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For Students with More Significant Disabilities

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1 For Students with More Significant Disabilities
STUDENT-LED IEPS -Welcome -Introduce Myself-explain about Susan -Poll audience- and ask if anyone wants to share experiences -OK-lets get started- -Give handouts out For Students with More Significant Disabilities

2 What exactly is a student-led IEP meeting?
An IEP meeting where the most important person at the meeting-THE STUDENT- takes part in the meeting to the greatest extent possible. -Sometimes called a student-directed IEP, possibly a more accurate name. -Rather than just sitting at a table and listening to people talk until they are told where to sign their name, Sitting around a bunch of people talking about you and making decisions for you is actually teaching a student to be less self-determined. The greatest extent possible is different for each child.

3 I Decide Self- Determination is Making My Dreams Happen by Having Choices and Control over My Life

4 Student-Led IEPs foster Self-Determination
Self-Determination is “a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self- regulated, autonomous behavior. An understanding of one's strengths and limitations, together with a belief of oneself as capable and effective are essential to self-determination. When acting on the basis of these skills and attitudes, individuals have greater ability to take control of their lives and assume the role of successful adults in our society” (Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, and Wehmeyer, 1998, p.2). Wehmeyer (2002)also says, “Self-determined people are actors in their own lives instead of being acted upon by others.”

5 Becoming My Own Self-Advocate
As an Adult, you will need to speak up for yourself. When you do this you are being a “self-advocate”. Good Self-Advocates are informed about the topic they are discussing. They speak calmly and clearly. They listen while others speak and consider the importance of what they are hearing.

6 What does the law say about students leading their IEP meetings?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act says: Students (regardless of how young, but always by age 16) must be invited to an IEP meeting where transition will be discussed. AND The student’s individual strengths, weaknesses, needs, and interests must be considered when the IEP is being completed, as well as throughout its implementation

7 Student-Led IEPs incorporate proven best practices in transition education
Student Focused Planning Student Development Collaboration and Program Structure Family Involvement The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB), requires that all teachers use research proven instructional methods in their classrooms. These 4 best practices in transition have shown to produce optimal student outcomes. Student Focused Planning- a federally mandated practice(the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)) that takes into account the student’s individual strengths, weaknesses, needs, and interests when the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is being completed and throughout its implementation. We, as special educators, have to realize that though we play quite a large role in the planning of a student’s current and future goals, they are still goals that belong to the student, not to us. However, many students with special needs may not be aware of the fact that they are the ones that control the outcomes of their lives, both today and tomorrow. It is for this reason, that we must make teaching self-determination and self-awareness skills part of our student-focused planning and curriculum. Our desire is that our students will also take part in focusing on themselves, as they, along with the team- plan. After years of discussing themselves-strengths/limitations, accommodations, etc., students will be better prepared to communicate these things in their adult years. Student Development- We cannot narrowly focus on just one or two areas of adulthood, but rather must take a full assessment of students needs in these important areas and then teach specifically to those. Some of the areas of student development that have the strongest evidence of promoting skills needed for successful transition are: teaching purchasing skills, teaching banking skills, teaching students to fill out job applications, and teaching other skills needed to keep and get a job to name a few(Test, Fowler, Richther, White, Mazzotti, Walker, Kohler, & Kortering, 2009, p ). Family Involvement- family involvement has been shown to improve school attendance, increase higher education attendance, assessment scores, improve student self-esteem, confidence, and drop-out rates-all factors that will lead to more successful transitions into adulthood. In fact, Becky Hawbaker found that parents are more involved b/c they feel less intimidated when students are doing the talking and leading at a meeting Collaboration/Useful Program Structures- this refers to how we design and organize our programs in school that facilitate the teaching of transition skills- the how’s and when’s. Real life experiences must take place, rather than just classroom practice of skills. Also, students must get used to meeting and working with a wide array of service providers from birth and throughout adulthood- All team members, and the student must establish a teamwork oriented mindset in preparing life span issues from the very beginning Source: National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center

8 Existing Curriculums and Guides
Choicemaker- “Self-Directed IEP” Next S.T.E.P. Whose Future is it anyway?- The ARC Nichcy’s-A Student’s Guide to the IEP

9 Examples of Students Leading IEP Meetings
Examples of students of varying levels leading in different modes-all have some components of the existing curriculums and guides but are geared toward students with more significant disabilities and are adapted to suit them “individually”

10 IEP Poster

11 Quick Start Guide 4 Steps
Step 1- Pre-Meeting Planning Step 2- During Meeting Activities Step 3- Post Meeting Debriefing Step 4- Annual Review of Previous Meeting Not Rocket science- this is just how I do it- make it work for you. Easier in Self-contained; time constraints can be difficult

12 STEP 1- Pre-Meeting Planning
Activities: Case manager completes state mandated sections of IEP. Student completes interest inventories and skill assessments Case manager and student work together to choose remaining goals, based on results of assessments Mode of IEP meeting presentation is decided upon Components of meeting are created Student practices -This is the most important and time consuming step. -Role playing helps the student with his or her IEP and creates interest for other students who help.

13 Step 2: During meeting activities
Case manager explains that student will be leading meeting and questions may be presented to him or her, as well as the student, as meeting proceeds. Student begins the meeting. Case manager sits back and listens unless the student or other team members have questions. Case manager takes control of meeting back over at the necessary point Signatures and other issues of compliance that student may or may not be qualified to initiate.

14 Step 3: Post-meeting debriefing
Case manager provides student with much praise for his or her performance in meeting. Case manager asks student how he or she felt during meeting. Case manager asks student what went well and what could have gone better. Case manager documents student response and files them with the IEP for future reference. If meeting was filmed, watch it and discuss.

15 Step 4: Annual review of previous meeting
Before the process is completed the following year, review student responses and/or video from previous year Use last year’s shortcomings or strengths to guide the upcoming process Return to Step 1- IT’S THAT EASY!

16 Helpful hints Send draft of IEP home before meeting
Be prepared to intervene, but don’t take over Always be sure that students have a question and answer time for team members at some point in the meeting Film student in meeting-you may use it for other things later Make sure the student really understands the purpose of an IEP, rather than just going through the motions -Remember you all have to adapt student-led IEP planning and implementation to your own need, schedule, and most importantly, to the individual student.

17 References Evidence Based Secondary Transition Practices.(2011). Retrieved from: Hawbaker, B.W. (2007). Student-Led IEP meetings: Implementation strategies. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 3 (5), Article 1. Retrieved February 12, 2012 from: Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, and Wehmeyer, (1998). A practical guide for teaching self- determination. Council for Exceptional Children. Reston, VA: CEC Publications. Test, D.W., Fowler, C.H., Richther, S.M., White, J., Mazzotti, V., Walker, A.R., Kohler, P., & Kortering, L. (2009). Evidence-based practices in secondary transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, Uphold, Nicole M.; Walker, Allison R.; and Test, David W. (2007) "Resources for Involving Students in Their IEP Process," TEACHING Exceptional Children Plus: Vol. 3: Iss. 4, Article Available at:

18 Presenter Contact Information Marisol Walker, M. ED Special Education Teacher at Shelby County High School Carla Layton, ED.S Program Specialist

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