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Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
Caring for Our People with Disabilities & Chronic Illness

"Making life better!"

cartoon of legal buildingIDEA - Later Changes

Amendments to the original law added the following rights and services:

Extended the right to free appropriate public education to children with disabilities age three to five.

Created a new program for infants, toddlers and their families.

Required that families served by infant and toddler programs have a written Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). This is a requirement we have very often found not to be met by programs both on and off the reservation. An IFSP is in writing and has eight required parts:

  1. a statement of the infant's or toddler's present levels of development
  2. a statement of the family's resources, priorities, and concerns;
  3. a statement of the major outcomes expected to be achieved for the infant or toddler and the family, and the criteria, procedures, and timelines used;
  4. a statement of specific early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the infant or toddler and the family, including the frequency, intensity, and method of delivering services;
  5. a statement of the environments in which early intervention services shall be provided, e.g., child's home
  6. projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of the services;
  7. the identification of the service coordinator who will be responsible for the implementation of the plan
  8. the steps to be taken to support the transition of the toddler to preschool or other appropriate services.

Most of the IFSPs we have reviewed are missing at least two of those eight parts. More information on IFSPs is covered in the early childhood workshop of Caring for Our People. You can also read up on IFSPs in the virtual library. (See links at the end of this section.)

The most current legal changes, in 2004, did not really add any services. In fact, from our reading, it appears services were reduced. The requirement for transition planning to begin is now at age 16, not 14. School districts are no longer required to re-evaluate children every three years if the parent and school district "agree that re-evaluation is unnecessary". This is scary. Remember the story about Allan?

blue next arrowWhere to Learn More about IDEA

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc. -- P.O.Box 663, 314 Circle Dr., Fort Totten, ND 58335 Tel: (701) 351-2175 Fax: (800) 905 -2571
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