An IEP is a written legal document (or “plan”) that lays out the program of special education instruction, supports, and services your child needs to make progress academically in school. It is designed specifically for your child and lays out the specific types of help they will receive while in school.
How do I get my child on an IEP?
An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is developed when your child qualifies for special education services. If you suspect that your child has a learning disability, you must first request to have him or her evaluated. Once the evaluation is complete, the IEP team meets with you and the results are shared and discussed. At the meeting, the IEP team makes a recommendation as to whether or not the child qualifies for special education. If so, an IEP is written.
I do not agree with my school regarding the services my child is being offered, what can I do?
All special education services are negotiated at the IEP meeting. Services are based on your child’s evaluation results, teacher input, test results, and medical data. If you feel the school is not providing a service that is necessary, you can continue negotiations with the IEP team for as long as deemed necessary. Negotiations start at the school level. If an agreement cannot be agreed on at the IEP, you can request help from the district. When an agreement cannot be reached, mediation is usually the next step with the final step resulting in a due process hearing. Most negotiations are resolved before they reach due process. You do not need an advocate or attorney during any of these steps, but it is your right to obtain one if you desire. Public schools are required by law to provide a free appropriate education (FAPE). FAPE does not always mean the best education possible. We need to agree on what is appropriate, not what is best.
What is a Prior Written Notice (PWN)?
A prior written notice is a legal right guaranteed to parents of kids with IEPs. A prior written notice is a written explanation of any proposed changes in your child's educational plan. A prior written notice is also required if the school denies a parent request.
A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is a process that identifies specific target behavior, the purpose of the behavior, and what factors maintain the behavior that is interfering with the student's educational progress.
What is a function of behavior?
A behavior that a student engages in will typically serve some kind of purpose. When that behavior repeatedly happens it is usually due to a kind of function that gets them what they want. When we use the term "function" we are looking to the "why" they are engaging in that behavior repeatedly. There are four common functions of behavior that we encounter. Some behaviors can serve more than one function.
These are the four common functions of behavior:
#1 Sensory Stimulation
The function of behavior might not be externally stimulating, but something internal that makes the student "feel good". The behavior gives the student an internal sensation that is pleasing to them. A student might rock back and forth in a chair because its enjoyable for them. I student might chew on various objects because it brings them comfort. If they are obtaining the stimulation they need, the behavior will continue.
#2 Access to Tangibles or Activities
Sometimes students exhibit a behavior in an attempt to obtain a tangible item or to gain access to a desired activity. A child might scream and shout until their parents buy them that new phone. An example in a classroom might be when a teacher takes away the iPad, the student pushes the desks around and runs around the room. If the iPad is given back, the behavior will continue.
#3 Escape or Avoidance
Some behaviors are not because the student may want something, but maybe they are choosing to avoid it or escape the situation. A student may act aggressively with a teacher when they are asked to do work because they would rather go outside at recess and play with their friends. The student's behavior is in an attempt to avoid the situation. An example may be when a student runs around when asked to clean up their work area.
#4 Access to Attention
A person may engage in a certain behavior to gain some form of attention or a reaction from other people. A child might engage in a behavior to get other people to look at them, laugh at them, play with them, hug them or scold them. An example may be when a student screams, "Look at me!" If screaming gets access to attention, then screaming will continue.
The Redlands Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, potential parental, family and/or marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. This nondiscrimination policy applies to all acts related to school activity or school attendance within a school under the jurisdiction of the superintendent of the school district, and covers admission, participation, and accessibility to any program or activity of the district and selection, advancement, discharge and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Inquiries regarding the equal opportunity policies, equal program accessibility policies, and the filing of complaint procedures alleging discrimination including sexual harassment, may be directed to the school principal or to the District’s Discrimination/Equity/Title IX Coordinator.