Wednesday, September 18, 2013

IEP. Easy as 1.2.3.

What is an IEP?
From the DSI site (edited)

IEP is Individual Education Plan and is mandated through the EPSEN Act (2004).  It is a written document which specifies the learning goals that are to be achieved by the student over aindee set period of time. It should not contain everything to be taught to the student in a period of time, but rather, that which is additional or different to the main class curriculum. The strategies, resources and supports necessary to achieve these goals are also specified in the IEP.

The Individual Education Plan is developed through a collaborative process involving the school, parents the student (where appropriate) and other relevant personnel and agencies.

Who was at our IEP Meeting?

In attendance at our meeting were the following
  • Us! - Ava's Mum and Dad
 From the School   
  • Ava's SNA
  • Ava's Teacher
  • Ava's Resource Teacher
External (from Ava's services)
  • Psychologist
  • Outreach worker
We prepared by in two ways
  • Researching what an IEP is / entails
  • Bringing with us our goals / notes

Our Goals
Our main notes going in as parents were as follows:-
  • Gratitude - We wanted to express to all concerned how happy we were with the school and the excellent staff.  Ava has settled in great and is really happy there.  We are so lucky she has a full time SNA.  Not really an IEP point at all but anyway:)
  • Reading Ava likes to "read" visual books and we want for her to expand her reading ability (sight words / reading) - so too do the school obviously
  • Writing Ava currently dislikes writing and this is an area we want worked on
  • Social Ava likes to interact and we are keen she maintains social interaction as much as possible
  • Home We would like to mirror at home what is taught in school as much as possible.

We also brought with us reports from Outreach / Psychologist etc. with relevant areas highlighted / clear recommendations etc from services to hand to aid discussion or to illustrate a point

Meeting Overview
The meeting was really great and productive.  Everyone combined their input to essentially plan out what Ava should work on and how to work at it.  Importantly feedback was sought from us (and the staff from her services) on how best to teach her and work with her.  This means that our experiences in how to deal with and educate Ava will inform their approach.  I was genuinely impressed with all concerned.

Key points from meeting / general discussion

They are making her a visual timetable (as she is a visual learner)
We discussed Transitioning Tactics as Ava often doesnt like to move from one place to another and gives out so the plan is to distract her before transitioning
Take a break from the table to Ava sometime to regroup (comforting to hear the above two points are common tactics for most kids not just kids with DS)
Toileting - Ava had some accidents in school which is unusual but due to adjusting to new environment (many kids do it too apparently)
Ava will get 2.5 resource hours per week - 30 mins per day (this might change upwards)
The Teacher believes Ava is able for the Junior Infants Programme which was great to hear
Continue Jolly Phonics - class goal is 42 sounds by end of first term
Break each word into individual cards / units for Ava
Do more physical activity (rolling etc.) in general and also this might work well for transitioning periods
Drop in a loop scissors for the paper cutting they do
Outreach suggested Pink circle device to help with drawing shapes
Ava favours right hand - motor skills were discussed which is her weak area
Drop in Pip squeak pens - easier to write with
Take turns with her as she is a visual learner so SNA also takes a turn and Ava learns from this
During resource hours Ava will use an iPad (our family ipad) to do Elmo ABC's as a reward
Continue Numicon as Ava likes it
Feedback was she has Good concentration
We are lucky as they are a kind class of kids apparently (time yet :))
They discussed Yard Games which we will do at home to adjust her to it
Likes PE but not gymnastics they do
  • Walk bench
  • Catch ball from wall
  • Poses
Change activities around to keep interest up
How to teach her?  Staff looking for our input - repeat and cue response is our advice / experience
Jigsaws - Ava likes jigsaws at home and school so we are dropping some in
For News puppet ( ! ) each week we will bring photos of what we did to help recall news
We will use a Communication copy use to say she is tired etc and to exchange information both positive and negative
A copy of the IEP will be sent to the psychologist
There will be a Formal review at Xmas

Sorry this are the main points from my scrawlings hope they perhaps help someone out there