Writing an IEP for a Student with TBI
- What is in the IEP for students withTBI?
- The IEP
- Who is invited to the IEP meeting?
- Notes for writing an Oregon Standard IEP for a student withTBI
- How to identify program needs for a student withTBI
- Measurable annual goals
- Thoughts on placement decisions
- An agreement between the local school district and the parents of a student who is eligible for special education services.
- Summary of present levels of academic and functional performance of a student,
- Annual goals,
- Indication of the amount of time a student will attend regular classes and/or be removed from non-disabled students,
- Accommodations the student may need to participate in classes,
- Participation in statewide assessments
- A plan for transition services (for students 16 and older) with dates and location of services to be offered,
- Related services that will be offered to the student (e.g. speech-language, psychological services),
- Indications for supports for school personnel.
- Summarizes the student's present levels of academic and functional performance.
- Has annual goals.
- Indicates the amount of time a student will attend regular classes and/or be removed from non-disabled students.
- Identifies any accommodations the student may need to participate in classes and statewide assessments.
- Includes a plan for transition services (for students 16 and older) with dates and location of services to be offered.
- Identifies related services that will be offered to the student and supports for school personnel.
A student's IEP team must include the student (if appropriate), parent/guardian, case manager (usually the special education teacher), classroom teacher, and a representative from the district. Depending on the student's needs, the team should also include input from several other professionals in the school setting. This may be the school psychologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist,TBI consultant, vision specialist, deaf hard of hearing specialist, school nurse or anyone who has information that may assist the team.
- Depending on the time since the injury, students withTBItypically need between 4-6IEPmeetings a year, due to changing needs. It is a good idea to begin to plan for those dates as you complete the first page of theIEP.
- For statewide assessments, consider the student's ability to work without fatigue, ability to manage pain, memory, processing speed (how quickly the student thinks, speaks and performs tasks) ability to physically manage materials, vision, and need for structure when determining the need for Regular or Alternate Assessment.
- Assistive Technology - because of difficulties transferring learning from one setting to another and potential memory deficits, students withTBImay need specially designed instruction to be able to use assistive technology devices.
- Communication needs may include the social use of language such as turn taking in conversation, decreasing interruption of others, tracking a conversation, or other practical language skills as well as speech production.
- Behavior - students withTBIsometimes have low frustration tolerance, difficulty understanding social cues, fatigue, or impulsivity that may lead to difficulties with appropriate behaviors in school.
- Use information from the student's evaluation when writing the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance summaries. The adaptive ability measures are indications of functional performance strengths and areas of need. Of course, information gathered from observations and interviews is also helpful in this section. Include information on the student's academic, social, behavioral, sensory, communication, mobility, and medical issues such as headaches or fatigue.
- Focus on student strengths and strategies the student uses effectively to help the team understand what skills the student may have that could help address areas of need.
- Be sure to specifically include areas in which the student needs support.
- Describe what helps the student learn.
- Identify what limits or interferes with the student's learning.
- Include objective data from evaluations.
- Indicate how the disability affects the student's ability to be involved in progress in the general education curriculum.
Students withTBItend to have needs that cross several subject areas, so manyIEPgoals must address issues across several classes or settings. Effective programs for students withTBItypically include teaching, practice, re-teaching in new settings, practice in new settings and then monitoring the student's progress over time. Use of peers or mentors to assist in coaching behaviors and performance is also recommended.
- State goals as an increase in positive behaviors rather than the elimination of a negative behavior.
- The familiarity of the classroom - with known teachers, peers, and routines - will help the student regain skills when necessary behavioral and cognitive supports are provided.
- Carefully consider options before placing a student on a home tutoring program or in a class with other students who have behavioral or cognitive levels similar to the returning student. These choices are potentially problematic for the following reasons:
- Behavioral problems may get worse because family members are not trained to handle these situations.
- The student may fall farther behind academically.
- Home based instruction may last longer because the student may become anxious about returning to school.
- Temporary placement in a special education class can provide inappropriate modeling to students who are trying to regain social skills.
- Placement in a special education classroom may be a problematic for the student or the family because of the stigma associated with Special Education. Students and families may not think of the student as needing that level of support.
Patricia Sublette, PhD.
Ylvisaker, M. (1998). Appendix 17-1.Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation: Children and Adolescents(2nd edition). Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.