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IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. IEPs are documents that lay out your child’s current level of academic achievement, goals, and objectives for you and your child to achieve, and ways to measure your child’s progress towards those goals and objectives. The goals and objectives stated in the IEP for cerebral palsy patients should focus on offsetting or reducing the problems resulting from the child’s disability that interfere with learning and educational performance. A child will not be placed in a public school special education program until an IEP is in place.
New amendment to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) on December 3, 2004 will advance the special education success of IEP for cerebral palsy patients and other disabilities. One of the more important changes incorporated into IDEA will reduce the special education paperwork burden by deleting short-term objectives and benchmarks from IEPs, initiating a 15-state paperwork demonstration project, and most importantly, piloting the 3-year IEP (IEPs usually span one year).
Before planning an IEP for cerebral palsy patients, the student’s IEP team must be put together. This “IEP team” is defined as a group of people who are responsible for developing, reviewing, and revising the IEP for cerebral palsy patients. By law this team must include the following people: the student, the parents of the student, at least one regular education teacher of the student, at least one special education teacher or provider, school principal or administrator, a person that can interpret and evaluate results (i.e. school psychologist, special education teacher, etc. which could be someone already in the group), and others with the knowledge or special expertise regarding the student.
The IEP team members should collectively be knowledgeable about the student and available services, external and internal sources of assistance, and most favorably, the IEP process.
When planning an IEP for cerebral palsy patients there are several qualities in the IEP that need to be addressed. The IEP must first contain a statement of measurable goals. An IEP for cerebral palsy patients should be written with direct connection between the current performance levels and measurable goals over a specific time frame. The goals must be measurable and must specify the expected knowledge, skill, attitude, and behavior to be achieved within the IEP period.
When it comes to an IEP for cerebral palsy patients, there is no limit stated on the number of goals it can contain. However, the team is responsible for making the final determination of the number and types of goals that are included in the IEP. Most importantly, understanding that the IEP is not a daily, weekly, or monthly lesson plan but rather is a guide that supports the development of these and other plans.
When planning out an IEP for cerebral palsy patients, a set of measurable goals must be determined. First you must determine and list your child’s weaknesses, which could be writing, arithmetic, spelling, typing, etc. Then you can list your child’s current levels of performance in objective and measurable terms, for example: Timmy reads a passage of text orally at the X grade equivalent level as measured by the Gray Oral Reading Test (GORT). From there you can write down a goal, such as: By April 1, (one year later) Timmy will be able to read a passage of text orally at the X (plus) level as measured by GORT.
A goal in an IEP for teaching cerebral palsy patients should have five components. The first is the direction you want to go. Are you trying to increase a behavior, or decrease one? Second, figure out the problem the team is addressing. Third, at what level is this problem currently at? Next is to determine the amount of change by the end of the proposed IEP term. Finally, the team must determine what methodology will be used.
Here is an example of an IEP for cerebral palsy patients: Timmy will (1) increase his (2) passage reading of text orally (3) from X percent level currently (4) to the X (plus) percent level (5) using the ABC program.
Most importantly, when planning an IEP for cerebral palsy patients, you need to know exactly where the child’s deficits are, what skills are deficient, and what behavior needs to be changed. With an objective measurable starting point and ending point, change can and should be measured objectively, whether the area being measured is physical or educational.