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Youth Presence in IEP's

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Transition Team

on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of Youth Presence in IEP's

Topics Discussed:

1.How to support students of all abilities in having a presence at IEP meetings.
2.Ways to support students of all abilities in having a voice in decision making connected to IEPs.
3.How to support students, when appropriate, in running their IEP meetings. Youth Presence in IEPs http://nichcy.org/schoolage/transitionadult/students "There’s a very simple and common sense reason why IDEA 2004 requires that students with disabilities be invited to attend every IEP meeting where post secondary transition goals will be considered: It’s their lives." Let's get started! Here is a clip to get you thinking about the importance of youth involvement in an IEP plan. Also, take note of all the mistakes! How to support students of ALL
abilities in having a presence at IEPs Supporting students to have a presence involves:
* Teaching the student about the iep explicitly.
* Teaching choice making, self advocacy, determination and knowledge to all students to the degree students gain some autonomy and are able to make decisions.
* Meeting with students before the meeting to review their present level of performance, goals, interests, and career plans.
* Using the iep in each grading period and having frequent measures of progress so students see progress and how the iep relates to their daily lives. Ways to Support students of all abilities in having a voice in decision making connected to IEP's “The law requires that students be involved actively in preparing for their transition out of high school. By age 14 if not earlier, they should be participating in all IEP team meetings and talking with their parents, teachers, and others about what they want to do after high school” (2009 p.7). It is important that the school advocates for the student and gives them multiple opportunities to express their interests, ideas, and concerns the best they can with their disability. During this early process the team must share information and resources to the student to allow them to self-advocate for what they want.
Giving the student tools they need early on will allow them to voice their opinions, wants and needs for their IEP planning. Some ways that can help the student in making those decisions are (2009 p. 8);
•Offer the child opportunities to make choices and decisions.
•Suggest or insist that they participate in chores, give them responsibilities as well as work on budgeting money.
•Initiate discussions about their hopes and dreams for the future.
•Assist them to participate actively in their IEP meetings at an early age. Supporting Students as They
Lead Their IEPs Model for students what IEP leadership looks like
Allow students ample opportunity to practice and rehearse leading their IEP
Remember, "teacher prompts and enabling behavior do not interfere with a student's leadership role" (Torgenson, Miner, and Shen, 2004, p. 166).
Be available to address concerns before, during and after the meeting.
Remind student that everyone at the meeting wants the best for the student. Hammer, M. R. (2004). Using the self-advocacy strategy to increase student participation in IEP conferences. Intervention in School and Clinic, 39(5), 295-300.

Hawbaker, B.W. (2007). Student-led IEP meetings: Planning and implementation strategies. TEACHING
Exceptional Children Plus, 3(5) Article 4.

Lockman, B. & Bishop, C. Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Families. Bureau
of Exceptional Education and Student Services; State of Florida, 2011.

McGahee, M., Mason, C., Wallace, T., Jones, B., Council for Exceptional Children, A. A., & Minnesota
Univ., M. n. (2001). Student-Led IEPs: A Guide for Student Involvement.

Test, D. W., & Neale, M. (2004). Using "The self-advocacy strategy" to increase middle graders' IEP
participation. Journal of Behavioral Education, 13(2), 135-145.

Torgerson, C. W., Miner, C. A., & Shen, H. H. (2004). Developing student competence in self-directed IEPs.
Intervention in School and Clinic, 39(3), 162-167.

Van Dycke, J. L., Martin, J. E., & Lovett, D. L. (2006). Why is this cake on fire? Inviting students into the IEP
process. Teaching Exceptional Children, 38(3), 42-47.

Warger, C., Burnette, J., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, R. A. (2000).
Planning Student-Directed Transitions to Adult Life. ERIC/OSEP Digest E593.

Website: http://www.somepa.org/pdfs/Book4final.pdf IEP Teamwork with the presence of the student by using self-advocacy, self-determination, and self-knowledge skills. Result:
SUCCESS!!! "To many students, the IEP process and meeting may appear as alien and awkward as an annual birthday party they do not help plan and do not attend" (Van, Dycke et al, 2006) The 1997 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) mandates that students have a presence at ieps and when appropriate have an active role:
in developing and writing the present level of performance and educational goals, identifying needed accommodations, and supports and identifying transition activities needed for life after high school.
How to ensure student presence and participation in the IEP process:

Use resources such as Maine's Guide to Special Education in Maine: A Team Approach: Getting Older, Moving On to help students identify their strengths, weaknesses, interests, needed supports, options and goals.

Explicitly teach students about the IEP and what students need to know about themselves.

Collect a portfolio of work to be shared at the meeting

Involve students in determining preferences, evaluating themselves as learners and assessing goals -all students can do this


Set up a pre-iep conference to prepare students.

For students participating in the iep have guidelines to help them focus on important topics, respectfully listen and self advocate as a team member.

Conduct regular meetings with students to discuss iep and transition needs. Depending on the disability of the child, you may need to consider and observe community experiences, functional behavior analysis, and preference testing, daily living skills and from those results consider the students preferences and strengths. Another way to develop and support the voice of the student is utilizing worksheets that they can fill in and be aware of what things to consider after high school. I have attached some examples below that we discovered.

“The school district is also responsible for helping the student learn self-determination skills so that the student can effectively participate in IEP meetings and self-advocate, if appropriate” (2011 p.16). “The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA) emphasizes the importance of involving students in meaningful ways in the IEP process” (2011 p.4). References: Hammer (2004) discusses the 5-Step IPLAN
(p. 297): 1. I nventory your
• strengths
• areas to improve or learn
• goals
• choices for learning or accommodations
2. P rovide your inventory information
3. L isten and respond
4. A sk questions
5. N ame your goals Knowing the Ropes Increases the Chances of Success...

Students must be prepared before they can lead their IEP. It is unrealistic to expect that a student who has had little involvement during previous PET meetings will suddenly be able to effective lead a meeting. Instead, these skills should "begin in the early years of adolescence in order to ensure students with disabilities have established the necessary skills to make their own decisions about their lives and their futures" (Test & Neale, 2004, p. 136). "Although many students have attended IEP meetings, few have participated in all aspects of a student-led IEP meeting. Until students have had a chance to prepare, practice, and actually lead a meeting, the idea of real participation may be unnerving to them. Even with significant preparation, the first meeting may be overwhelming for most students,especially students who only recently have been found eligible for special education and related services" (Magahee, Mason, Wallace, & Jones, 2004, p. 27). Here is as great video to share with students as they prepare to lead their IEP
(it is about 10 minutes long but worth watching): Presented by: Rachel Powers, Stephanie Burns, & Jayna Verrill
Full transcript