Autism, IEP, and Special Education in the Classroom
Having autism and learning in a conventional classroom is difficult but not at all impossible. Learning what the child needs to succeed and implementing a plan can lead to amazing success in the classroom. Gregory Ruel Portland Maine
According to the NYC Department of Education, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes the special education and related services specifically designed to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability. An IEP is the guiding document for a studentís educational program. It includes all of the goals, objectives, present levels of performance and related services that are recommended for the student.
For children with autism, the IEP is the ultimate guide to success in the classroom.
The IEP outlines specific autism related supports and goals at school.† An IEP might dictate that a child receive 1:1 support in the regular ed classroom, 30 minutes of speech therapy, 30 minutes of occupational therapy, and modifications such as early notice on fire drills, wearing an mp3 player in the cafeteria, and chewing gum for self regulation.†
Individual Education Plans may start out one way and end up somewhere completely different. The idea is always to modify to meet the needs of that individual child. The most important aspect is that an IEP is a legal document that MUST be followed.† If the school is not following the IEP it is important to contact them immediately to remedy the situation.† Involved parents get better results.† Get an autism advocate involved if you are having problems with an IEP not being followed by your childís school.
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