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Guaranteeing Special Education Rights: Individualized Education Plans

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The Individual Education Plan should include an explanation of services to be provided to the student, when services will start, who will provide them and how long they will go on. Some of the common services you can request:

Speech therapy - should be provided by a licensed speech pathologist. Usually, students will get speech therapy a minimum of once per week. You can ask for more than once a week, and, in our experience, you may be told that the district does not have enough speech pathologists. If you really believe your student requires speech therapy two or three times a week, insist that is written in the IEP. (More about how to get the services needed on the next page.)

Services for students with learning disabilities - A very important point about the Individual Education Plan for students with learning disabilities is that it must explain what is going to be 'special' about special education for this student. Services that can be requested include:

  1. Tutoring - state on the plan how often tutoring will be received, in what subjects and by who. Will tutoring be received during school or after school? If during school, what will the student be missing in the classroom and how will that be made up?
  2. Modifications in the classroom to allow the student to succeed - There is a very long list of possible classroom changes to help students succeed. A student who has difficulty reading could be allowed a longer time to take a test, take a test orally or take the test home. A student who is easily distracted could take the test in a resource room. A student who has difficulty writing might be allowed to complete assignments using a word processor instead of writing them out by hand.
  3. Services from a learning disabilities teacher - what will the teacher work on? Study skills? Division of two-digit numbers? How often will the LD teacher work with the student? Will the student come to a resource room for services or receive them in the classroom.
  4. Occupational therapy - Most often on the reservations, we see occupational therapists working with children who have a Traumatic Brain Injury due to accidents. Occupational Therapists’ can work with students with any disability to:
  • Establish and restore his strength and endurance so the patient can take care of himself in daily activities.
  • Help the student by decreasing the amount of extra stimulation and confusion in his or her environment.
  • Use strategies to help them remember the tasks they need to do such as lists, labeling items, using pictures to show the steps of an activity.
  • Develop age appropriate self-care routines and habits, play skills, and social skills.
  • Provide strategies to help the student fully participate in all of the tasks they need to do in their daily routines.
  • Train and support parents so they can provide the needed support for their child’s development and learning.
  • Identify and reduce barriers that can limit a student’s ability to participate in activities

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