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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
"Making life better!"

Spirit Lake high school studentGUARANTEE YOUR RIGHTS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION - Understand the Individual Education Plan !!

Not every student who enters school is able to complete assignments and interact with peers without assistance.  Nationwide, about 11% of students are served by special education, which is a program that provides children who have disabilities with individualized attention. 

For Native American students, the figures are much higher 15-20% are in special education. In the 2006 school year, 29% of children in the Spirit Lake schools were in special education, and 22% of those in high school. It is very likely that the lower percentage in secondary school is due to a high dropout rate for students with special needs.

These children are dealing with obstacles imposed by mental, physical, or emotional limitations.   Special education allows them to learn and receive the proper means to an education. By law, students who need special education receive testing and services free of charge, regardless of the family income.

ABCsWelcome to the world of alphabet soup. From here on out, you will be hearing about IDEA, IEPs, ITPs, 504 plans, and probably a bunch of other new letters as well.

††††††††††† The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that requires quality services for students with disabilities, including preschool children and infants.† By law, each student in special education is provided with an Individualized Education Program Plan (IEP), through which the student, parents, teachers, and administration work together to find the best plan for this particular student in terms of a successful learning environment.† During the IEP meeting, everyone involved discusses the studentís progress, goals, and methods to reach these goals.† These students should receive special help when needed, but the law also requires that they be mainstreamed into regular classes whenever possible.† Studies have shown that this inclusion in the regular classroom actually improves students' learning, especially when it comes to social skills.

The focus of special education should be just that - special, something beyond what they would receive in the regular classroom and related to the student's specific needs. Teachers and parents can help students grow emotionally, socially, and educationally by supporting them and teaching them to adapt to whatever their disability.  Organizational skills, time management, and the ability to follow a series of directions are commonly included in IEPs for students with learning disabilities, along with the usual academic goals. These life skills will be relevant when it comes to employment options in the future.  IEP goals may also include social and communication skills, which will be needed for success in school as well as on the job and in relationships after school. As we will say many times in this workshop, individuals with disabilities and their families must identify their needs and work with the schools to see these needs are met.

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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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