All kids are special. However, some kids need special care due to physical, emotional, or developmental delays and or disabilities. Early intervention care is critical to the type of services a child can receive. The purpose of this paper is to review the special education progression of eight-year-old Bryanna. This paper will also analyze IDEAs step-by-step procedures of Individual Education Plan (IEP) put in place when a child is struggling academically. At the end of this essay, parents will know what steps to take to provide their child with access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
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Third grade Bryanna was evaluated for Response-To-Intervention (RTI) services because she was not meeting benchmarks for her age group in reading and math courses. After being screened, she placed in Tier 1 and Tier 2 of RTI. Bryanna was given assessments which reflected that she was “at risk” of developing a delay or a possible disability. The assessments also reflected that not only was she showing inadequate progress in Tier 2 interventions, but her scores determined that she had deficits in speech-language which qualified her for special education interventions.
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a written and legal educational document that is designed to ensure access to FAPE for students with deficiencies. It details the present level and skills that a child is functioning at along with steps to increase a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth and abilities. IEPs lay out curriculums tailored for the individual need of students with disabilities based on the needs of each child. Aside from qualifying for an IEP, there is a ten-step process that occurs to receive support and services for the special education process.
The Initial Step of the IEP No matter what grade level a student is functioning at, each child comes with their own strengths and weaknesses. When children begin to exhibit certain weaknesses such as missing age appropriate milestones, early interventions should occur. The initial step in the IEP process, is to identify students either through a referral or a request for evaluation. In the Bryanna Case study, it is not known how she was identified. However, it is safe to say that someone recognized that Bryanna was having difficulties with age appropriate content. Recognizing that students are unable to keep up with their peers is critical. Every state in the United States are required by IDEA to utilize the Child Find System. This system implements activities that can locate, identify and evaluate children, as long as written parental consent has been provided.
In order to move on to the second phase of the IEP process, documented parent or guardian approval must be provided. Parents must agree with having their child assessed for services. In this particular case study, it can be inferred Bryanna’s parents did provide written consent considering she was tested and had an active Response To Intervention (RTI) plan in place. In this 2nd phase, students are given a battery of test to check for knowledge in all areas related to the age, grade level, and specific disability. This standard based reformed tests provide results that are used to determine what services the child is eligible to receive. Bryanna was tested for Specific Learning Disability (SLD)/ Learning Disability (LD). Her scores at the time reflected that her proficiency levels were unsatisfactorily, and she was at risk for a disability. The Third Phase of IEP – Eligibility When students are tested, their results are used to determine their eligibility. Here, Bryanna’s progress and lack of growth was being tracked over the last few years utilizing various assessments such as Scholastic Literacy Place resource, DIBELS assessment, and Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing (LIPS). These RTI intervention services have determined that Bryanna was did not have a SLD as suspected. Bryanna was exhibiting limited progression in reading and math. She was not responding to Tier 2 interventions, further qualifying her for Tier 3 services which gives her access Special Education support and services. Phase Four – Services are Needed When eligibility is determined, school personnel must make changes to the curriculum as it pertains to that specific student. Supplementary aids, additional supports, and services must be drafted as a plan of action to meet the child’s academic and social needs. As the planned is being drafted, it must include details that explain when, where, how, and why services are to be provided. Once these actions are completed, parental consent must be given and provided to move on the next phase of the IEP. The
Arranging a specific day, date, and time is the next phase of IEP procedures. School personnel are in charge of communicating with the parent in an adequate amount of time the location of the IEP meeting. Vested parties such as the parents are included in these meetings because they know their student best. Their thoughts and opinions provide valuable insight to the growth and development of the child. Parents can also bring with them people who they feel will be helpful or individuals they feel can offer an expert opinion towards the IEP. There will be professionals attending the IEP who will weigh in and offer different expert opinions.
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