 1997]

45.__For students newly referred to special education, an assessment plan is developed and given to the parents along with a copy of the Parent Rights within 15 days from the time the referral was made. [EC 56321(a)]

46.__Assessments are completed and the IEP meeting held within 50 calendar days of obtaining the parent signature agreeing to the student's assessment plan. [EC 56344]

47.__All service providers, the school site and any outside agencies who will provide services are given a copy of the IEP or are knowledgeable of its content. [EC 563471]

48.__The district or PEA appoints a surrogate parent where no parent can be located or if the court has specifically limited the right of a parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child. [Ca GC Chapter 6.5 Section 7579.5]

49.__The parents are informed in the Parent Rights document of their right to record the IEP meeting. [EC 56341(g)(1) and (1)]

50.__If neither parent can attend the IEP meeting the PEA uses other means to ensure parent participation including individual or conference phone calls. [34 CFR 300.345(c)]

51.__The IEP team reviews the student's progress toward previous annual goals, benchmarks (short term objectives) and in the general curriculum when developing new goals, benchmarks, short term objectives. [Section 1414(d)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) IDEA 1997]

52.__An IEP meeting is held within 30 days of receipt of a written request from a parent. [EC 56343.5]


II. IEP Process

B. Interim/Administrative Placements

53.__A student transferring into the district is immediately placed in a district or agency program in conformity with the student's IEP (unless the parent agrees otherwise) for a period not to exceed 30 days. [EC 56325(a)]

54.__Before the expiration of the 30 day placement, the IEP team meets, reviews information, records, reports, any evaluations and makes a final recommendation for placement. All the usual requirements for holding IEP meetings are followed. [EC 56325(b)]


II. IEP Process

C. IEP Process to Consider Suspension or Expulsion

55.__When a disciplinary action involving suspension or expulsion of more than 10 days in a school year occurs, the student is provided all IEP services on the 11th day. [Section 1415(k)(3) IDEA 1997]

56.__If disciplinary action is considered to change a student's placement for 10 days or more because the student has violated a rule or code of conduct applying to all children,

__the parents are notified on the same day this decision is made and given a copy of their Parent Rights [Section 1415(k)(4) IDEA 1997]

__the IEP meeting is held on or before the 10th day of suspension to consider if the behavior was a manifestation of the child's disability and if placement was appropriate

__a functional behavioral assessment and a behavioral plan are drawn up to address the behavior that resulted in the suspension if such a plan is not already in place. [Section 1415(k)(1)(B) IDEA 1997]

57.__In making the manifestation determination, the IEP team must also consider whether:

__services including the behavior intervention strategies plan, were provided consistent with the IEP

__the disability impaired the child's ability to understand the impact and consequences of the behavior in question and

__the disability impaired the child's ability to control the behavior that led to the disciplinary action. [Section 1415(k)(4)(C) IDEA 1997]

58.__The IEP team, in making the manifestation determination, considers all evaluations, parent input, health records, observations, discipline records, implementation of the IEP, and the student's placement. Section 1415(k)(4)(C) IDEA 1997]

59.__If a parent is unable to attend the IEP meeting, a telephone conference may be used for the IEP meeting to consider expulsion. [EC 48915.5(d)]

60.__If a parent has received proper notice of the meeting, chooses not to participate in the IEP meeting or to consent to an extension beyond 20 consecutive school days, the meeting may be conducted without the parent. [EC 48915.5(d)]

61.__The education program specified in the IEP must be provided to the pupil during the period of the expulsion. [Section 1415(k)(3)(B) IDEA 1997]

62.__Parents make the student available without delay at a site determined by the district for the pre-expulsion assessment required prior to the IEP meeting held to consider expulsion. [EC 48915.1(e)]

63.__Parents are allowed to request a postponement of the IEP meeting of up to three school days. [EC 48915.5(d)]

64.__Parents are informed at least 48 hours before the IEP meeting of their right to participate in the IEP meeting held to consider initiation of expulsion proceedings. [EC 48915.5(d)]

65.__Parents have the right to pursue a due process hearing if they disagree with the decisions of the IEP team regarding expulsion. [EC 48915.5(3)(g)]

66.__The expulsion hearing is conducted only after the pre-expulsion assessment is completed, the IEP team convenes and finds that the behavior was not a manifestation of the students disability [EC 48915.5(e)], that placement was appropriate, that IEP-driven behavior plan interventions were tried and any due process proceedings were completed. [EC 48915.5(h); Section 1415(k) IDEA 1997]

67.__Relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to all children may be carried out only when all conditions in Item 65 are met. [Section 1415(k)(5)(A) IDEA 1997]

II. IEP Process

D. Behavior Intervention Plans (Hughes Act)

68.__The IEP team specifies the development of a functional analysis assessment if it determines that other behavioral/instructional approaches specified in the student's IEP have been ineffective. [5 CCR 3052(b)]

69.__Parents may request that a functional analysis assessment be performed. [5 CCR 3042(b)]

70.__The case manager for behavior intervention is a member of the IEP team that reviews the functional analysis and develops the behavior intervention plan, which becomes part of the IEP. [5 CCR 3052(b)]

In order to fully implement Hughes Act requirements for Behavior Intervention Plans, refer to the local procedures or guidelines developed for this purpose in accordance with 5 CCR 3052.

* * * * * * * * *

An appropriate IEP is driven by an appropriate Evaluation Report!

Reason for Referral

The purpose of the evaluation is to determine: 1) if the child has a disability and 2) if the child needs specially designed instruction. Information should be provided as to who initiated the referral (e.g., teacher, parent), and for what reasons. The evaluation team must articulate the referral questions that was used to design an
individualized evaluation. The more precisely the questions are posed; the more accurately the body of the Evaluation Report (ER) will address the questions.

The IEP team must consider the following special factors before developing the IEP: visual impairment; hearing impairment; behaviors that impede learning or that of others; limited English proficiency; communication needs; assistive technology devices and/or services; and transition services. The information needed to make the special determinations should be collected during the evaluation, and could be addressed in the Reasons for Referral.

Educational Levels of Performance and Educational Needs of the Child

This section includes the students:

current functioning
progress in the general curriculum
response to the instructional program, and
results of the instructional evaluation.

The extent to which the student displays difficulties that cannot be adequately met in a regular education program should also be identified in this section. Areas in which the student performs well in the regular education program should be articulated, as well as the students instructional or functioning level in comparison to the expectations of the regular class program. All assessments conducted should be reported, including the psychological evaluation, instructional or ecological evaluations, vocational evaluations, observations, functional behavioral assessments, teacher

!!! and parent reports, !!!

and the evaluations of other specialists (e.g., speech and language, OT, PT, etc.). The most effective procedure for writing this section is to address thematically the questions posed in the referral. This practice is preferred to a style of reporting results by assessment procedure (i.e., test by test) or even by assessment personnel. Working in this manner, all results should be reported including
academic performance, vocational skills, cognitive abilities, developmental levels, emotional and behavioral status, preferences, interests, special abilities, physical/motor functioning. Organizing the findings into themes will facilitate the evaluation team in addressing final conclusions and recommendations.

The ER should list the student's relative strengths in academic, vocational, and emotional/behavioral areas, when applicable. The student's preferences and interests must be addressed if the student is aged  for transition planning purposes, or if the IEP team determines that transition planning should be done for a student younger.  Addressing the student's strengths is particularly useful in designing effective instructional strategies.

EVALUATION DATA RESULTS OF DIRECT INTERVENTION -The team will include information on the following areas that impact the students ability to access the general curriculum:

Physical, social or cultural background information relevant to the childs disability and need for special education.

Physical, Social or Cultural Background Information
This section should include information about the student's physical, social or cultural background, and other aspects of the student's life that impact on the students current educational status. Historical information that has no relevance to the recommendations regarding eligibility or programming should not be included.

Current Classroom Based Observations
The purpose of the observation is to produce data useful in answering the referral questions. The observations should be planned with this outcome in mind.

This section includes information from observations in instructional settings, in or outside the classroom, which may be related to the student's strengths, needs, and areas for specially designed instruction. Observational information is as important as testing information if the observation documents specific skills that the student is capable of performing, or specific skills that the student needs. Observations need to be structured and occur when the student is engaged. Observations may also include more than one subject or class, and determine task comprehension, task completion, time spent on task, classroom environment and level of peer interaction. In addition, this section includes results of the assessment of the students functioning in the curriculum, including curriculum-based or performance-based assessments. For students with behavioral concerns, this may include a systematic observation of the students behavior in the classroom or area in which the student is displaying difficulty. This information should be databased information related to the childs suspected disability or identified disability. The information should be as comprehensive as possible across varied settings with the identification of as many variables of learning as possible.

For example: Does the student demonstrate inappropriate behaviors only in those instructional areas where there are discrepancies, or are they demonstrated across all areas regardless of level of competency in the area?

Does the student demonstrate partial competency in areas of academic discrepancies resulting from fragmented acquisition of skills (some phonological awareness, but no alphabetic principle)?

This section should report a description of direct interventions that may have been implemented in the regular classroom, as well as the outcomes of the interventions.

For all students, current classroom-based assessments and observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers must be conducted.

For a student who is suspected of having a specific learning disability, regulations also require that at least one team member other than the childs regular teacher observe the childs academic performance in the regular classroom. Any member of the evaluation team may conduct this observation.

Evaluation and Information Provided by the Parents
Input from the parents should relate to, and offer information that would be helpful in answering, the referral questions. !!! An important part of the ER is the input that has been provided by (not about) the parents or persons with whom the student lives, as well as the results of any independent educational evaluations that have been completed. The extent to which observed school performance is or is not demonstrated in the home or community has diagnostic significance. This is especially pertinent to the evaluation of the student's adaptive behavior. !!!  Similarly, the parents' information may lead to improved ideas about effective instructional and behavioral strategies.!!!  Information from the parents should be clearly indicated in the ER, with phrases such as "as reported by the parents... If unable to get input from the parents, describe attempts made to obtain the information.

Assessment Not Conducted Under Standard Conditions
Describe non-standard conditions that existed as part of the assessment. Otherwise, make the statement that the evaluation was conducted under standard conditions.

If an assessment is not conducted under standard conditions, a description of the extent to which it varied from standard conditions must be included. Such deviations might include the qualifications of the person administering the test or the method of test administration. Were tests selected appropriately and properly validated for the student? Were sub-sections of the test given instead of the full assessment? Was the student ill?

Summary of Findings/Interpretation of Assessment Results
This section is an analysis of the data collected, thus far, in the evaluation process for the student. In this section, the rationale for the determination of eligibility is explained. The evaluation team answers the referral questions posed at the beginning of the evaluation process. The summary and interpretations should focus on answering these questions.

For a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, the documentation of the teams determination of eligibility must include a statement of: 1) whether the child has a specific learning disability; 2) the basis for making the determination; 3) the relevant behavior noted during the observation of the child; 4) the relationship of that behavior to the childs academic functioning; 5) the educationally relevant medical findings, if any; 6) whether there is a severe discrepancy between achievement and ability that is not correctable without special education and related services; and 7) the determination of the team concerning the effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

For a Child Suspected of Having a Specific Learning Disability
These seven statements must be documented ONLY for students thought to have a specific learning disability.

The evaluation team, in determining that a student has a specific learning disability, must document its determination by including statements that address the issues above. In its documentation, the team may want to identify the specific area in which the disability exists (i.e., oral expression, listening)

Annotated Evaluation Report
comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, or mathematical reasoning).
A team may determine that a child has a specific learning disability if: 1) The child does not achieve commensurate with his or her age and ability levels in one or more of the areas which follow, if provided with learning experiences appropriate for the childs age and ability levels: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, and mathematical reasoning; and 2) The child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the areas listed above.

The team may not identify a child as having a specific learning disability if the severe discrepancy between ability and achievement is primarily the result of a visual, hearing, or motor impairment; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Conclusion That the Student is a Child With a Disability
If the evaluation team concludes that the student meets the two-pronged criteria as a child with a disability, the disability and, when appropriate, the secondary disability, are noted, as well as the need for specially designed instruction.

A child with a disability (300.7) is a student with mental retardation, a hearing impairment including deafness, a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment including blindness, emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness or multiple disability and needs special education and related services. If no secondary disability has been identified, write None in the space.

Recommendations regarding special education and related services needed to enable the child to meet goals and to participate as appropriate in the general curriculum:

Recommendation Regarding Special Education
Special education is recommended when the specialized instruction and related services as available through special education, (e.g. accommodations) are necessary to provide the student with FAPE. In this section, describe the types of special education and related services recommended for the student.
Conclusion That the Student is Not a Child with a Disability
If the evaluation team concludes that the student does not meet the two-pronged criteria as a child with a disability, this conclusion is checked.


Date IEP Team Reviewed Existing Evaluation Data
The date requested in this section would be either the date on which the IEP team met to review data, or the date on which team members completed their individual reviews of the childs existing evaluation data.

The IEP team, including the school psychologist for certain disabilities, may conduct its review without a meeting. (There is no requirement for a meeting at any point in the evaluation or reevaluation process.)
They may choose to have each team member individually review the childs existing evaluation data, including portfolios, work samples, etc. or they may have met as a team to review the data. Indicate the date the last team member reviewed the evaluation data.

Information Reviewed
Existing evaluation data includes evaluations and information provided by the parents,!!!  Current classroom-based assessments and observations, and observations by teachers and related services providers. On the basis of that review and input from the parents, this team identifies: what additional data, if any are needed to determine whether the child has a particular category of disability or, in the case of a reevaluation, whether the child continues to have such a disability; the present levels of performance and educational needs of the child; whether the child needs special education and related services, or in the case of a reevaluation, whether the child continues to need special education and related services; and whether any additions or modifications to the special education and related services are needed to enable the child to meet the measurable annual goals in the IEP and to participate, as appropriate, in the general curriculum.

For those students determined by the IEP team to be eligible for transition services, the team needs to consider if additional evaluation data are needed to develop course of study, post-school outcomes, needed transition services, etc. Data that might be collected include student interest inventories, career education information, formal and informal prevocational and vocational assessments, and observation of work-based learning. Since some of these surveys/assessments are routinely given to all students, the collection of such data may not require reevaluation. Whether additional data are needed as part of a reevaluation must be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the needs of the child and the information available regarding the child.

For a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, the documentation of the teams determination of eligibility must include a statement of: 1) whether the child has a specific learning disability; 2) the basis for making the determination; 3) the relevant behavior noted during the observation of the child; 4) the relationship of that behavior to the childs academic functioning; 5) the educationally relevant medical findings, if any; 6) whether there is a severe discrepancy between achievement and ability that is not correctable without special education and related services; and 7) the determination of the team concerning the effects of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

For a Child Suspected of Having a Specific Learning Disability
The evaluation team, in determining that a student has a specific learning disability, must document its determination by including statements that address the seven issues above. In its documentation, the team may want to identify the specific area in which the disability exists (i.e., oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, or mathematical reasoning). These statements must be documented ONLY for students thought to have a specific learning disability. A team may determine that a child has a specific learning disability if: 1) The child does not achieve commensurate with his or her age and ability levels in one or more of the areas which follow, if provided with learning experiences appropriate for the childs age and ability levels: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill,
reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, and mathematical reasoning; and 2) The child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability in one or more of the areas listed above.

The team may not identify a child as having a specific learning disability if the severe discrepancy between ability and achievement is primarily the result of a visual, hearing, or motor impairment; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Conclusion That No Additional Evaluation Data Are Needed
If the IEP team determines that no additional evaluation data are needed, the LEA must notify the childs parents of that determination and the reason for it, and !!! of the right of the parent to request an assessment !!!  to determine whether their child continues be eligible for special education and related services. The team may have collected sufficient data and, upon review of this data, felt that it has enough information to make a decision about continued eligibility.

Once the IEP team concludes that it does not need additional evaluation data, there are two decisions that the team can make. If the IEP team decides that the student continues to be eligible for and in need of special education, the LEA would issue the Invitation to Participate in the IEP Team Meeting or Other Meeting and begin the IEP development process. If the IEP team decides that the student no longer is eligible for special education, the LEA would issue the Notice noting this decision. Parents may request a copy of the Procedural Safeguards.

Additional Evaluation Data Are Needed
If the IEP team determines that additional data are needed, the LEA must issue a Permission to Reevaluate, conduct a reevaluation to produce the data identified from the list above, complete all the required components of the ER, and forward a copy of the report to the parents within "x" school days of the districts receipt of the Permission to Reevaluate.

The LEA must get informed parental consent to conduct the reevaluation. However, if after reasonable attempts to contact the parents the LEA has not received consent, the LEA is permitted to proceed with the reevaluation.

Evaluation Report - Signatures
Districts must document those individuals who participated in the evaluation process for all students with disabilities. Districts may choose to use this section for this purpose. For students with specific learning disabilities ONLY, the signature section, including the yes and no, are required. Each team member is to indicate if the report reflects his/her conclusion by checking yes or no. If no is checked, the team member must submit a separate statement presenting his or her conclusions.

Copies to:
Building Principal

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What a Functional Behavioral assessment is ...

  • an approach used to help a pupil with a chronic behavior problem
  • a problem solving method - one which takes time and creative collabration among professsionals and parents
  • built on the assumption that, if a pupil keeps repeating a problem behavior, that behavior must be serving some purpose for the student - otherwise, he or she would not keep repeating it
  • a process of looking for patterns in what happens around and/or to the student just before and just after the problem behavior
  • examination of these patterns to identify their purpose or their "function;" some possible functions are: avoiding something, getting something, and making something happen
  • creative problem solving to enable the pupil to achieve the same purpose in a more appropriate or more acceptable way

What Functional Behavioral assessment is NOT ...

  1. the first technique a teacher uses when a pupil misbehaves
  2. a quick fix
  3. a choice for teachers of pupils with disabilities - it's required by federal statutes (such as the IDEA and Section 504) and by some states (such as New York)
  4. a do-it-yourself technique - it takes collaboration

**Some Common Functions Served by Misbehaving**

Some common functions served by misbehaving are . . .

getting attention from teachers or peers - for example . . .

  • arriving late -> people look at you
  • talking when you're supposed to be quiet ---> the teacher reprimands you
  • making silly noises or telling dumb jokes ---> peers talk to you ( or about you within your hearing)
  • giving a flip answer to a teacher's question ---> peers laugh at you

escaping work, people, noise, or something else-for example ~  

  • hand-flapping and moaning ---> getting to go sit in the "quiet" room
  • giving a really wrong answer to a vocabulary question --->getting a teacher to "throw up her arms" in exasperation and walk away, never calling you to read aloud
  • cursing at the teacher when she insists you do the assignment ---> getting sent to the vice principal's office and thereby getting out of English class
  • throwing a kicking, screaming, flailing temper tantrum ---> getting out of morning circle (and getting comfort from the teacher or aide, which would also be an example of getting attention from teachers or peers)

obtaining a desired object or event - for example~

  • threatening to "get" a peer after school ---> getting the peer to hand over his dessert
  • yelling "It's not fair," "You don't like me," or "He cut in front" ---> getting the teacher to let you be first in line
  • cursing at the teacher when she insists you do the assignment ---> getting to see the teacher "lose it" by ranting and raving in front of the class
  • flicking the light switch on and off ---> getting to watch a light flicker on and off
  • yelling that you won't do "this baby work" ---> getting the teacher to help you with the assignment

**A---> B ---> C ---> Analysis**

An ABC analysis enables you to analyze clues about why the student keeps doing the same problem behavior. Your purpose is to identify patterns in order to hypothesize about the function the problem behavior is serving.

*Antecedent* what happens just before the behavior occurs identification of the people, events, and/or things present in the situation just before each behavior

*Behavior* what the student does the problem behavior stated in observable terms

*Consequence* what happens after the behavior what happens after the student engages in the problem behavior

**Example 1**

Date: September 25, 2000 Observer: Ms. A. Jackson [T = teacher]
Student: Ryan who: teacher and 6 peers
what: guided reading lesson where: front table
when: 9:05 -9:52  

1. T introduced the story and led students through predicting the story based on the title and key questions. T asked the group if they had ever had a pet that embarrassed them in public. 2. Ryan raised his hand and, when called on, said his cockatiel had flown around and landed on a guest's head. 3.T and peers laughed.
4. T said this story would be about a pet which embarrassed its owner. She told Ss to look for what the problem was and how the owner felt. T asked Ryan to start reading. 5. Ryan "read" by making up an irrelevant story including words referring to body functions. 6. Peers laughed. T told him to stop.
7. T read the first 3 words and told Ryan to sound out the next word. 8. Ryan slumped back, crossed his arms, and refused to read. 9. T said Ryan had lost his turn and called on the next student to read.
10. After peer read, T asked who could tell what the problem was. 11. Ryan raised his hand and said that the hamster had climbed in the aunt's hat. 12. T said Ryan should wait to be called on and that he was right. She called on the next student to read.

HYPOTHESIS (based on the assumption that other ABCs showed a similar pattern): avoidance of reading aloud

PLAN: Ease task difficulty by having peer pairs simultaneously read aloud assigned paragraphs from the intended story before the lesson. Then, during the reading lesson, call on Ryan to read one of the paragraphs he and his partner had rehearsed. If the data show a decrease in the inappropriate behavior, gradually increase the number of assigned paragraphs. Eventually have Ryan read unassigned sentences and then unassigned paragraphs.

**Example 2**

Date: October 3, 1999 Observer: Ms. Norman
Student: Alf who: resource teacher (RT), peers in resource room
what: transition from resource room to physical education class where: resource room
when: 10:15 at end of ELA period  

1. RT announced it was time to go to gym. 2. Alf continued to leaf through a book. He glanced at peers who had moved to the doorway. 3. RT talked with peers for about 30 seconds. She looked at Alf and told him to put the book away and to get in line.
  4. Alf turned his back to RT and threw the book on the floor. 5. RT approached Alf and told him to pick up the book.
  6. Alf got up and picked up the book and took it to the bookcase. He ran to the corner and climbed under the table. 7. RT bent down to be at eye level with Alf under the table. She told him he was wasting gym time and that he needed to hurry up and get in line.
  8. Alf reached out his hand. 9. RT took Alf's hand and led him from under the table.
  10. Alf walked to the gym and waved goodbye to RT. 11. RT laughed, said, "I'll see you tomorrow," and waved back.

HYPOTHESIS (based on the assumption that other ABCs showed a similar pattern): attention from the teacher

PLAN: Teach Alf a way to gain attention by

a) allowing him to be the "timer" who pushes the two-minute warning buzzer,

b) praising him for a specific work behavior or academic response just before asking students to line up,

c) posting his name on the "hard workers of the day" bulletin board,

d) allowing him to ask a peer to walk next to him on the way to gym, and/or

e) allowing him to be line leader.

**About the Author**

Joan M. Miller, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, New York

*teaches courses in special education, behavior management, literacy for pupils with disabilities, and using technology with pupils with disabilities.

*interests include teacher education, effective teaching research in special education, and educational technology.

Need help making a functional behavioral assessment? Visit's Functional Behavioral Assessment Generator at:

                  I.Develop an Appropriate IEP 
                  A.Curricula for students in regular education are determined by the school district; for students receiving special education
                  services, curricula are 
                  determined by the student: the IEP is the student's curriculum. 
B.Based on the child's current skills, functional and academic, and the skills he/she needs in order to be
                   successful in the environment, prioritize goals and 
C.Determine the school
                  and community environments in which each goal and objective will be a priority.
                  II.Develop a Plan to Integrate the Student's Goals and Objectives in the Regular Class Setting (Johnson City School District,
                  1990, cited by Gallucci, 1990) 
                  A.Develop daily/weekly schedule for the regular class.
B.Identify activities that will occur in each time block and transition.
C.Match the student's objective s with each activity and transition.
D.For each match, identify the level of adaptation needed:
1.Unadapted: same activity, same objective.
2.Regular-Adapted: same activity, different objectives (student participates at a different level, and/or
with adaptations, as different response modes).	
3.Regular-Embedded: same theme/concept, different objectives (objective
                  may not be to master subject area and content, but rather to participate in group 
                  instruction and develop social, motor and communication goals).
4.Functional different activity, different objectives (objectives are not drawn from the regular curriculum,
                  but have immediate use in the student's 
                  daily experience).
E.Determine which
                  times in the day have limited or no match; plan for separate instruction.
F.Determine who will support and/or provide instruction for each match:
1. Regular education teacher
                  support (peer tutoring, peer buddies,cooperative learning groups)
3.Support staff (speech clinicians, therapists,counselors)
4.Educational assistant
III.Develop Adaptations
A.Determine how the existing skills of the learner can be used in the
                  adaptation (communication, reading, writing, spelling, math, basic concepts).
B.Consider the learning style of the students
1.Some students with disabilities may learn best with use visual stimuli
2.Some students with disabilities may have difficulty with auditory memory and auditory processing
3.Some students with disabilities may have fewer short-term memory
4.Some students with disabilities
                  may learn best by doing	
C.Be sure
                  that the material presented is meaningful and useful for the child - motivation is very important.
D.Use the principles of programming:
1.Move from the simple to the complex
a. match
2.Allow the child to succeed
3.Be sure criterion for performance is reached at one level before moving to the next level
4.Provide feedback - and make it positive
E.Use special education techniques when needed:
1.Task analysis
6.Physical assistance
                  for the stages of learning:
2.Practice to proficiency (fluency)
3.Transfer and generalization
G.Plan for ways to give the child status with peers - plan	adaptations to put him/her in a leadership role
                  when possible (one teacher made her pupil with a disability the computer expert: other pupils had to consult with him in order
                  to learn programs).
H.The adaption
                  should be planned to build the learner's independence and competence.
IV.Implement Your Plan
                  sure that planned adaptations are in place and that the support staff implementing the program understands how toimplement
                  the program and use adaptations effectively.
                  sure that support staff responsible for each program	are scheduled when and were the adaption is to take place.
A. Take data:
                  the best way to measure pupil progress toward each objective - teaching the student to keep his/her own data, using charts,
                  is an excellent adaptation for the use of math and reading skills.
2.If the pupil reaches criteria for mastery (80% and above for 2 or 3 days considered mastery), MOVE ON TO
                  AND MAKE PROGRESS.
3.If the pupil is
                  not making progress (below 50% for 2 or 3 days), DO NOT ALLOW THE CHILD TO CONTINUE TO FAIL THE ADAPTION IS TO MAKE THE LEARNER
                  these options: 
                  a.Slice back
b.Break the task down
                  into smaller steps
c.Change your feedback
                  - it may not be reinforcing to the pupil
                  new materials and novelty
e.Make new
                  adaptations - perhaps the task needs to be more functional and meaningful for the student
f.Put it aside for now - it is possible that the student is unable
                  to do the task - work at a level at which the student can succeed - come back to this task later, if this skill is a priority.
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An assessment might indicate the student has a skill deficit, and does not know how to perform desired skills. The functional behavioral assessment may show that, although ineffective, the child may engage in the inappropriate behavior to escape or avoid a situation:

(1) for which he or she lacks the appropriate skills; or

(2) because she or he lacks appropriate, alternative skills and truly believes this behavior is effective in getting what he or she wants or needs.


For example, a child may engage in physically violent behavior because he or she believes violence is necessary to efficiently end the confrontational situation, and may believe that these behaviors will effectively accomplish his or her goals. However, when taught to use appropriate problem-solving techniques, the student will be more likely to approach potentially volatile situations in a nonviolent manner. If this is the case, the intervention may address that deficit by including, within the larger plan, a description of how to teach the problem-solving skills needed to support the child.


If the student does not know what the behavioral expectations are, the plan can be formulated to teach expectations, and would include the supports, aids, strategies, and modifications necessary to accomplish this instruction, with expectations explained in concrete terms. For example, if the expectation is "to listen to lectures," the intervention plan might include the following:


Goal: During classroom lectures, Jim will make only relevant comments and ask only relevant questions in 80 percent of the opportunities.


Objectives: Given a 50 minute, large group (i.e., more than 20 students) classroom lecture, Jim will ask one appropriate question and make two relevant comments on each of 3 consecutive school days.


Activities to accomplish the goal and objectives:


-The teacher will model examples and non-examples of situations when listening is important and assist Jim in identifying the components of active listening (e.g., hands and feet still, eyes facing the speaker, quiet lips, think about what is being said and determine if you need more information, think about how the information makes you feel, and if necessary, make a comment or ask a question);


-Jim will list the situations in which active listening skills are important and will describe the necessary behaviors in each of those situations;


-Jim will participate in "role-plays" of situations in which active listening skills are necessary;


-Jim will practice active listening in each of the situations listed above - and will report the results to his teacher, counselor, or parent;


-Jim will monitor the opportunity and degree to which he actively listens during lectures and will reinforce himself (e.g., "I did a great job!"); and


-Jim will identify and use active listening skills in situations other than class lectures.


If the student does not realize that he or she is engaging in the behavior, (i.e., the student is reacting out of habit), the team may devise a plan to cue the child when she or he is so engaged. Such a cue could be private and understood only by the teacher and the student.


If Mariah, for instance, impulsively talks out during Ms. Baders class discussions, Ms. Bader and Mariah may agree that Ms. Bader will look directly at Mariah and slightly move her right hand in an upward motion to remind Mariah to raise her hand. If Mariah does raise her hand, Ms. Bader agrees to call on her.

Sometimes, for biological or other reasons, a student is unable to control his or her behavior without supports. If the IEP team believes the student needs medical services for diagnostic and evaluation purposes an appropriate referral can be made.

Should the student not know how to perform the expected behaviors, the intervention plan could include modifications and supports to teach the child the needed skills. Such instruction may require teaching academic skills as well as behavioral and cognitive skills, and may require a team member to do a task analysis (i.e., break down a skill into its component parts) of the individual behaviors that make up the skill. For example, if the skill is to "think through and solve social problems," the individual skills may include:


  • Define the problem (What is the goal? What is the obstacle?); 
  • List the possible solutions to the problem;
  • Determine the likely consequences of each solution;
  • Evaluate each solution to determine which solution has the most likelihood of solving the problem in the long term;
  • Pick the best solution;
  • Plan how to carry out the solution;
  • Carry out the solution; and
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the solution (and decide where to go from there).


The behavior intervention plan, in the previous case, would include methods to teach the necessary skills to the child, and would provide the supports necessary to accomplish such plans.


Methods may include the following components:

  • Identify the steps necessary to solve social problems;
  • Recognize the steps to solve social problems when they are modeled by a teacher or a peer;
  • Participate in role-play situations requiring the use of the social problem solving skills; and
  • Practice social problem solving in real-life situations.   


A technique known as curricular integration is useful in teaching skills to students, as the technique integrates positive strategies for modifying problem behavior into the existing classroom curriculum, and is based upon the premise that a skill is more likely to be learned when taught in the context in which it is used. Teachers who incorporate behavioral interventions into daily instruction generally state that this technique has proven to be particularly effective for teaching replacement behaviors.


* * * * * * * *




If the functional behavioral assessment reveals that the student knows the skills necessary to perform the behavior, but does not consistently use them, the intervention plan may include techniques, strategies, and supports designed to increase motivation to perform the skills.


If the assessment reveals that the student is engaging in the problem behavior because it is more desirable (or reinforcing) than the alternative, appropriate behavior, the intervention plan could include techniques for making the appropriate behavior more desirable. For instance, if the student makes rude comments in class in order to make her peers laugh, the plan might include strategies for rewarding appropriate comments as well as teaching the student appropriate ways to gain peer attention. Behavioral contracts or token economies and other interventions that include peer and family support may be necessary in order to change the behavior.


Sometimes a child does not perform the behavior simply because he or she sees no value in it. While the relevance of much of what we expect students to learn in school is apparent to most children, sometimes (especially with older children) it is not. For example, if Sheran wants to be a hairdresser when she graduates, she may not see any value in learning about the Battle of Waterloo. Therefore, the intervention plan may include strategies to increase her motivation, such as demonstrating to Sheran that she must pass History in order to graduate and be accepted into the beauty school program at the local community college.


Another technique for working with students who lack intrinsic motivators is to provide extrinsic motivators. If the student cannot see any intrinsic value in performing the expected behaviors, it may be necessary to, at least initially, reinforce the behaviors with some type of extrinsic reward, such as food, activities, toys, tokens, or free time. Of course, extrinsic rewards should gradually be replaced with more "naturally occurring" rewards, such as good grades, approval from others, or the sheer pleasure that comes from success. This process of fading out, or gradually replacing extrinsic rewards with more natural or intrinsic rewards, may be facilitated by pairing the extrinsic reward with an intrinsic reward. For example, when rewarding David with popcorn for completing his homework, the paraprofessional could say, David, you have completed all of your homework this week, and your class participation has increased because you are better prepared. You must be very proud of yourself for the hard work you have done. In this way, David should eventually become intrinsically rewarded by a sense of pride in completing all of his assignments.


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Sample IEP Goals

Behavior - Lack of Self-Control - Inappropriate Verbal/Physical Actions

III. John has been seen kicking, hitting, and pinching others. When angry or frustrated, he vocalizes very loudly and doesn't seem to know the appropriate words/signs to use to express his feelings. He is compliant with signed prompts to stop the behavior, not always needing direct comments.

IV. A. Annual Goal: John will exercise increased self-control, increasing appropriate verbal and physical behaviors with fading prompts/models.

B. Short-Term Objectives:
1. Given a class situation when John is evidencing inappropriate behavior, he will indicate, with modeling and/or prompts, his feelings (frustration, discomfort, fear), and a more appropriate behavior and language (i.e. "help me" or tap a student to get his attention and sign "please move" or "it's my turn" or indicate to teacher that he needs to regroup and organize himself), 80% of the time.
2. Given a class situation when John is evidencing stress (before inappropriate behaviors begin), he will indicate, with modeling and/or prompts, appropriate interactions (i.e. "help me" or "I need more room" or "I need to move/a break") 80% of the time.
3. Given a class situation, when John is evidencing stress, he will initiate appropriate interactions, without modeling, but with a prompt (i.e. "Are you ok?" or "What's the matter?" or "Raise your hand if you need help.") 80% of the time.
4. Given a class situation, when John is evidencing stress, he will initiate appropriate interactions, without modeling or prompts 60% of the time.
5. John will use a large motor activity prior to and during focused work 80% of the time.
6. John will sit at an individual desk and work for 10 minutes 80% of the time.
7. John will seek out his "chill out" space to regroup and organize himself with needed sensory input with modeling (i.e. "I need a break") 80% of the time.
8. John will ask for his "chill out space" as needed with out modeling 80% of the time.

Behavior - Lack of Self Control - Flight Risk

III. John can remain in his assigned area with verbal prompts and close physical proximity of an adult. John has improved from fleeing from a small group. However, recently, John has had an episode of leaving the school campus. He has difficulty staying in an assigned area without prompts and direct supervision. In the classroom, he does not stay at the assigned area during work time without getting out of his seat and running. He needs continual prompts (about 10 - 15 in a 30 minute session) to do his work or sit correctly in his seat.

IV. A. Annual Goal:
John will exercise increased self-control while at school, as evidenced by increasing lengths of time on task, and remaining in the assigned area, with fading prompts.

B. Short-Term Objectives:
1. Given a small group activity in the classroom, John will evidence increased self control and remain on task, using classroom modifications as indicated by his Sensory Integration OT, his Vision Therapist, and Dr Morganstein and with modeling of appropriate behaviors/language ("Raise your hand," "Help me," etc).
a. With ten or less prompts in 30 minutes
b. With six or less prompts in 30 minutes
c. With two or less prompts in 30 minutes

2. Given an activity outside the classroom, John will evidence self-control by remaining in his assigned area on school grounds.
a. 100% of the time with prompts
b. 100% of the time with out prompts

Language - Reading Skills

III. John is able to use new vocabulary learned from stories. John is not able to read or follow survival-reading words with or without prompts. He is able to read 5/82 preprimary words in the Brigance Diagnostic Inventory. John is reading preprimer books with minimal assistance.

IV. A. Annual Goal: John will read preprimary and survival sight words.

B. Short Term Objectives:
1. Given preprimary sight words John will sign 50/82 with 80% accuracy.
2. Given survival words, John will sign three words per week with 90% accuracy.
3. John will correctly identify pictures using survival words as "dangerous" or with 80% accuracy.
4. When shown pictures/words, John will sign/say six new vocabulary words, which are related to a lesson with 90% accuracy.
4. Given six vocabulary words, John will match a picture/ & or sign to the correct word with 90% accuracy.
5. John will use his finger to point to words as he reads/signs them with 90% accuracy using signed English and voice, as well as ASL concepts.
6. John will complete a Reading Record, showing he has read books using the preprimary and survival sight words four out of five school days per week with 95% compliance.

Language - Spelling Skills

III. John can write all upper and lower case letters on request. He can copy words. He can spell one of three vocabulary words per story. He cannot spell two of three vocabulary words per story. John is unable to fingerspell a word on command.

IV. A. Annual Goal:
John will spell (fingerspell and write) spelling words.

B. Short Term Objectives:
1. John will spell two out of five spelling words correctly each week on a written test with 90% accuracy.
2. John will spell four out of five spelling words correctly each week on a written test with 80% accuracy.
3. John will fingerspell two out of five spelling words correctly each week with 75% accuracy.
4. John will choose a correctly spelled word from a field of two with 80% accuracy.
5. John will choose a correctly spelled word from a field of three with 80% accuracy.
6. John will do spelling/vocabulary homework for four out of five school days per week with 95% compliance.

Language - Reading Comprehension

III. John can recall new vocabulary learned from stories. He is not able to consistently identify the beginning, middle and end of a story using pictures. He is not able to consistently predict what happens next in a story using pictures.

IV. A. Annual Goal:
John will show comprehension of literature.
B. Short-Term Objectives:
1. Given pictures, John will identify beginning, middle & end of the story with 90% accuracy.
2. Given picture choices, John will predict what happens next in a story with 90% accuracy.
3. John will read a sentence and choose the best word to complete that sentence from a field of two or three with 75% accuracy.
4. John will read a story. He will answer simple questions about the story by choosing the correct answer from a field of two or three, with 70% accuracy.
5. John will read a story. He will answer a simple question about the story by writing a simple sentence with 60% accuracy.
6. John will do reading comprehension homework weekly with 95% compliance.

Language - Expressive - Grammar

III. John can write all upper and lower case letters. He is able to copy single words and write some from memory. He is able to copy a sentence using the initial capitalization and ending punctuation. He is not consistent in selecting sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation. He does not use capitals for people's names.

IV. A. Annual Goal
John will use correct nouns, pronouns, capitalization and punctuation in a sentence.

B. Short-Term Objectives:
1. Given a choice of two sentences, John will choose the one with correct capitalization and punctuation with 80% accuracy.
2. John will correct a sentence that is improperly written, with 80% accuracy.
3. Given a choice of four proper nouns, John will choose the ones with the correct capitalization with 80% accuracy.
4. Given a choice of two or three pronouns, John will choose the one that could be substituted for underlined proper nouns in a sentence, with 50% accuracy.
5. John will complete homework assignments in grammar weekly with 95% compliance.

Language - Dictionary Skills

III. John can match pictures to words. He can copy words. He can sign the word. He cannot alphabetize words or look up definitions.

IV. A. Annual Goal:
John will begin deciphering the structure of a word and attaching a meaning to it.

B. Short-Term Goals:
1. John will identify the initial letter/sound of a word (shown the word), from a field of four letters with 80% accuracy.
2. John will alphabetize his spelling/vocabulary words with 80% accuracy.
3. John will choose the beginning sound/letter that will form the word shown in a picture with 60% accuracy.
4. John will match the meaning of a word, to that word with 60% accuracy.
5. John will look up and copy the meaning of select vocabulary words with 80% accuracy.
6. John will match synonyms and antonyms with 60% accuracy.
7. John will do homework using his vocabulary and spelling words four out of five school days per week with 95% compliance.

Social Skills

III. John is able to respond to "yes/no" and other simple questions "How are you?" and "How old are you?" and "Who is your teacher?" He still has inconsistent eye contact with the person speaking, and does participate in turn taking activities with minimal assistance.

IV. A. Annual Goal
John will demonstrate improved social skills.

B. Short-Term Objectives
1. John will look at the person speaking/signing with minimal prompts 90% of the time. (as his Vision Therapy progresses)
2. John will look at the person speaking/signing without prompts 60% of the time.
3. John will address all adults and students he regularly comes in contact with by name, and will use appropriate pleasantries (please, thank you, etc.) with fading models/prompts 65% of the time.
4. John will raise his hand in class with fading prompts/models 75% of the time.
5. John will participate in turn taking during group activities with minimal assistance 90% of the time.
6. During connect, John will learn the name of a "connect peer partner (student)" and interact with that student using the skills listed above with minimal assistance 75% of the time
7. John will take a "signed/verbal" message from one person to another, and deliver the message correctly, 75% of the time.
8. During connect, John will participate in group activities and games with minimal assistance from a connect-peer partner, with 60% compliance.
9. John will self-initiate a request for things he wants that he has visual access to with 90% accuracy.

Math --Sequencing/Measurement

III. John is able to identify the season and weather. He can sign the name and match the correct value of a penny and nickel. He is not currently able to match the value of a dime and quarter. He can tell time to the hour, but not to the half hour. He can read and sequence the days of the week and the months of the year.

IV. A. Annual Goal John will exhibit skills in using sequencing and measurement. B. Short-Term Objectives
1. Given real or play coins and bills, and cards with money values, John will sign the name of the coin and match the correct value to it with 90% accuracy.
2. Given a play or printed clock, John will tell time to the nearest five minutes with 90% accuracy.
3. John will choose congruent shapes with 80% accuracy.
4. John will identify the number of sides of a shape with 80% accuracy.
5. John will utilize a ruler to measure a given object in inches with 90% accuracy.
6. John will complete a pattern by choosing the next shape in a sequence of shapes with 80% accuracy.
7. John will complete a pattern by drawing the next shape in a sequence of shapes with 75% accuracy.
8. John will sequence by size with 80% accuracy.
9. John will evidence understanding of a calendar, and the terms "next," and "last," as it applies to the calendar with 60% accuracy.
10. John will use position words to identify placement of an object in a picture with 80% accuracy.
11. John will answer simple word problems using the above skills with 60% accuracy.
12. John will do math homework four out of five days per week, with 95% compliance.

Math - Computing Skills

III. John can count to 100 with visual prompts and can count to 30 without visual prompts. He is able to skip count by 10's, but cannot consistently skip count by 5's. He can read and sequence number words one through ten, but cannot consistently sequence number words eleven through twenty. John is able to add very simple problems using manipulatives. He cannot add addition problems with sums up to 15 with or without manipulatives.

IV. A. Annual Goal
John will skip count to 100 and compute with whole numbers.

B. Short Term Goals
1. Given number words 11 - 20, and by 10's to 100, John will read and sequence them in order with 80% accuracy.
2. John will write the numbers 1 - 100 without visual prompts with 80% accuracy.
3. John will skip count
a. By 5's with 100% accuracy
b. By 2's with 75% accuracy
c. By 25's with 100% accuracy
4. John will add with manipulatives/pictures to 20 with 90% accuracy.
5. John will demonstrate knowledge of ordinal numbers with 90% accuracy.
6. John will learn place value (i.e. 73 = 7 10's and 3 1's) with 60% accuracy.
7. John will add without manipulatives, but with picture aids, to 100's with 50% accuracy.
8. John will subtract with manipulatives to 20 with 75% accuracy.
9. John will demonstrate knowledge of the terms "more" and "less," with 90% accuracy.
10. John will answer simple word problems using the above skills, and choose the correct answer from a field of two or three with 60% accuracy.
11. John will do math homework (including sequencing/measuring), four out of five school days per week.

Test Prep -- All Subjects

John is able to answer direct questions when they are signed and spoken to him. John is not able to answer written questions.

IV. A. Annual Goal:
John will be able to take a test by "filling in the bubbles," on paper and on computer.

B. Short-Term Objectives:
1. John will circle the correct answer from a field of two on paper with 90% accuracy.
2. John will circle the correct answer from a field of four on paper with 80% accuracy.
3. John will choose the correct answer from a field of two and fill in the correct bubble, with 70% accuracy on paper.
4. John will choose the correct answer from a field of three and fill in the correct bubble, with 65% accuracy on paper.
5. John will choose the correct answer from a field of four and fill in the correct bubble, with 60% accuracy on paper.
6. John will choose the correct answer from a field of two and mark the correct spot, on the computer, with 80% accuracy.
7. John will choose the correct answer from a field of three and mark the correct spot, on the computer, with 80% accuracy.

Adaptive Equipment --FM system/hearing aids

III. John currently uses an FM system with bilateral BTE hearing aids. He can localize sounds with the FM microphone off (hearing aids set on B). He can respond to questions, from across a busy classroom, with the FM microphone turned on (hearing aids set on B). He becomes frustrated with continued FM use, when it is left on, but not used for specific communication with him. He then blocks out the sound as "white noise." When the BTE receivers are set on F, he will not hear any sounds with the microphone off. With the BTE receivers set on M, he will not hear any sounds through the FM microphone.

IV. A. Annual Goal:
John will utilize his FM system.

B. Short-Term Objectives:
1. John will wear his BTE hearing aids at all times with 100% compliance.
2. John will wear the BTE receivers set at B 100% of the time.
3. John will utilize the FM system at appropriate 1:1 or classroom lecture times with 90% compliance.
4. John will have the FM microphone turned off during times the person transmitting is not directly addressing him with 90% compliance.
5. John will have the FM microphone turned off while on the playground, and only turned on for direct communications with him with 90% compliance.
6. John will have any person working with him instructed in the correct use of the microphone, before that person uses it, 100% of the time.

Additional OT goal:

OT goal - Sensory Integration - Classroom Strategies

III. John demonstrates significant sensory integrative dysfunction. He demonstrates difficulties with organization, modulation and interpretation of sensory input necessary for adaptive emotional, behavioral, and motor functioning. John is constantly seeking out movement and heavy input to his muscles; to help him focus and organize himself. John's convergence palsy and disorder of accommodation affect his eye hand coordination and make near/far visual tracking extremely difficult.

IV. Annual Goal:
A. John will get the sensory information he needs during the school day; to help him focus and organize himself.

B. Short-Term Objectives:

1. John will work at his own desk (with assistance as needed), remaining seated in his chair using a Move-N-Sit, for 10 minutes.
2. John will work at his own desk without kicking the table, using stretchable tubing or theraband around the front legs of his chair to stretch with his legs, for 10 minutes with fading prompts.
3. John will remain seated in his chair with aids listed above for 20 minutes without prompts.
4. John will use his "chill out" space to regroup and organize himself as needed, less than 10 times a day.
5. John will use his "chill out" space to regroup and organize himself as needed, less than 5 times a day.
6. John will do "heavy work jobs," such as carrying a few heavy books to the shelf, stacking chairs, or washing the tables or blackboard, for proprioceptive input at least twice daily.
7. John will use "high contrast" paper for writing, 80% of the time.
8. John will have a "desk copy" of work written on the blackboard, for "copy work" to minimize near/far tracking problems, 80% of the time.

Additional Speech Goal
III. John will point to things he wants. He will ask for them (I want orange car) when prompted.

IV.A. Annual Goal:

John will self-initiate requests.

B. Short-Term Objectives:

1. John will sign/say his request for something he wants, and has visual access to, when prompted, 90% of the time.
2. John will sign/say his request for something he wants, and has visual access to, without prompts, 80% of the time.

* * * * * * * *

Sample IEP for child with Autism/PDD

This is individualized and does not show all of the actual goals and interventions that are being done. As a skill is acquired - new objectives are to be added, it is not to be stagnant. As skills become easier the difficulty is increased. This also does not show goals for computer activities nor the augmentive communication devices (those are being worked on). It is VERY HARD to trust the district personnel at times that they will continue to meet your childs needs and keep it a fluid process, however we are at that point right now until they prove otherwise!! (Although that has taken us almost five years to get to that point!)Hope this is helpful. Please make sure you check out the other
IEP resources under the Education Sites link, there really is some great help out there!

Special Education and Related Services:
Special Ed. Service
Resource 7.5 hours w/gen ed peers 7.5 hours not w/gen ed peers (resource staff)
Language 8 hours w/gen ed. peers 7 hours not w/gen ed peers (resource staff)
Language .5 hours w/gen ed. peers .5 hours not w/gen ed peers (SLP)
Occupational Therapy .15 hours not w/gen ed peers. (Occupational therapist)
Adapted PE .3 hours not w/gen ed peers (Adapted PE teacher)
These are hours of services per week. Total hours/week 30

Resource Room time and 1st grade participation time will be adjusted to fit his needs and abilities, goal is to allow him to participate in as much first grade classroom time as he is able.

Special Considerations/Accommodations:
(Part of considerations that must be taken into account when developing IEP)

Parent comments/concerns and parent reported student strenths and interests:
parent attatched input sheet

Explanation of how the disability affects involvement and progress in the general curriculum:
Disabilities affect his communication and language development, social/personal skills, cognitive abilities, motor skills and self-help skills. All areas of regular education curriculum are adapted for him to participate appropriately.

Explanation of the extent, if any, that the student will not participate with students without disabilities in the regular classroom, extracurricular, and other nonacademic activities: Will be receiving individual and small group instruction in adaptive behavior, gross motor skills, language, concept development and fine motor skills.

Regular Education Participation: Will participate in a first grade classroom with resource pull out as needed. He will spend time in resource room working on individual goals and objectives

Physical/Medical Concerns/Safety Precautions: Allergic to tomato and dairy products. Needs constant adult monitoring due to potential flight risk. On various medications , see current medication file in office.

Other Considerations:
(these are areas that must be considered when developing IEP)
yes - If behavior impedes learning, consideration of appropriate behavioral strategies: (Attach behavioral intervention plan)
Needs reinforcement of appropriate behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior (see attatched behavioral plan)

no - if english proficiency is limited, consideration of language needs:

no - if blind or visually impaired, consideration fo need for Braille instuction:

yes - consideration of students communication needs, including students with hearing impairments:
Understands some language at the word and phrase level, he needs pitures/words to aid in his communication.

yes - consideration of students need for assistive technology service or device:
Picture exchange communication system and augmentive communicaiton.

no- conderation of students health needs

yes - consideration for extended school year (ESY) service in accordance with district policy and procedures to (to be decided 45 calendar days before the end of the regular school year). Areas to be considered for ESY:
yes - regression/recoupment
no - critical point of instruction
no - injurious behavior
no - employment
no - transistion
no - extended absence from school
no - delayed school entrance.

Will recieve two hours per day four days per week from May 31 - June 30 and will recieve 1-2 hours before regular school year starts for transition to new classroom.

no - consideration for reevaluation during this IEP year, MDT date:

Explanation of special considerations and accomodations needed in general education for the student to be involved and progress in the general education curriculum. Special Educaiton support needed?

daily routine - adult support, task board steps, peer buddy, monitor for safety -yes.

communication - picture/word communicaiton book, simplified commands, visual cues, pictures, gestures, physical assistance. - yes

adaptive - assistance with toileting and dressing, monitored eating - yes

cognitive - modified curriculum and materials - yes

behavior - consistent behavior modification plan - yes

social - structured opportunities to interact with peers, turn taking - yes

motor - sensory motor breaks - walks, jump etc... - yes

(Keep in mind the areas above are areas that must be considered for ESY services)

Area/Domain - Cognitive and Language

Measurable Annual Goal: Will increase his cognitive ability and his expressive and receptive language skills by obtaining 80% of each of the following objectives:

Will identify 40 nouns by word,picture and object and will generalize to different settings:
a) match word to object (with verbal label)
b) label object verbally

Will recognize and identify 30 actions by word, picture and actions across settings
a) match word to action picture and vice versa
b) identify action with word (with verbal label)
c) label action verbally

With 80% accuracy will
a) match his name with 6 different action words (e.g. _____walk)
b) demonstrate the actions

Will demonstrate an understanding of simple cause/effect relationships:
a) ask what is it? in order to see object in the bag
b) say go to activate objects
c) when requesting food will label food item - demonstrating 80% mastery

When given a simple direction in the classroom, using oral, written and picture cues, will respond appropriately in 3 out of 4 opportunities:
a) pointing cues
b) independently

Will get the listeners attention when making a request on 3 out of 4 opportunities by:
a) verbal requests
b) raising his hand

Will identify numbers 10-20 with 80% accuracy.
a) 10-12
b) 13-15
c) 16-18
d) 19-20

Will independently identify a set and count objects 1-10 using a variety of objects and settings with 90% accuracy:
a) identify a set 5-10
b) 1:1 count 4-7
c) 1:1 count 8-10

Receptively, will select an object or picture when presented with the verbal label with 80% accuracy:
a) colors
b) shapes
c) supplies in the classroom

Will track words for 5 sentences in a row with 80% accuracy:
a) point independently
b) repeat words after read to him
c) independently will verbally say a familiar word in the sentence (e.g. this, nouns)
d) independently will read the sentence.

Will write the letters in the alphabet, his last name and five 3 letter words between lines that are 2 inches apart with 80% accuracy:
a) 15 letters with model shown
b) 26 letters with model shown
c) last name
d) 5 words with model shown

Area/Domain - Social and Behavior
Measurable Annual Goal: Will increase his positive interactions with peers by accomplishing 80% of each of the following objectives.

Will engage in appropriate play activities 80% of the time across all settings.
a) with an adult model
b) following picture cues
c) with a peer model and picture cues
d) with a peer model

Will greet others when they greet him by saying hi in 4 out of 5 opportunities:
a) with verbal prompts
b) independently

Will take direction from a peer in 4 out of 5 learning opportunities:
a) with an adult model
b) following picture cues
c) with a peer model and picture cues
d) with a peer model

Will indicate his preferred choice verbally requesting it.

When asked a question for preferred/non-preferred items in a functional setting, will respond with affirmative/rejection (yes/no) as appropriate in 3 out of 4 opportunities.
a) using yes/no word card and verbal modeling
b) verbally saying yes/no
Will follow his daily routine in the resource room without prompts 80% of the time
a) gestures
b) no prompts

Will engage in appropriate behaviors during class time and specials 80% of the time
a) sitting quietly for ten minutes
b) sitting up quietly and without stimming for 5 minutes

Will independently go to the next activity on his visual schedule in the 1st grade room 80% of the time when given a cue card
a) big word/small picture
b) word only

Area/Domain - Occupational Therapy
Measurable Annual Goal : Will expand and generalize his fine motor and self help skills to different settings and persons

In order to successfully generalize fine motor and self help skills will receive OT consult regarding:
a) fine motor and visual motor skill aquisition
b) daily sensory diet
c) upper-body strengthening
d) self care activities - feeding, dressing, toileting.

More IEP Suggestions

Just some more ideas on goals etc....

Overall Goal: All goals and targets will be generalized to all environments. Each goal and target shall not be considered met until has demonstrated the skill in multiple environments. When a skill is acquired using one material, it will be generalized to multiple non-identical similar materials

Area/Domain - Cognitive and Language
Measurable Annual Goal: Will increase his cognitive ability and his expressive and receptive language skills by obtaining 80% of each of the following objectives:

1. Will identify 30 nouns by word, picture and object and will generalize to different settings:
a) match word to picture and picture to word
b) match word to object (with verbal label)
c) label object verbally

2. Will recognize and identify 30 actions by word, picture and actions across settings:
a) match word to action picture and vice versa
b) identify action with word (with verbal label)
c) label action verbally.

3. Will receptively identify objects by shape using a variety of materials and generalizing to different settings with 90% accuracy:
a) circle
b) square
c) triangle
d) star
e) heart
f) diamond
g) rectangle
h) oval

4. Will identify numbers 1-10 with 80% accuracy.
a) 1-3
b) 4-7
c) 8-10

5. When given a simple direction in the classroom, using oral, written and picture cues, will respond appropirately in 3 out of 4 opportunities:
a) with hand held or hand over hand assistance
b) independently

Area/Domain: Cognitive
Measurable Annual Goal: Will improve his concept knowledge, functional play and imitation skills in the preschool environment. New Objectives (next steps) will be added as previous ones are met.

1) Will be able to verbally identify 5 basic shapes and 8 colors during class time in 3 consecutive observations
a) shapes - circle, square, triangle, diamond, rectangle
b) colors - red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange, black, white

2) Will engage in a variety of functional play activities throughout the school day (stringing beads, building with blocks, using art materials, playing in sensory table, etc...) in 4 observations per week.

3) Will engage in pretend play routines (such as dressing up, cooking, playing house, acting like an animal etc....) in 2 observations per week.

4) Will imitate toy and block structures of peers or adults during work time in 5 observations.

Area/Domain: Social/Behavior
Measurable Annual Goal: Will increase his social interactions and appropriate behavior in a group environment. New objectives will be added as previous ones are met.

1) Will respond to or initiate an interaction with a peer during class time 1 time per day

2) Will engage in turn taking activities with adults or peers throughout the school day for
a) 2-3 turns
b) 4-5 turns

3) Will attend to the person/object/event that is the focus at small group time for an increasing amount of time
a) 1-2 minutes
b) 3-4 minutes
c) 5-6 minutes

4) Will be consistently provided positive verbal and physical reinforcement (hugs, praise, tickles etc...) when he engages in appropriate behavior (staying with the group, completing a task or project, etc....) throughout the school day.

5) When does not follow directions, he will be redirected (visually, verbally and physically) to follow directions or complete the task throughout the school day.

6) Will correctly answer social questions 80% of the time
a) whats your name?
b) how old are you?
c) who is your brother?
d) what is your dogs name?

Area/Domain: Adaptive Behavior/Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Measurable Annual Goal: Will increase his self help skills in dressing and toileting. Will increase his fine motor skills in drawing and cuttin. Will perform gorss motor actions appropriate for his age. New objectives for each goal will be added as previous ones are met.

1) Will attempt to go to the bathroom in the toilet 1 time per day with adult prompting

2) Will dress himself (pull up pants, put on shoes, put on/take off coat) at appropriate times throughtout the school day with:
a) adult assistance
b) independently

3) Will use a variety of art and writing materials (crayons, paint, etc...) to create abstract pictures during small group and work time in 5 observations.

4) Will independently hold his scissors and paper to cut during small group and work time in 5 observations.

5) Will imitate horizontal, vertical and circular strokes with a writing utensil during small group and work time in 5 observations.

6) Will demonstrate the following gross motor skills upon verbal command furing circle, gym or outside time in 3 observations for each skill
a) jumping with 2 feet
b) throw ball to adult or peer
c) kick ball to target
d) catch ball thrown to him
e) hop on 1 foot
f) walk up and down stairs 1 foot per step

Area/Domain: Cognitive
Measurable Annual Goal: Will participate in book time and clean up time. He will increase his ability to express choices.

1) Will point to 5 named pictures in a book ( show me the _____) during book time or work time in 3 observations

2) Will express a choice between 2 objects (by pointing, gesturing or verbalizing) to plan where he will be at work time or choose items to work with through out the daily classroom routine in 5 observations.

3) Will retrieve a requested object from a shelf or return the item to its proper place by matching the object to the picture during work time or clean up time with prompting in 5 observations

Area/Domain: Speech Language
Measurable Annual Goal: Will improve speech sound production

1) Will imitate selected CVC words retaining both consonants with 80% accuracy for 5 trials over a 2-3 month span (i.e. mom, bat, bed, dad, man, pan, pat, put, top, pet)

2) Will imitate 10 oral motor actions given a model and the instructions do this with 80% accuracy
a) purse lips
b) close lips
c) tongue click
d) protrude tongue
e) snort
f) raspberry
g) retract lips
h) /K/ sound
i) /sssss/ sound
j) open mouth (lower jaw)

3) will sequence 2 oral motor actions given a model and instructions do this with 80% accuracy

4) Will imitate 5 CV and 5 VC syllables with accurate vowel production with 80% accuracy
o (as in mow)
a (as in cat
o (as in hot)
u (as in under)
e (as in tree)

Area/Domain: Speech Language
Measurable Annual Goal: Will improve his expressive language skills.

1) Will imitate words modeled by adults in 3 out of 5 opportunities

2) Will answer questions with consistent word approximations in 3 out of 5 opportunities
a) what is it? (label)
b) where is it? (location: in, on, under, up, down)
c) who is it? (persons name)

3) Will use 10 consistent word approximations to request: food, location change, play, needs in 3 out of 5 opportunities (words to be determined as demonstrates an interest.)

4) Will use a symbol, word, object, or gesture to indicate the following language functions in 3 out of 5 opportunities.
a) request an object or action
b) protest an object or action
c) make a shoice
d) comment
e) respond to yes/no question

5) Will label common objects that he has demonstrated understanding of from receptive objectives in 3 out of 5 opportunities

Area/Domain: Speech Language
Measurable Annual Goal: Will improve his receptive / expressive language skills.

1) Will generalize one step directions mastered in ABA session in 3 out of 5 opportunities (to be determined by coordination with educational team)

2) Will show/touch selected:
a) body parts
b) objects
c) places
d) people
on request with 80% accuracy

3) Will participate in four different songs by performing actions or singing the words
a) row, row, row your boat
b) itsy bitsy spider
c) little teapot
d) twinkle twinkle little star

Gross Motor/Adaptive Motor
Measurable Annual Goal: Will acquire 2 or more new gross motor skills and will generalize these skills plus those he already knows to multiple settings and persons.

1. Will learn to play catch for increasing lengths of time. (start at 3 min.) will first learn to play with a teacher and then with one peer and finally with at least 2 peers. The skill will be demonstrated in the classroom, in the gym and on the playground.

2. Will learn to kick a ball (perhaps soccer) for increasing lengths of time (start at 3 min). Will first learn to play with a teacher.....same as above.

3.Will follow a teacher or a peer through a sequence of play structure activities for an increasing length of time. Will also learn to follow a simple to do/all done picture or word schedule when he is playing by himself on the playground.

Area/Domain: Communication:
Measurable Annual Goal: Will demonstrate the ability to respond to written language and simple spoken language and to communicate using picture symbols and words.

1.When asked a question for preferred/ non preferred items in a functional setting,will respond with appropriate head nods, a vocal response (yes/no) and/or PECS "yes" or "no" symbol presentation.

2. Given a simple direction in the classroom, using written, oral and picture cues, will respond appropriately 75% of the time.

3.Will respond to questions about what he has done during an activity by generating a 1-2 component phrase with pictures. This could include circling the corresponding picture.

4.Will respond to a picture card with written responses 75% of the time as follows:
a. Teacher holds up a card,identifies the label by selecting a corresponding written card. Will respond to the reverse as well. When held up a written word,will select the corresponding picture card.
Target 1: Labels/Nouns 30 to 100 targets (pick a number)
Target 2: Agents/People or Animals 10-20
Target 3: Actions 15 to 30
Target 4: Agent + Action or Action + Agent (e.g. Mom Jump)
Target 5: Agent + is + Action

(if this is too easy add the following)

Will respond to "See ?" and "Have ?" by selecting the corresponding word.
For "See?" Keep items or a picture on the table and do not let ___ have them. Present the question card "See?" _____ selects from a set of words, the correct reponse(s).

For "Have?" Put an item in _____s hand. Have him respond by selecting the appropriate corresponding written card.

5. Will communicate with a PECS system. He will learn to use 20 more symbols representing foods, activities, and control words in multiple settings with multiple communication partners. First with teachers and then with peers.

* * * * * * * *



A. Students with autism often need highly structured visual teaching

The main elements of structured teaching include daily schedules, individual work systems, and classroom arrangement.

1. this makes the environment predictable
2. reduces student stress, confusion, anxiety, and behavior problems
3. builds on the student’s strengths
desire for routine, predictability, and organization
comfort with repetitive tasks
need to finish
visual learning styles
4. leads toward independence

B. Teach the meaning and value of a schedule
Focus on what you want the child to do.

1. use daily schedules, calendars, and lists to assist in sequencing of activities and aid in transitions
2. use a variety of visual cues (objects, photos, icons, words,
sentences, check lists)
3. individualize to the student’s developmental level and skills
4. determine the length of the schedule based on student skill level
5. independence is the goal (not sophistication)

Schedule Examples:

C. Develop independent work systems geared to student skill level

Work systems need clear visual cues that the student can understand.

1. what work?
2. how much work?
3. how does the student know when the work is finished?
4. what comes next?

Workstation setups:

Work systems can be incorporated into the regular class activities.

Once the student understands the basic framework of a work system, the individual tasks within the system can be varied.

Gear activities so they end before the student becomes frustrated.

Work task samples:

D. Consider location, distractions, & boundaries
Buzzing lights, motors, hallway sounds, visual distractions, and smells can interfere with concentration.

1. it should be visually clear what activities happen in which areas
2. furniture and materials should be clearly organized
3. locate the student near or facing the teacher or at the end of a row
4. in large groups, place between two model students
5. use visual barriers or study carrels

Room arrangement example:

E. Behavior is communication.

Work at reading the behavior and not taking it personally.

1. Write behavior rules for the child to read when necessary. (List what to do, and not what not to do, if possible.)
2. Use story webs and role playing to model appropriate behavior in social situations.
3. Positive rewards work better than punishment.
4. Use if/then patterns to aid in understanding.
5. Teach the child ways to be flexible.
6. Set your priorities (safety first -- you may need to let some of the “little things” go)

The student will need a method of communication to let you know when there is something “not right” within the system.
(i.e., How does he let you know he is missing something needed to complete the task?)

Communication suggestions:

You need a method to let the student know there will be a change in the daily schedule or routine, or if something needs to be interrupted before it is finished.

Let the child know ahead of time when an activity is about to begin or end, or if you are going to touch or move the child.

Watch for likes, dislikes, and interests. Use their strengths.

Communication (both expressive and receptive) is usually a major concern. Do not assume the student automatically understands you.

Enjoy the special gifts and talents these children bring to your

will teach you.


You know your child best!

Parents' perspectives and intimate knowledge

of their child are critical when writing an

Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Use of this form will help you prepare

for your child's IEP meeting.




About Inclusion...

Changing the IEP meeting to change the


What are your child's strengths?

What are your child's needs?

What goal's do you have for your child's education

this year?

What related services does your child need?

What modifications and adaptations does your

child need to be successful in school this year?

What is the most appropriate placement for your

child this scholl year?

Prepared by Kathy Snow (with lots of help from others)

250 Sunnywood Lane, Woodland Park, CO 80863-9434

719-687-8194, Fax 719-687-8114, e-mail:



You may copy and distribute this report in its entirety

Revised 8/97




Before filling out this report, make several copies of it. Keep a couple for yourself, as working copies. Give other copies to husband/wife, brothers and sisters, friends who knows your child well, and any other people who can positively contribute personal knowledge of your child (Sunday school teacher, babysitter, relatives, and other friends - both adult and children You'll be surprised at the different perspectives others have of your child. These all combine to create a more complete picture of who your child really is! Have others complete the forms and return to you. Then, compile all the information into one report you take with you to your child's lEP meeting.


Don't forget to involve your child in this process! If possible, discuss all parts of this form with him/her and have them contribute to it in anyway he/she can. Remember, it's the child's education, the child's life!


Think of this form like you would a grocery list! Post it on your refrigerator door and add things to it when you think about it! Don't wait until the night before the meeting to fill this out.


Compile all the reports written by your family and friends into one "final report." Make copies of this final report and give to all the members of the staffing team, before the meeting. If that's not feasible, give them copies at the meeting and refer to it often during the meeting. Consider asking the staffing team coordinator to attach your report to the final, official staffing report. Your input on this IEP report is as valuable as the information from any professional report about your child!


About Inclusion...

What is inclusion? Inclusion is children with disabilities attending the school they would attend if they didn't have a disability, in general education, age-appropriate classrooms, with supports for the teacher(s) and the student, where all children are active participants in both academic and extra-curricular activities.


ln planning for your child's education, don't talk to educators about inclusion for your child UNLESS your child is already attending a truly inclusive school! For too many educators, the word "inclusion" is loaded with negative connotations (too expensive, not done at this school, your child's not ready, etc., etc., etc.). Instead, WRITE inclusion into the IEP. In the following pages, write your child's needs in a way that they can only be met in an inclusive setting! Write the goals so that they can only be met in an inclusive setting.


Remember, too, that children with disabilities should not have aides; teachers should have aides. When children have aides, it's just as if you (the parent) were going to school with your child every day! If your child has an aide in a general ed classroom:

the classroom teacher usually will not take responsibility for your child; your child becomes the responsibility of the aide,

(a)  your child will have a difficult time making friends, because the children don't want to play with an adult around all the time;

no one else - students or teachers - will learn what your child needs, what he/she can do, or how to educate him/her.


When the teacher has an aide, the teacher directs the aide on when, how, what to help the student with. The aide should be as invisible as possible. Have other children help your child as much as they can; this is only natural. There are many ways children can help. Also, there should be many times when the teacher is directly working with your child and the aide is working with others in the class. When a teacher has an aide, instead of a student, the two educators can co-teach, break the class into groups to teach, etc. Most teachers love the idea of the aide being theirs instead of a student's!


Changing the meeting to change the outcomes.


Before the Meeting

Work to repair any deterioration in your relationships with people who will be at the meeting. Put aside your ego; remember what this is all about: your child's future. Your job is to be in partnership with educators; not to fight with them. Educate them! Resist the temptation to "get even," don't take things personally restrain yourself and maintain your equilibrium and dignity! Take a teacher to lunch!


Have informal (on the telephone, if necessary) pre-IEP meetings with everyone involved. Get a feel for what they'll be saying at the meeting. "Fore warned is fore armed." Ask for any copies of their reports ahead of time. Don't go to the meeting not knowing what's going to happen!


Develop relationships with other parents who are viewed as "leaders" in your school: PTA/PTO folks, committee members, active volunteers, etc. Cultivate them and educate them about you, your family, inclusion, etc. Make allies of them.


Surround yourself with friends and family and "role play" what you think will happen at the meeting. We seem to always be caught off-guard, not having the proper response when someone says something we feel is inappropriate, cruel, wrong, etc. Practice for these times; come up with "responses" that you can pull up when needed. Be prepared!!!


Complete this report and give copies of it to everyone ahead of time. This "final" report will be a compilation of all the reports you've distributed to others.


Plan the Meeting

Move the meeting from the traditional school site to a more neutral setting: your home (yes, your home!); the school library, cafeteria, or your child's classroom; or

(b) another community setting that's agreeable to all. Most educators don't like these meetings any more than parents do. So make it different: make it as pleasant as possible. Have refreshments! You bring them or ask others to bring some! Make it festive!


Wherever you have the meeting, don't sit around a table. It's a barrier you don't need. Sit in a circle. Change the dynamics for a different outcome. Sit next to the most powerful person there.


At the Meeting

You run the meeting! Ahead of time, tell the person who sets up the meeting that you'd like to open the meeting.

Welcome everyone to the meeting, thank them for coming, tell them you're excited about working with all of them as a wonderful team to help your child, etc., etc., etc., and pass out refreshments.


Ask everyone to please put on a name tag with first names only (get rid of the titles). You bring the name tags and markers.

Tell everyone that you'd like to start the meeting by having each of them say something wonderful (positive, good, whatever term you want to use) about your child. This will take them by surprise, so tell them they can pass if they need time to think about it; you'll come back to them when they're ready.

Pass out your summary report (this form or some variation of it) and give a brief synopsis of what you see for your child's long-term future. Let this be the driving force behind everything that happens at the meeting. Think big, think long-term!

Have one or two people with you who aren't KNOWN as disability advocates (the previously mentioned parent leaders). Their support will help influence decisions made at the meeting; their presence gives you credibility. Your supporters should not sit next to you, but should sit in between the educators.

Be prepared to compromise. ALWAYS have one or more things that you'll "give up." This makes you appear "reasonable" which, in turn, makes educators more willing to be reasonable.

Go in to the meeting knowing that you'll be satisfied if the outcome is "what you can live with." This is the basis of consensus building: it's not that everyone gets everything they want, it's that everyone "can live with" the decisions/arrangements agreed upon.


Getting What Your Child Needs at the Meeting

Be positive. Try not to talk about the past and what the school has/hasn't done. Let go of the past and stay focused on the future. Always start with a clean slate.


If your opinions are ignored or dismissed, be a broken record. DON'T argue their points; that gets you off your points! Keep repeating, without escalating your words or tone of voice, what you believe about your child's strengths, needs, etc.

DON'T get suckered in to any argument, whether it's about you, your child, the school, etc. You're not there to argue; you're there to educate!


Be prepared to compromise in the short-run to ensure long-term success. Lay your cards on the table about what you can "give up" and what you can't.


(c) Finally, and Perhaps, Most Importantly

About 90% of what goes on at lEP meetings has little or nothing to do with you or your child!!!! This has been verified by many teachers! The dynamics and outcomes of IEP meetings have less to do with you and/or your child than they do with the nature of the people attending and the positions/places they represent. l have witnessed, and have been told by educators, that what happens at an IEP meeting has to do mostly with the relationships between the other people attending!


Parents do not know, and usually never will know, about the internal politics and goings-on within our schools. Contrary to our feelings, all the folks from the school who attend IEP meetings are not "on the same side" nor are they of one mind! Within every school are principals who don't like a certain teacher and vice-versa; classroom teachers who don't like special educators and vice-versa; long-term relationships between staff members that ebb and flow; personal differences and life experiences between all staff members; and more.


Often, what happens at lEP meetings are skirmishes between educators that we, and our children, just happen to get caught in the middle of! You may know about a certain educator who agrees with you, but then at the meeting, this person appears to be against you! What happened? Somewhere along the line, this person was told to keep quiet by a superior. This is just one of many examples of what can/does happen.


What can you do about it? You can keep this in the back of your mind and use this knowledge to your benefit. Learn all you can about the individuals who are coming to the meeting and their relationships with others. Explore what you can do to help build bridges between them and/or exploit the dynamics for your child's benefit.


This is why you should not take personally what goes on at the meeting and why you must know that it's NOT you against them. The meeting is truly not only about you/your child. Educators are often fighting as much with each other as they are with you. Use this to your advantage!


After the Meeting

Write thank you notes to everyone who attended... especially to the ones you like the least. YOU make the effort to keep the lines of communication open. How can anyone ever treat you with disrespect when you always respect them?


Continue to build positive relationships with educators at school. Go the extra mile - isn't your kid worth it? Always remember that's what it's all about; not you and your feelings and your ego, but about your child's future.


Remember that we cannot change others. We can only change ourselves. But when we change the way we are/behave/act, others will change, as well. Keep your dignity, maintain your composure, and hold your head high!


(d) We have the law on our side, with our due process rights. However, if you decide to sue, plan to move. If someone sued me, I'd do what I HAD to do because of what the law said, but I sure wouldn't care anything about doing more than that and I surely wouldn't want to be nice to them. Would you? If you plan on living in your community for a long time, build relationships, don't tear them down.


Your child's future depends on your actions today!


Planning Notes















(e) IEP Planning Report


Student: __________________________ Age: __________



Telephone: _______________________________________




o o o o o o



The following five areas will be considered in the lEP

process, per lDEA:


physical abilities

communication abilities

thinking (cognitive) abilities

social and emotional behavior

developmental or educational growth

and any other areas specific to the child

1 STRENGTHS ___________________________________________________

The IEP meeting should always start on a positive note - discussing your child's strengths. Staffing teams sometimes refer to this as "Current Level of Functioning" or "Current Level of Achievement." In any case, your opinions of your child's strengths are important.


In order for a child to be appropriately served by Special Education Services, each child must be viewed as a "whole child," with gifts, talents, and abilities. Focus on the positive, not simply the negative (deficits). A child's strengths should be a part of any IEP and these strengths should be drawn upon when developing goals and objectives.


Strengths should be identified in all five areas described an page 1. In addition, strengths should not be limited to only academics and/or physical abilities. They can, and should, include interests, skills, hobbies, personal traits, etc.



Matt is great at basketball.

Dylan is trying really hard to talk.

Benjamin knows how to use the computer.

Emily likes to play board games with other girls.

Nicole can read 4th grade textbooks.

List strengths for (child's name). Always start each strength with the child's name!














(Add additional pages, as necessary.)



Special Education Services are based on a child's strengths and needs. These

needs must be explored for all five of the areas listed on page 3. Needs must be

very specific and written in plain English!


When thinking of your child's needs, don't be limited by what you think may or may not be available at the school. It's called an IEP because a program must be individualized to each student. The program designed must "fit" the child; the child is not supposed to "fit" into the existing school program!


What does a student need in order to benefit from special education services?

Needs should be detailed, comprehensive, and, again, represent all five of the areas previously outlined on page 1.



Benjamin needs to learn to move around the classroom and the school building independently in his wheelchair.

Dylan needs to learn communication skills using a picture board

(communication device) to help him talk.

Emily needs to learn how to read.

Matt needs to be able to model typical peer behavior.

Nicole needs to learn typical 4th grade science.


List needs for (child's name). Start each need with the child's name!

(Add additional pages, as necessary.)

List needs for (child's name). Start each strength with the child's name!












(Add additional pages, as necessary.)




Where do you want your child to be one year from now? What are your family's dreams and goals? What's important for your child to learn or to do, from the perspectives of the child, the parents, and the family?


Goals should not be written on the basis of what grade the child is in, what school the child is in, or any other factor. Goals should be individualized to the child and should have a strong correlation to the needs stated. Goals should be written in plain English, easily understandable to anyone who reads them. Remember that goals should be activities the child can accomplish. They should not be isolated behaviors or skills. Reference the "Writing Goals" information on the next page. Goals also need to address all five areas listed on page 1.



Benjamin will move around his homeroom, go to and from art, music, PE, lunch, and recess in his wheelchair daily, without assistance from an adult.

Dylan will use picture-symbols to make choices: about his lunch selection, his free-choice activities in class, and about what games to play at recess.

Emily will read an "Easy Reader" book of her choice and describe what the book is about after reading it.

Matt will tell his friends and teachers when he's angry, upset, or needs help, with words instead of gestures.

Nicole will perform 4th grade science experiments with help from her peers.

List goals for (child's name). Start each strength with the child's name!













(Add additional pages, as necessary.)


4 Writing IEP Goals From the Schools Project, Specialized Training Program, University of Oregon.


A goal is an activity.


Ben will go to the library with the third graders twice a week with a support person in the room.


Valerie will work in the school office three times a week doing sorting, collating, and filing.


The goal is not an activity if it designates performance

of isolated skills or behaviors. The following are not appropriate



Sue will read at a 3.5 grade level.

Bill will learn the value of coins.

o o o o o o o


A goal describes change in the student's competence.


Phil will prepare three different uncooked snacks following picture recipe cards without any help in home economics twice a week.


A goal does not describe a student's competence if it describes

staff behavior rather than student behavior. The following are

not appropriate goals:


Monica will maintain adequate dental hygiene.

Dianne will have more opportunities to be integrated.


IEP goals should describe answers to these three questions:


1. How will the student's competence change as a result of instruction?

2. When, where, or with whom will the student do the activity?

3. What kind of help or support will the student need?


Make sure the goals include the following critical features:

1. The goal is an activity.

2. The goal says what the student will do.

3. The goal describes the natural conditions under which the student will do the activity.




How will a child achieve his/her annual goals? Through short term objectives. These are the "steps" a child will use in reaching the goals. Most goals will have more than one short term objective and the objectives usually build on one another. Once the child has mastered the first objective, he/she moves on to the next, until the goal has been achieved.


Short term objectives must be measurable. How will they be measured? By teacher anecdotal notes, teacher observation, parent observation, testing, etc.? Short term objectives need to have timelines that are met. Parents play an important role in meeting with school personnel to monitor the timelines and the progress. Objectives should be written in plain English. Refer to the "Writing Short Term Objectives" information on the following page. Here's one example:


Annual Goal - Benjamin will move around his homeroom, go to and from art, music, PE, lunch, and recess in his wheelchair, daily, without assistance from an adult.


Short Term Objectives

Benjamin will take his papers from his desk to his teacher's desk using his wheelchair; measured by teacher observation; by October 1st.

Benjamin will go with his peers, from his homeroom to the art room and back, using his wheelchair; measured by teacher observation; by November 1st. (These objectives would continue in increments until the goal is met.)


List annual goals for (child's name). Then list appropriate objectives


Annual Goal ________________________________________________________________________



Short term











(Add additional pages, as necessary.)


6 Writing Short Term Objectives  From the Schools Project, Specialized Training Program, University of Oregon.


Short term objectives need to answer the following questions:

What are the specific conditions under which the student will perform the skill? How will the student know to perform the skill? When or what will prompt the student in naturally occurring situations to perform the skill?


What are the specific behaviors the student will perform?


How will you measure the student's performance in order to know that she has learned the skill?


Short term objectives should satisfy these critical features:


The objectives are driven by the IEP goal.


The objectives are observable and measurable and easily understood by everyone.


The objectives result in ordinary and individually meaningful outcomes.


Double check objectives by asking:


Is the objective related to the IEP goal?


Is the objective clear, concise, easily understood, and written in everyday language?


The objectives represent a broad range of skills that can be taught within the context of the activity, rather than simply being a task analysis of the activity goal?


Do all of the objectives say clearly what the student, not the teacher, will do?


the objectives support the student's positive image and involvement with peers who do not have disabilities?




Related Services can include therapy services (physical, occupational, vision, hearing, speech/language, etc.), transportation, counseling services, assistive technology, interpreters, and more.


There is no set formula for the delivery of Related Services; the formula should be individualized to the child's needs and goals. Related Services are whatever the staffing team decides the child needs to be successful. Related Services delivery should not be decided by "what the school typically offers," e.g. physical therapy one time a week for 30 minutes. Related Services need to be relevant to the student and his/her academic day. "Pull-out" isolated therapies are no longer considered useful techniques, because too often, the child can't "generalize" skills learned in isolation into the entire academic day. Occupational therapy, for example, might be hand- writing or keyboarding skills taught within the realm of language arts in the classroom. Physical therapy, for example, might be provided during regular ed PE and/or recess, as opposed to isolated, one-on-one therapy in a separate room.


Parents need to understand that assistive technology has been part of the lndividuals with Disabilities Education Act since 1990. Assistive technology can be defined as any device that enhances a person's independence. Computers, communication devices, wheelchairs, etc., are just a few examples of assistive devices. There is no official published list of "approved" assistive technology devices. Again, if a need is expressed and the staffing team agrees, the assistive technology should be provided. In addition, if necessary, the device(s) may be provided to the child to take home daily, on weekend/holidays, and over summer vacation if the device needs to be used at those times to continue to enhance learning/independence.



What are some Related Services your child might need?










(Add additional pages, as necessary.)




Who will provide services, instruction, modifications, adaptations?

A therapist, classroom teacher, special ed teacher, teacher's aide?

What will they be? Therapy? Curriculum modifications? Physical adaptations to a classroom? A modified desk? Adaptive PE? A communication device?

A computer?

When will they be delivered? How often and for how long?

Where will the delivery of services or modifications take place? In the regular classroom, the special ed room, in Music, Art, PE, recess, or at lunch?

How will services or modifications be delivered?


These are all questions that must be addressed in the IEP, written in plain English. Here are some examples:


The school will provide cooperative learning groups to enable Matt to learn teamwork and model appropriate behavior.

The school will provide physical therapy two times each week when Benjamin is in general PE class.

The school will ensure that Nicole's science lessons are modified for her reading level.

The school will provide picture/symbol cards for Dylan to use in all areas of his school day (academics, lunch, recess, PE, music, art).

The school will provide a computer for Benjamin to do his writing work with.

The school will provide a teacher's aide to assist Dylan with toileting.


What are some services, modifications, adaptations your child will need?










(Add additional pages, as necessary.)




Placement should be the very last thing decided at an IEP meeting. Only after a child's strengths, needs, goals, related services, and characteristics of service have been discussed can the determination of placement be made.


Placement should not be discussed at the beginning of an IEP meeting, nor should the decision on placement be made by school personnel alone. Placement is a decision made by the staffing team, which includes the parent(s) of the child.


The following paragraphs from the law have been interpreted to mean that every child with a disability should start out in his/her neighborhood school, in a general education, age-appropriate classroom, with supplementary aids and services. Only if the child cannot succeed/learn should the child be removed from that environment to a more restrictive one.


Unfortunately, many schools have reversed this policy, starting children with disabilities in segregated, restrictive environments and allowing them to be educated in least restrictive environments when (a) the child "earns" his/her way out of the special ed environment and/or (b) when the school feels it has the resources to include children in the general school environment.


The Individuals with Disabilities Act is very clear on placement:


"To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who don't have disabilities. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily." Regulation 300.500 (Italics added.) ... AND... "Unless the child's individualized education program requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school which he or she would attend if he/she didn't have a disability; and in selecting the least restrictive environment, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services which he or she needs." Regulation 300.522 (c) and (d) (Italics added.)





10  Writing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) For Success - Part II

Barbara D. Bateman, Ph.D., J.D.

Due to the length, this paper is presented in three parts:

Part I

Part II (this part)

Part III 




The proper team has assembled, the student's photo is prominently placed, the calming herbal tea has been served, the tape recorder is on and the newsprint is on the easel. It is time to begin developing the IEP. A three-step IEP development process is strongly recommended: (a) List the student's unique characteristics or needs that require individualization (and which entitle the student to individualized services); (b) Determine and specify the district-provided services and modifications that will appropriately address each need; and (c) Write the goals and objectives that will be accomplished by the student if the services and modifications are appropriate and effective.

An IEP "Non-Form" consisting solely of a blank piece of paper oriented horizontally can accommodate this process far better than existing forms. Divide the paper into thirds and label the three columns something like: (1) Student's Needs; (2) Services; and (3) Evaluation of Services. Other headings that work well are (a) Individualize because.....; (b) What the district will do; (c) How we'll know it is working.


The Student's Unique Characteristics or Needs

First, the IEP team must determine the student's unique characteristics or needs to which the special services will be directed. One helpful way to learn to think in terms of these essential characteristics is to imagine that you are describing the student to a volunteer who has never met the student and is going to take him or her camping for a week. The IEP is required to address only the portions or aspects of the student's education that needs to be individualized. The student should be visible in the IEP. Too many IEPs reveal only the academic program available in the resource room and show nothing whatsoever about the student. The primary focus of the IEP is going to be the specification of services. This initial step is to determine what is necessitating the services.


If we complete the statement, "We are individualizing Johnny's program because "_______" those "because" are his unique needs. The "because" may be such things as: (a) he is reading several years behind where he should be; (b) he is unable to organize his assignments, homework; or (c) his attention is too easily distracted away from work, etc. These are the exact needs to be addressed in the next column.


When a legal dispute arises about a student's program, a common concern is whether the services provided addressed all the student's special needs. Those special needs are what must be specified in this first stage of IEP development. It is difficult to imagine how one could either attack or defend the services offered to meet unique needs unless those needs had been specified. In addition to the real world knowledge the IEP team members have about the student's characteristics/needs, it may be helpful to consult any current evaluations. This is particularly important for the first IEP which immediately follows the evaluation which found the student to be IDEA eligible. Some evaluations fail to address a student's special needs; others can be very helpful.


Characteristics or needs will often "cluster." The team may well decide in the next stage that one service will address more than one characteristic or need. However, at this point it is important to just "brainstorm" and list all the unique characteristics that require individualized attention. Sometimes the natural flow seems to be to work "across" the IEP Non-Form, i.e., when a characteristic has been identified, to then decide what service or accommodation will address it and finally determine the goals and objectives for that service that will indicate its appropriateness. Other times it may be better to list all the characteristics first, then move to services and then to goals. Either way, or a combination, is perfectly OK.


Examples of characteristics (not all from the same student) in both academic and social-emotional-behavioral areas follow. Remember that for each, the next inquiry will be, "What will the district do about this?" Some examples of unique characteristics or needs in academic areas are:


(a) Handwriting that is slow, labored, "drawn," nearly illegible due to improper size and spacing of letters and words;

(b) Lacks understanding of place value and regrouping in both addition and subtraction;

(c) Attributes literal, concrete meaning to everything he hears and reads; doesn't get jokes or slang;

(d) Understands spoken language, decodes words accurately, but does not comprehend material read independently; oral reading reveals severe lack of expression and no attention to punctuation;

(e) Works very slowly, becomes upset if he makes a mistake, quits and refuses to continue if paper is "messy",

(f) Answers before thinking, both in oral and written work; work is impulsive; many "careless" errors; and

(g) Gets arithmetic problems `"messed up" and copies them incorrectly off board and out of book. Lines up problems incorrectly and also lines up answers wrong in multiplication and division.


The law requires that the Present Level of Performance (PLOP) in these areas of need be indicated in a way that is readily understandable and is precise enough to allow us to measure progress. The PLOP can appear either as an elaboration of the characteristic or need or as the chronological beginning point in a succession of PLOP, behavioral objectives, and annual goal. The PLOP is now, the objectives are short-term goals, and the goal is where the student is headed by the end of a year.

If the PLOP is treated as a quantification of the characteristic or need, then a PLOP for the slow, barely legible handwriting in example (a) above might be "copies 5 words per minute with 1 or 2 of the words illegible."


Some characteristics or needs are sufficiently descriptive as they are and need no quantification, e.g., lacks understanding of place value and regrouping. To say that the student performs zero regrouping problem; correctly adds little to the description.

Sometimes a present level of performance can be best described by a work sample. A picture can speak very loudly, as in a timed handwriting sample which could be attached to the IEP as a PLOP. Such a sample can reveal both quality (content) of written expression as well as mechanics of handwriting.


Some examples of unique characteristics or needs in social-emotional- behavioral areas would be :


(a) Shy; no friends; never volunteers in class; never initiates social contact with other children;

(b) Bully; doesn't know how to play with other children; physically aggressive with smaller children;

(c) Over-reacts and has temper outbursts; is noncompliant; pouts and whines; is sullen and negative when suggestions are made; and

(d) Short attention span; easily distracted by sounds.

These characteristics would be treated just the same as academic needs. A PLOP would be added if necessary and then the team would ask what the district will do about the bullying or the shyness or short attention span.


The Special Education, Related Services and Modifications - the District Will "Do's"


The second inquiry the team should make is, "How will the district respond to each of the student's needs? What will we do about Joe's need for help in making friends? What will we do about Toni's tendency to work rapidly and carelessly? What will we do about Manuel's anger problem?" The special education, related services or modifications the district will provide can be conveniently thought of as the "district do's." The "do's" are listed in the middle column of the Non-Form. They may be as creative, flexible, innovative, and often inexpensive as the team's brainstorming and combined wisdom allow. This listing of services becomes the "Special Education and Related Services" which the law requires be on the IEP and which is too often omitted or simply perverted into a mere check mark or a percentage of time in special education. The amount of related services such as speech therapy or physical therapy that is needed must be shown, along with the date the service is to begin and the anticipated duration of the service.

One of the interesting issues about services is the question of whether methodology need be specified. If, for example, the service is remedial reading, must the method be spelled out? In general the answer is "no". In 1977, when the IDEA rules were first proposed, they would have mandated that methodology and instructional materials were to be included in IEPs.


However, when the rules became final that requirement had been dropped, In the meantime, some states and districts had moved quickly and already had forms that included methods and materials. It is not unusual to find those forms still in use. One disadvantage of including method is that so doing means an IEP meeting would have to be called to change the method. If method isn't on the IEP it can be changed unilaterally as the teacher sees fit.


Methodology becomes a source of conflict when parents are convinced their child will receive benefit from a particular method and will not benefit from the method the district wants to use. The most frequently sought methods are a particular method of communication for students who are deaf and direct instruction and/or phonics based reading programs for students who are learning disabled. Almost all courts agree that schools may usually select the method. However, in rare cases parents have been able to show that a particular method is necessary to allow the IEP to be "reasonably calculated" to allow benefit, e.g., Hawaii Dept. of Education v. Tara H., Civ. No. 86-1161, (D.HI 1987). It is extremely important to note, as no court has yet done, that when the U.S. Supreme Court said methodology should be left to the state (school) it said so in the context of presuming the school had expertise in all relevant, effective methods Board of Ed. v. Rowley, 102 S.Ct. 3034, (1982). This is not usually the case.


A common and interesting question related to these "District Do" services relates to in-service training for teachers. Rob, e.g., has Tourette's Syndrome and needs a teacher who is knowledgeable about how his involuntary vocalizations are affected by stress. The agreed upon service to be provided by the district is inservice training by the local physician for all the school staff. Does that "district do" belong on Rob's IEP? Yes, it does. It is a service to meet his unique need. One concern is that such a service doesn't lend itself directly to a goal formulated in terms of Rob's behavior. This concern is easily addressed by looking to what we hope to see in Rob's behavior as a result of having an informed, sympathetic teacher who assists him in avoiding unnecessary stress. One obvious answer is improved academic performance. Other outcomes could be a direct decease in frequency and severity of his symptoms and an increase in socialization.


Another issue is that the service is not being provided directly to Rob. Legally, an important question is whether Rob is receiving some special education, i.e., some specially designed instruction to meet his unique needs, which is delivered by qualified special education personnel. If he is not receiving any special education, as defined in the law, he is either not eligible under IDEA or he is not receiving the free appropriate education to which he is entitled. If he is receiving special education then it does not matter how the in-service training for his teachers is conceptualized. Logically, in-service staff training is perfectly analogous to parent training and is, therefore, a related service. If so, it is important to specify, as for all related services, how much in-service is to be provided and when.


For many years some districts resisted including on IEPs the modifications needed in the regular classroom. However, it is well settled law that they must be included. A checklist of types of modifications (e.g., in grading, discipline, assignments, texts, tests, etc.) can be helpful to insure all necessary modifications are addressed.


The Present Levels of Performance, Goals and Objectives-Evaluating the District "Do's"


The third step, after the needs have been delineated and the services specified, is to write the required annual goal and behavioral objectives for each special education service or cluster of services. The clustering of services can be very efficient as well as conceptually illuminating. For example, think of a secondary student who has a severe learning disability affecting his written expression. He might need several services including keyboarding instruction, tutoring in writing, modifications in test-taking and length of written assignments, substitution of oral presentations for some term papers, and modified grading. The entire service cluster could be reasonably evaluated in terms of his improved rates of successful course completion and attendance. Other goals could also be very appropriate. The point is that just as characteristics or needs can be clustered to provide one service, so services can be clustered to be assessed by a common, single goal.

Writing goals and objectives begins with asking, "If the service we are providing is effective, what will we see in Todd's behavior that tells us so?" The purpose of the mandated goals and objectives is to evaluate the service. We need to know when or if to change what we're doing, to change the service we are providing. As long as we're on track and the child is making reasonable progress we just keep going. That's why objectives are to be statements of how far the student will progress toward the annual goal (12 month objective) by when.


One of the common and major problems with goals and objectives is that they are not taken seriously by their writers who have no intention of actually checking whether the student has reached them or not. It is as if we never understood the most basic tenet of the IEP, i.e., that we are going to try the listed services and see if they work for that student. The goals and objectives are to be real. They are to be used to evaluate program effectiveness. They are not just legal requirements to be completed and filed. The contrast can be seen easily.


Examples of Annual Goals


Real Goal          Not Real Goal    

Joe will have no more than 5 unexcused absences / tardies this year.   Joe will have a better attitude toward school 80% of the time. 

Sara will participate regularly in a supervised extra-curricular activity that meets weekly.  Sara will make wise choices in her use of leisure time.          

Max will maintain a C+ average in his regular classes. Max will be 75% successful in the mainstream.          

Beth will pass upper body strength items on the fitness test. Beth will show an appropriate level of upper body strength.     


One easy and effective way to include the mandated present levels of performance (PLOP) in the areas of concern is to use them as the beginning point in a sequence going from the PLOP to the objectives to the annual goal. This kind of sequence is illustrated in Joe's Non-Form IEP. Joe is an identified student with learning disabilities who was in the 9th grade in a very small, rural district.


Additional examples of sequences that are intended to be used to evaluate the services are shown below:


Examples of Sequences


A: PLOP:           Anita averages 10 unexcused absence/tardies per month.       

Obj. #1          By Feb. 1 she will have fewer than 5 unexcused absences/tardies per month.       

Obj. #2          By April 2 she will have fewer than 2 unexcused absences / tardies per month.       

Goal   From April through June 1 she will average less than 1 unexcused absence/tardy per month.       


B: PLOP:          Jeremy submits fewer than half his homework assignments.        

Obj. #1          By Nov. 15 he will have submitted 75% of all homework assignments.        

Obj. #2          By Jan. 15 he will have submitted 85 % of all homework assignments.        

Goal   By the end of the year he will regularly submit all assigned homework on time.      


C. PLOP:          Jill silently reads 6th grade material at a rate of 50-75 words per minute and correctly answers 30-40% of factual comprehension questions asked orally.

Obj. #1          By Dec. 1 Jill will read 6th grade material orally at 75-100 words per minute with 0-2 errors.        

Obj. #2          By Mar. 1 Jill will read 6th grade material orally at 100-125 words per minute with 0-2 errors and correctly answer more than 70% of factual questions over the material.     

Goal   By June 15 Jill will orally read 7th grade material at 75-100 words per minute with 0-2 errors and correctly answer 90% to 100% of factual questions asked over the material.


From "Secondary Education and Beyond", LDA, 1995 (currently out of print)


Part I 



Unique Characteristics/Needs          Special Education,  Related Services Modifications          (begin; duration)          Present levels, Obectives, Annual Goals (Objectives to include procedure, criteria, schedule)    


1. More time to complete written assignments.


1. Adjust amount of work required (e,g., selected questions, page limits) and/or extend time for completion (e.g., for essays and content area assignments) immediately, year 1-3 Present Level: Out of school for three years, completed virtually no assignments during the 9th grade.   Objectives: 1. Within one month, Joe will complete 50% or more of his assignments with grade of "C" or better. 2. Within three months, Joe will complete 80% or more of his assignments with grade of "C" or better.   Goal: Joe will complete classroom assignments satisfactorily.        

2. Because of his attention deficits and disorders, he needs frequent access to a low-distraction environment


2.1 Provide in-classroom seating away from high distractions immediately, year    2.2 Provide an alternative work place for independent work (e.g., study hall, library, resource room) available to Joe on request    2.3 Provide inservice to all teachers on Attention Deficit Disorders by Oct. 3  3. Needs assistance with oral and written directions  3.1 Provide Joe with tape, tape recorder, and headphones and instruct Joe in using this equipment unobtrusively in any classroom settings by Oct 3  

3.2 Classroom teachers will condense length directions into steps and will write directions and assignments on chalkboard, wall chart, overhead transparency, hand-out, etc.  4. Joe doesn't know how to approach teachers to seek needed instruction          4.1 Provide direct instruction in teacher approach behaviors          20 min. daily Sept.5-Nov. 15      4. Present Level: Never approaches teachers


Objectives:  1. Within one month, Joe and two of his teachers will agree, Joe is interacting more and more appropriately  2. Within three months, Joe and four of his teachers will agree, Joe is "appropriate" in his interactions with teachers   Goal: Joe will complete classroom assignments satisfactorily.  5. Joe is very disorganized, does not keep track of due dates, assignments, etc.  5.1 Provide appropriate materials and specific instructions in establishment and maintenance of an organizational system that includes a notebook and a calendar / checklist system          10 min. daily Sept.5-10  5. Present level: See characteristics  


Objectives:  1. Within one week Joe will physically organize a notebook with dividers for each class and use a calendar to note assignments, due dates, etc. (checked daily by contact agent)  2. Within one month, Joe will independently use organized notebook and calendar/checklist  Goal: Joe will successfuly use organizing aids such as a notebook and calendar 6. Joe needs to learn how to deal with peers who tease him.  6.1 Provide instructions to using appropriate assertive behaviors when teased by others 1 hr. weekly Sept. 5 - Nov. 15 

6. Present level: Once or twice daily Joe reacts inappropriately to peer teasing  Objectives:  1. Within two weeks, on role playing situations, Joe will respond appropriately to staged teasing 2. Within six weeks, Joe will respond successfully in confrontations with peers 50% of the time (self-monitoring) 3. Within six months, Joe will respond successfully in confontation with peers 100% of the time (self-monitoring) and the confrontations will be much less frequent   Goal: Joe will react appropriately to peers   



When Apparent Progress Means Actual Regression

One serious concern that many parents have relates to the belief that their child is not making adequate progress in a special education program. How can parents determine if their perception is accurate? And, how can parents persuade school officials that the special education program being provided to the child needs to be strengthened?


Earlier in this article, we discussed how statistics can be used in medical treatment planning. We demonstrated how a medical problem was identified and the efficacy of treatment measured, using objective tests. In our example, the patient had pre- and post- testing as a means to determine whether or not the intervention was working. Based on the results of new testing, more medical decisions would be made --- to continue, terminate or change the treatment plan.


This practice of measuring change, called pre- and post- testing, has great relevance to educational planning. After the child's performance level is identified, we can re- test the child later to measure progress, regression, or whether the child is maintaining the same position within the group.


In this way, pre- and post- testing enables us to measure educational benefit (or lack of educational benefit). Using the scores obtained from pre- and post- testing, we can create graphs to visually demonstrate the child's progress or lack of progress in an academic area.


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Sources for information:
IEP Guide at Yahoo Groups ~ click here to join:
Council for Exceptional Children - the voice and vision of special education -
Difference between IEP and a Section 504 -,1120,23-27216,00.html
Information on bullying, how to handle, etc. -
Parent Training  Info Centers & Community Parent Resource Centers -