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1 Welcomes you to... Self Determination in the IEP.

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1 1 Welcomes you to... Self Determination in the IEP

2 2  Family Driven  Non-Profit 501(c)3 Family Network on Disabilities of Florida, Inc. (FND) is: Family Driven: What makes FND unique is that the majority of our Board of Directors, all of our Management Staff and all of our Program Staff are parents or family members of persons with disabilities. When family members call FND, they not only receive the expertise and knowledge of a professional, but also the compassion and empathy of someone who has walked (and continues to walk) in their shoes.

3 3 We DO:  Provide Support  Provide Information  Help Identify Options We do NOT: Act As Attorneys FND does NOT Act as Attorneys: We don’t represent families, and we don’t give legal advice.FND DOES: Provide Support: The value of families getting support by networking with other families is built into everything we do. We often get calls from parents or other family members who just need to talk – and we’re there to listen. Provide Information: Altogether, FND logs over 15,000 calls a year, most of them from parents, family members, or professionals who are looking for information. We have a large database of resources in Florida, and a library filled with disability-related information. Regardless of the question, our staff will go the extra mile to find an answer. Help Identify Options: Our philosophy at FND is that it is not our role to tell families what to do. It is our role, however, to inform families of what their options are – and encourage them to make their own decisions about what is right for their family.

4 4 Self Determination Learning How to Choose. Making Decisions. Solving Problems Setting Goals Making Needs Known Setting Timelines What does that mean?

5 5 Age 14 Participation in the IEP At age 14, (in Florida) the IEP begins the development of The Transition IEP. The student should be invited to participate in the IEP meeting (if appropriate). At this time, the meeting will focus on what services the child will need in place by the time the he/she turns 16. In order for the student’s participation to be meaningful, school district personnel are strongly encouraged to provide training for students and their families in self-determination skills and the Transition IEP process.

6 6 Self-Determination in the IEP Get prepared Ask for introductions Agree upon the purpose of the meeting Review past goals and performance Suggest goals This workshop introduces steps and strategies that will help the student become an active participant in his or her own IEP.

7 7 Self-Determination in the IEP Ask questions if you don’t understand Deal with differences of opinion Suggest supports needed Summarize goals

8 8 Ask for copies & close meeting Work on IEP goals all year Self-Determination in the IEP

9 9 Get Prepared Understanding the process Getting feedback In addition to school districts there are a variety of community based training opportunities that students can participate in, also at no charge to them or their family. Attending trainings will help the student to become comfortable with moving into the process of determining and communicating his or her own needs and desires. To prepare for an IEP meeting, the student would also need to learn how to get feedback from parents, teachers, and other school staff. A student could also be encouraged to get feedback from his or her peers. The IEP process provides a perfect opportunity for the team, which includes the student, to plan methods of providing feedback to the student throughout the year. The student would need an opportunity to review his or her goals with teachers and others, so that he or she is able to begin to identify how certain goals may change in the future.

10 10 Teacher Psychologist Therapist Doctor or nurse Counselor Social worker Parents Ask for Introductions The student can ask at the beginning of the meeting for introductions and can also ask to personally introduce the individuals at the table that they know. For example: “This is my ESE Teacher, Mr. O’Brien”. The student could also ask each participant to add to the introduction. For example, to talk about why he or she is at this particular meeting.

11 11 Agree Upon the Purpose of the Meeting An IEP MEETING is scheduled … The purpose of the meeting is: The purpose of the meeting will have been stated on the meeting notice that was received in the mail. Before the meeting, the student can ask the team to review the purpose of the meeting or can share with the rest of the team his or her understanding of the meeting’s purpose and ask team members if they agree. This will allow all team members to have a common understanding of why they are there.

12 12 Review Past Goals and Performance The student can: Share thoughts Share ideas Help to build upon prior goals & objectives When the IEP meeting gets to the point where the team is developing new goals, the student can ask the team to take a few moments to review past goals and performance. One of the purposes of reviewing past goals and performance is to provide the student an opportunity to share their thoughts on the areas of achievement and on areas where progress is still being made. It is also helpful if the student shares their ideas of what helped them to achieve goals and objectives and what supports and services might still be needed. Another benefit of this process is that the team can then build upon prior goals and objectives as new ones are developed.

13 13 Suggest Goals Education Employment Daily Living To write goals, there are many things the team needs to consider. Students can be a part of the process by sharing with the team what their personal goals are for education, employment, and daily living.

14 14 Ask Questions “Excuse me, I don’t understand.” “Could you please explain that to me?” Students are encouraged to ask questions when there is something that they do not understand. The saying, “No question is a bad question,” is really true. To be an active and effective participant, it is very important to understand the topics being discussed.

15 15 Differences of Opinion Listen to and restate the other person’s opinion. Use a respectful tone. Compromise or change your opinion if necessary. Know and state the reasons for your opinions. Use LUCK: Listen carefully to what the other person is saying. Repeat back to them, in your own words what you think they are saying, to be certain you understand. It’s okay to disagree with another person, but remember to use a respectful tone. Sometimes what the other person says will change your mind about an issue. It’s alright to compromise or change your opinion if necessary Know and state the reasons for your opinions.These steps are a useful tool when the IEP Team is facing a situation where there is disagreement. When these steps are followed, open communication can result in new ideas that everyone agrees with.

16 16 Suggest Supports Needed Interests Skills Limits When thinking about future goals, students should suggest supports they need, as well as talk about their interests, and the skills they have. Students can also identify what their limits are, and which supports will help them to overcome barriers. The IEP Team should help a student identify what supports he or she may need, to accomplish goals. Being able to verbalize strengths, limits, and needs is critical during the IEP process and an important skill in the workplace, at college, and in many other circumstances in life.

17 17 Recap My goal is…. The action I take is…. I receive feedback by…. My support is…. During the IEP process, the student needs to make sure he or she understands each step. To do this, the student can recap what they have heard so that they are certain he or she has a clear understanding. The student can: Recap each goal Recap the actions they will take to reach each goal (objectives and benchmarks) Recap how the student will get feedback on reaching goals (measuring) Recap the supports he or she thinks will be needed to meet the goal. This strategy can work anytime during the IEP process. This is especially true at a Transition IEP meeting when the goals being developed support the student’s Post-school Outcome Statement. Part of being self-determined in an IEP meeting is understanding the goals, objectives, and supports and becoming a partner in working to achieve success

18 18 Ask for Copies & Close Meeting At the end of the meeting, the student can ask for copies of all the documents that made up their IEP. The student should thank the people who attended the meeting.

19 19 Work on Goals Goals are written for a year. Students should continue to review their IEP goals regularly. They can let teachers and parents know if they feel their goals have been achieved before the year is over. Another IEP meeting can be scheduled in the middle of the year: - If it seems that the goals are not being achieved as expected; - If there has been a change in the student’s life such as being placed on the waiver; If the student changes his or her mind about a future life goal, such as deciding to go to post-secondary education rather than directly into employment. The goals, objectives, and supports can be reviewed and revised if necessary. Self-determination in the IEP process provides critical input and information. Students’ involvement may help them to achieve goals and see their plans for life become reality.

20 20 A valuable resource for students and parents is the University of Colorado Self Directed IEP Training. For more information, visit the website _determination/cmcr_sdiep.html

21 21 Thank You! (800) (727)


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