Research on specially designed instruction clearly supports high quality instruction provided to the greatest extent possible to meet the student's individualized education program (IEP) in the general education classrooms where students with disabilities have the greatest likelihood or receiving curriculum content delivered by highly qualified teachers. Schools may utilized a variety of combinations of special education supports and services to serve students with disabilities in general education settings and promote meaningful access, participation and progress in the general curriculum, including consultant teacher services, paraprofessional support, resource room services, and integrated co-teaching.
A parent's first encounter with the Individualized Education Program--the IEP--can be intimidating. However, participating in special education planning is critical in assuring positive long-term outcomes for students with disabilities.
Parents and guardians of school-age children with disabilities need to be familiar with relevant regulations and procedures for developing an IEP to fully participate in IEP development and long-term planning. Similarly, students who have attained legal adult statues in their state and have assumed responsibility for their own IEP need information to assure information participation at their IEP meetings.
The special education system can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming. The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is the written document that outlines your child's specific educational program. We know a strong IEP is necessary for our child's individual needs to be met. Yet is is common for us to feel insecure and unprepared during our child's IEP meeting. Surrounded by teachers, administrators, and special education personnel, our voice can get lost. This toolkit was written to help you find your voice.
As family members of a child with Down syndrome, we come to IEP meetings with love for our child and a commitment to his or her education. We must also come with a strong understanding of the IEP itself, detailed information about our child's specific needs, and an understanding of appropriate goals. This IEP Toolkit is designed to help you gather the necessary information. Focused preparation is essential to the development od an effective education plan, and a strong IEP leads to improved educational success for your child.