and The IEP
Nicole Held: Special Education Teacher
• Graduate UW-Oshkosh in 2004 with a
double major in Special and Elementary
• Masters in Education from Olivet Nazarene
University in Chicago in December of 2007
• Been teaching 8th grade special education at
D.C. Everest for four years.
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Phone: 715-359-0511 ext. 3305
• Website: www.difabilities.net
Why Is This Cake On Fire: Inviting
Students Into the IEP Process
Van Dycke, J., Martin,J., Lovett, D.
Teaching Exceptional Children
Jan/Feb 2006, Vol 38, issue 3, pg 42
What is Self-Advocacy and the IEP?
• Student using self-advocacy skills to run their
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings
and take more control over their education
empowering students to lead their own.
Why We Teach the
Student Lead IEP
• Right now, students are exiting high school
without acknowledging or understanding their
• To increase individual knowledge about strengths
and needs to be successful in school and use their
self-advocacy skills to get it.
• Increase self-advocacy, and teach self-
determination, goal setting, and self evaluation.
• Increase self-esteem.
• Get them involved more the IEP process.
Why Is This So Important
• If they don’t know what an IEP or goals are how
are they suppose to be working on their goals??
• Help them to understand what their disability is
and how they can work on improving their
• Decisions are being made for them – give them a
say in their own lives/education.
• Give them the self-advocacy skills they will need
to function in the real world!
• Make the IEP a more enjoyable/positive process.
• Raise self-esteem
Why I Teach This
• Transition Conference
• First year teaching experience
• SL=Slow Learner & LD= Legally Dumb
• Feel it is most important
• How can they be successful?
• Success we have had.
My Research and Process:
1st year (04-05)
• Using a survey at the beginning and end of the year I
have surveyed my 8th grade students on the topics of
their disabilities, the IEP and its process, attendance at
meetings, and knowledge of special education.
• Out of 22 special education students surveyed, only 3
knew what their disability was and only 1 knew what
an IEP was.
– Started teaching little pieces first year and second year started
putting together and teaching a unit on the disabilities and the IEP
2nd year (05-06)
• Out of 23 special education students 2 knew what
their disability was and only 1 knew what an IEP was.
By the end of the unit 21 out of 23 could tell me what
their disability and IEP was.
– Added the element of attending their IEP meetings and
taking part in them.
– Teaching the unit on a more consistent basis (once
weekly in Resource Study Hall) with some
3rd Year (06-07)
• 3 out of 21 students knew what their disability was
and only 4 had gone to their IEP before. After the unit,
19 of 21 knew what their disability was and all but
two attended their IEP meeting (2 running the
– Started working towards passing a mandatory class for
all 8th grade special education students to take and I
continued to develop and implement my unit year
round in my classroom when time allowed.
• I am teaching this as a class this year, still
part of my resource, but every week.
• Out of 19 students 5 knew what their
disabilities were, 2 knew what an IEP
(meeting) was, 3 had been to their IEP the
year before, and only half thought they were
in special education. None knew they had
special education goals!
– My class has passed as a mandatory class for all 8th
grade students starting in the 2008-2009 school year.
Goals of My Program
• To increase the following in every special
– Self-Advocacy Skills
– Understanding and Acceptance of their disability
– Give knowledge of the IEP and it’s process
– Get them involved in their IEP process
– Create tools and skills to use in the future
Overview of the Program
• I have a website: www.difabilities.net
Please feel free to check it out and use any
information on it for your classroom.
• I use a combination of PowerPoints, games,
rewards, journaling, and discussion to teach
• Safe and comfortable environment
• Need to talk and share
• Confidentiality and privacy
• Responsibility for the information
– Build an interest and intrigue about their disability
– Give the basic information about all disabilities
– Have students research their own disabilities in depth.
• Main Activities:
– Community Building and Confidentiality (Post It Activity
– Journal about what they think of having a disability and
what their disability is
– Teach disability information
– Research their disabilities
– Play Bingo at the end
Do You Want To Be A Puppet?
What Do You Think?
• In the journals I ask
– Do you have disability
– If so, what?
– How does it affect you
now and in future?
• Another activity we do
is having the students
try to predict what
their goals might be
and write themselves
– Give the basic information about the IEP
– Look at and get familiar with the parts and
process of the IEP
• IEP Main Activities:
– Teach the IEP parts and information using a
– Talk about the difference between
modifications and accommodations and how
the students can access these.
• It is important for these students to be told
what an IEP is and to be shown their IEP.
Even if they do not understand it, you
should try and explain:
– Basic Info (who will be there, what it is)
– Get each child familiar with his or her own IEP
• Main Activities:
– Pass out each individual IEP and go over it with
– IEP Scavenger Hunt
– Play IEP Balloochies (Jeopardy)
– Set weekly goals to help achieve the IEP goals
IEP Scavenger Hunt
1. Tell me three people who attended your last IEP using the cover sheet
•Did you attend the meeting? How do you know?
•What date was your last IEP held on?
•The Present Level of Performance (I-4) page tells you what you
strengths and what your parents’ concerns are. Tell me a strength that is
listed for you.
– Introduce self-advocacy and the importance of it.
– Acknowledge and come up with solution to deal
with factors that can get in the way of being a
• Main Activities:
– Teach information on self-advocacy, how to do it
and how to avoid problems that may arise.
– Role Play Situations
– Discuss Difficult Situations
– Who Wants to Be A Millionaire
– Teach students how to participate in their IEP
meetings (write goals, prepare scripts, present)
• Main Activities:
– Show students the proper way to be involved in
the entire IEP process and how to run the
» Show video by Jim Martin and company and
previous student IEP videos
» Write teacher invitation
» Two class periods to prepare: write IEP
together, write script, and practice.
1. Begin By Greeting Everyone and Stating Purpose of the Meeting.
“Welcome to my meeting. Today we are looking at my IEP and making
changes for the next year.”
2. Introduce Yourself and Others.
“My name is___________________________________________.”
“I’d like to introduce_______________________________________.”
** Ms Held will break in to do the Front Cover Page, WKCE page
3. Review How You Have Been Doing in School: Present Level of
Performance Page (PLOP)
“I think school is __________________________________________.”
“Things that have worked well for me this year are _______________.”
“Things that have not worked very well for me are________________.”
4. Request Input From Others in the Meeting.
“Does anyone want to comment on how my school year has been going?”
I would like to invite you to come to my IEP meeting and
share your ideas. You coming to my meeting is important to
•P.S. If you cannot attend this meeting, please let me know
when we can meet to talk about my IEP. Thank you.
IEP Meeting Reflection
1. Write a response about your meeting and your experience writing the IEP
with your teacher. Make sure to include the following things:
a. What you shared at the meeting?
b. How did you feel during the meeting?
c. Are you happy you participated? Why?
d. Give an overview of how you prepared for your meeting –goal
writing, modifications, transition info, and any other information.
2. Write a paragraph answering the following: Do you think that you could
do more during your meeting? If so, what. If not, why?
3. What will you do to make sure you have say in your IEP next year??
4. Do you have any questions????
– Get students accustom to the concept of transition and
how it will work for them in our school district
– Understand there are numerous types of learning using
the Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles.
• Main Activities:
– Provide information about what transition is and how it
– Do career sheets and independent living WS
– Fill out Enderle-Severson 2003 Future
– Talk about Multiple Intelligences and decide individual
Learning Styles. Do surveys.
– Introduce the Portfolio and show how to use it
– Give students a brief look at the history and
laws of special education
• Main Activities:
– Talk about the history of special education and
the benefits we have today
– Discuss briefly the responsibilities of being in
special education and the laws.
• Goals and Main Activities :
– Create a handout/PowerPoint to use a tool with
– Students (CD) could use this to present in their
– Test knowledge learned about IEPs, disabilities,
self-advocacy and transition.
• Main Activities:
– IEP Unit Test
– End of unit (Post) Survey
– End of unit Interview
• Just as important to get them involved, even
if it is just going to the meeting.
• Many can use pictures to help run their
meetings and express their wants for the
• Get them involved!!!
What about the younger kids?
• Start as early as possible! • Understand what a
All kids deserve to know disability is
and understand their • Understand their disability
disability no matter what • Work on self-esteem
their age. issues
• To teach about their • Attend the meeting
disabilities, you can
actually do whole class • Talk with teacher about
learning or individual. the goals
• Get parents involved with
• This is the most important part!
• Each child MUST meet with me ahead of time and
go over/make changes to IEP, attend their IEP
meeting, and present one thing at the meeting.
• A lot of the research I have done recommends that
teachers continue to ease students into that role.
(invite the teachers to meeting, introduce people,
talk more, take the lead role)
How to Start
• Start small if need be. Teach it in any time
you have, even if it is one-on-one.
• Talk with your administrators about the
importance of this information.
• Check out other people’s websites and
Projects and Contacts
• Statewide Self- • Nicole Held
Advocacy Project • I am available to come
• Lisa Hebgen, Project and do in-services,
Coordinator at conferences, and other
email@example.com or speaking engagements.
(608) 822-2631, by Just contact me at my
February 4, 2008. email or phone listed at
Books To Use
• Survival Guide for Kids With LD:
Learning Differences by Gary Fisher and
• The Survival Guide for Kids With ADD or
ADHD by John Taylor
• The Behavioral Survival Guide for Kids by
• Teacher and Student Guide to the IEP
• Self Advocacy Manual For Students
• Advocacy, Life skills, and Transition Information
• National Center For Learning Disabilities
• List of Possible Accommodations for Students
• Student Lead IEP Help
• Links on many special education topics
• Protection & Advocacy, Inc. Introduction to Self-
• Disability Awareness Packet for Teachers
• Center for Self Determination
• Great Book and Lessons for this topic
• Special Education Transition Portfolio
• www.ncset.org - Go to publications and