This video covers what parents need to know if considering an IEP. A great overview for parents in the early stages of figuring out if an IEP is right for their child.

[00:00:00] Liz Weaver : Has your child been struggling in school? Are you thinking about an IEP? Not sure if it's the right choice, then this video is exactly what you need. I'm Liz Weaver learning success, and we know Weaver struggle with this every day. The IEP process is challenging. It's emotional and it's time consuming.

[00:00:21] And in the end it might not be the right choice for your child. So to help you figure it all out. We've put together this video series I E of parents guide in the first video, we're going to cover the things you need to know. If you were considering an IEP for your child, you'll get advice from educators, parents, lawyers, and advocates in this video that will give you a very well-rounded perspective.

[00:00:46] The perspective you need to make the right decision for your child. If you watch to the end. You'll have what you need to make an informed decision. We hope it helps you and your child

[00:01:19] Gene Carrocia: first. What are IPS? Individual education programs, our IEP and 5 0 4 plans are official school plans that are designed to do three things. First one specifically acknowledge a child's learning or behavioral challenges. Second provide a range of school services, accommodations, and modifications, and third ensure that the student is in the least restrictive learning environment.

[00:01:43] Special education doesn't necessarily mean that a child will be in a separate classroom or will be separated from mainstream classrooms. This is a misunderstanding. Sometimes the parents might have by law students must be placed as much as possible in mainstream class. Until they're determined to require separate special education classroom, your parental rights, those parental rights, give you an idea about the rules of the road.

[00:02:10] Nkoyo Effioung: And so it's really important that you understand what rights you have as a parent. And if you have an IEP, the Ida, the individuals with disabilities and education act provides a robust set of rights to parents and students. And so it's really important that you. Get a working knowledge of that. Am I asking you to get a law degree and know everything?

[00:02:32] Absolutely not, but you should, at a minimum know how you can participate, what recourse you have, if there's a dispute and some of the timeframes that are applicable to that. Reading the parental rights is a good first place to start. And then from there, there are a lot of other resources that are out there that can help you understand specific aspects of the law that might come into play.

[00:02:56] If you do have a dispute. First to consider are the long-term effects of an IEP.

[00:03:01] Velka Hoy: How will having an IEP affect what happens to your child after graduation? If your child wants to go to college, what will happen? VELCO Hawaii explains all this. Plus give some warnings about what happens when an IEP is abused.

[00:03:16] So an IEP. It is a great tool for schools to use, to be able to hold themselves accountable to get students the services that they need. Unfortunately, those often overused sometimes when students are not progressing as the school would like, or the classroom teacher would like they are given an IEP and put in special education classes.

[00:03:40] The problem with that is it's sometimes hard to leave the special education. So let's say a student is in high school and they're ready to go into a mainstream algebra class, but they been in special ed math for the last five years. It's going to be really hard to sort of test into the mainstream class.

[00:03:57] For me as a college counselor, we see when students. Well, who've had IDPs, especially when was MIS misdiagnosed. And which means that they haven't received the appropriate curriculum for a number of years, and then they don't meet the requirements for college. And it's especially unfortunate because if it was appropriately applied, there's plenty of colleges where a student can go with an IEP.

[00:04:21] Especially for things that are fairly common, like in like ADHD or something like that. I can also speak to my own son when my, my own son was in kindergarten and first grade we spent a lot of money and put it in a private school. And and I found out later he was basically sleeping in class.

[00:04:39] They were ready to diagnose. With ADHD, dysgraphia and even autism. But I, as an, as an educator, I knew that they couldn't do that. And as a, without an assessment and that assessment had to come from a doctor when I asked his doctor she was very clear that nothing was wrong. After that we put him in public school and he caught up immediately.

[00:05:02] They did basic interventions and they noticed because he was catching up so quickly, he wasn't a candidate for special education. Now he just started the fourth grade. He's reading at the level he should be at, at the end of fourth grade. And again, that wouldn't have been possible if they had been pulling him out for something that wasn't appropriately or wasn't applicable to his.

[00:05:25] And how, how does IEP, how do programs typically affect the process of admissions to college for students in general? What they, what can they do to make sure that they are addressing their needs, but also the admissions requirements of the college? Okay. So For students in high school with an IEP.

[00:05:53] And if the accommodations include extra time on a test they are allowed that same extra time on the sat or the act. And most of the cases, if it translates to unlimited time on this sat or act so if that's an appropriate diagnosis, they certainly should do it. There's also a place on the application where they'll indicate what the diagnosis.

[00:06:14] The problem comes when we S when we see the students they oftentimes have these really inflated test scores and these GPA that don't necessarily match. And it's because again, how they were maybe pulled out versus what they were actually capable of doing is kind of a mismatch. Again, the unfortunate pieces, there are plenty of schools that.

[00:06:37] Ha accommodate for all kind of, of learning differences and have offices for those even, you know, the most selective schools. So it doesn't necessarily help students when they try to skirt the system in that way. Because if, if we know what the exact thing is and what a stupid student's capable of, then we could appropriately match them or.

[00:07:00] Dr Ingrid Amorini-Klimek: School that would meet their needs. One of the things to consider is that the law requires that the child, the student, your child be served in the least restrictive and life. What does this mean? It means many different things and it really applies to every child. In particular, the least restrictive environment may be a very structured environment for a particular child, maybe a class with eight children or six children.

[00:07:31] And maybe for another child, there may just be some extra tutoring, some extra help, or maybe even some related services. So what constitutes a least restrictive environment for each particular child? Depends on that child alone.

[00:07:47] Over the years, I have found many students receiving special education services who simply needed a more differentiated approach rather than intense interventions and support.

[00:07:59] Dr Kisha Walker: As special educators, we're advocates for all students, and must ensure the acceptance and sometimes avoidance of an IEP. This responsibility involves ensuring that effective response to interventions had been implemented with fidelity for an adequate amount of time to determine whether the student will be reasonable.

[00:08:20] These interventions are implemented at variant varying levels of intensity and monitor to determine whether or not the student has demonstrated progress. If in fact, the student is not responsive to the intervention selected to address the area of concern and continues to exhibit difficulty within a general educator.

[00:08:41] Liz Weaver : Classroom than a referral for a special education evaluation would be appropriate. IEP is, are not the first step in helping a child. Actually, they are the last step before the school system will consider an IEP. It will have to be clearly demonstrated that you and your child's teachers have done everything possible to help your child.

[00:09:01] Several rounds of classroom evaluations will be necessary. And this can take up to three months. What's most important to consider is what has been done at home. Parents are a child's first teacher, and because of that, parents are more able to help a child. The learning success system is designed to do just that it guides.

[00:09:21] Through the process of helping a child overcome a learning struggle. And it only takes about 15 minutes a day, which is a lot less time than even organizing the paperwork for an IEP. And so it's much easier on your child. You can get a free trial. All you have to do is click the link right here, or use the link in the description.

[00:09:41] So back to IEP, next, we're going to learn more about the process of intervention required before requesting an IEP. My personal experience with. Or that people come in with a lot of misconceptions. They come in thinking that the IEP is going to be the answer to all of their children's problems. They come in thinking that the IEP process is relatively quick.

[00:10:04] Michelle Pearson: They come in thinking that they can get an IEP just because they, because their cousin has one and they think that'll work for their child. My experience with IEP and IEP meetings is that I have to do a lot of time talking to parents and educating them about what an IEP truly means what it means for their child, what the process truly is and how we go about getting one.

[00:10:26] So it's not a cure all. It is a list essentially of intensive supports that your child will get to help them make them more successful in school, but it will not fix everything. You know, you, you should expect another two to three years of hard work to be it. Cause, cause I understand if a child qualifies for an IEP, that means they are significantly below academically.

[00:10:50] So that means they're probably between two to three grade levels. Some cases even more below where there should be a child is not going to miraculously make up that much of a deficit. In six months. So that's not a realistic expectation, but if you are putting in the work in the effort and the support, so they're both at school and at home that same child in two years time could make four years worth of growth, which would mean that they might transition off of their IEP.

[00:11:19] So the first thing I try to explain the parents or my experience is that parent thing's going to be overnight. It's not overnight, it's not overnight too, to see progress. And it's. Overnight, as I explained earlier, to get the IEP, to get the IEP is a process because it is a very intensive process. A process itself is, is, is time consuming.

[00:11:41] You should expect to spend anywhere between four to five months from the time that you say that I would like my child to have this IEP. To actually getting the IUP because there are the testing and the interventions and the data collection and the meetings, all of that has to happen before the IEP goes in place.

[00:12:00] So you know, spending time, understanding that it's not a cure, all that it won't happen overnight, but the, and that if the testing determines if the data does not show. That the child qualifies for an IEP, then no IEP will be written. It is not a. I think my child wants one. I mean, I think my child needs one.

[00:12:22] So please write one for them. That is not how it works. You don't just get an IEP because you know that your best friend's cousin got one and it worked for them. So it must, it might work for your child too. You have to go through the process. And there is testing that has to be done and the child has to qualify via testing and the data collection to show that they significantly have a deficit that could be repaired with an IEP.

[00:12:50] Liz Weaver : There are a lot of reasons a child can struggle in school. Actually. It's never just one reason. It's always a combination of things. This is because of small problem and a fundamental learning skill always leads to a bigger emotional problem. Children often try to hide learning problems. And when the problem doesn't get noticed right away, the child loses self-confidence.

[00:13:11] They begin to believe that they are not smart. The learning success system corrects all of these problems. It addresses the confidence problems, the emotional problems. And of course it addresses the root problem. The learning difficulty get started on a free trial. Now just click the link.

[00:13:55] Now, back to IEP. Next we're going to hear from Tara Emrick and Tara's case, she knew the IEP was necessary and she tells us why with my middle daughter who is currently a sixth grader,

[00:14:08] Tara Emrick: we started the process. Of knowing that she too needed some intervention early on in kindergarten, we did not get an IEP play IEP in place with her until second grade.

[00:14:18] I wouldn't even consider a 5 0 4 for her because I knew, and this is an important differentiation, I think with a 5 0 4, your child will get intervention. They will receive extra support, but they can not receive support like occupational therapy or speech therapy. My middle daughter has needed occupational therapy.

[00:14:37] She struggles with dyspraxia. So the occupational therapy piece has been imperative for her. So I pushed for an IEP from the beginning because I wanted her to have access to those outside resources and that outside support. So the best time to consider an IEP is after your child has. You've met with the child's teacher.

[00:15:00] Michelle Pearson: They have put interventions in place. The teacher has collected data on those interventions that that they've been working on. So for example, maybe your child needs smaller assignments. So the teacher spends six weeks giving your child a smaller assignment compared to what the peer their peers might be getting in addition to changing their seat in the classroom.

[00:15:20] So they are closer to the teacher and addition to giving you. 15 minutes of additional one-on-one instruction and the classroom. If your team, if the teacher has done all of those things and has tracked your child's progress for six weeks, six to eight weeks and your child is still not catching up or making adequate progress, then you go for a more intensive.

[00:15:44] A possible solution. When you might consider an IEP, most schools will actually ask you to do a second round of intensive interventions before you go to the IEP, because the IEP is the. Intensive form of support that you can get it's after both of those times. So the first six weeks you tried something and it didn't work, and then you go through another six to eight weeks of interventions and those don't work.

[00:16:11] Then the team comes back together and we say, oh, You know what, maybe we need to do some testing to see if there's a true deficit that might require an IEP to be written. The school then has 30 days to test the student and go over those results with you. So at that time, after the testing is done and the interventions have been taken, have taken place and the data has been preserved.

[00:16:35] All of those things, all of those touch points, the testing, the interventions, the data as a parent, what, you know, what you've observed about your child are taking into consideration. And you see if the child qualifies for an IEP

[00:16:48] Liz Weaver : it's a really sad to say this, but us schools are doing very poorly when compared with other nations, U S schools rank 30th.

[00:16:57] 19th and science and have an overall ranking of 25. Our school bureaucracies are so huge. It takes decades to change anything at all in the last few decades. So science has made big strides and understanding learning and brain development. Unfortunately, this science has not yet filtered down to education.

[00:17:17] Dr. Kimberly barons is a pioneer in implementing the science of learning and has coached hundreds of parents in helping their children over her 20 year career in the behavioral sciences. Here's Dr. Barron's take on how school bureaucracies fail when it comes to children who are struggling in school.

[00:17:35] Dr Kimberly Berens: I want you to understand that this is a very different perspective than your you have been provided with in the past.

[00:17:41] Or, you know, you, you ha you haven't had the opportunity to hear it. Because again, most people who are involved in this process with you are trained very differently. They come from the dominant traditions of psychology, the dominant traditions of education, or even for med for the medical perspective, which, you know, your pediatrician, might've been involved at some point inside of this whole thing.

[00:18:02] So, you know, again, I want you to understand that that is, that is one perspective. And that sadly is the dominant one, right? That, you know, runs the show in education and in our society more generally, but to be quite Frank, there's actually a very well-established science out there that is extremely pragmatic.

[00:18:22] And what, by pragmatic, I mean, we create effective change. We solve problems and we improve the quality of life for individuals you know, of all types. So behavioral science is actually the science of learning. And I'm going to repeat that because that's not kind of understood, you know, when people, I don't know what people think when they hear behavioral science, but most of the time you're probably thinking problem behavior, right?

[00:18:46] We deal with people with real problems, you know, we're dealing with those kinds of behaviors. But that's not necessarily the case now. Sure. There's branches, there's people in our field that focus on that and that's been they're profoundly effective. And, you know, I mean, vastly improved the quality of life for people with really serious behavioral issues.

[00:19:05] However, what's not understood is that behavioral science is actually the science of learning. We are the sorry. Of learning, which is kind of an interesting thing to know, because we are marginalized and excluded more often than not from educational practices and from what happens in traditional psychology, because our perspective on, on learning.

[00:19:26] And again, it's not an opinion it's based in almost a century of science kind of goes against the grain of what traditional perspectives are. So, what does that mean? So, so from the behavioral perspective, you know, learning is actually best defined as the change in behavior over time. You know, that is the only way from a scientific perspective.

[00:19:51] And again, you know, you have to remember, we are not able science as a science and not only that it's a natural science, so similar to chemistry or biology or physics, we study learning. With the same scientific methodology. So meaning we observe our phenomenon over time and then we manipulate specific variables in the environment and evaluate their effects over time.

[00:20:18] And so we do this in the area of behavior, which is the only observable evidence we have that learning has occurred. So, so, so that being said, so. We define behavior learning as a change in behavior over time. Because to be quite honest, that's the only way we can know that learning is taken place. That's something changes, right?

[00:20:43] So for instance, when a child is reading, the only way we know that their reading is improving is if we watch them reading over time and we somehow design a way to measure reading behavior. So just that we can evaluate a reading is improving over time. And so our fundamental measure in our science is actually count per minute.

[00:21:04] And again, there's a century of science that suggests that this is the most precise and sensitive and reliable measure of learning. So count per minute. So for instance, a hundred words read correctly, permit that is a, that is a scientific measure of reading behavior that comes from the science of learning or behavioral.

[00:21:24] You know, in math you might look at, you know, number of correct math problems completed per minute. You might look at, you know, number of correct equations identify per minute. So everything is measured as count per minute. And what this has allowed us to discover as a science is that the, the most, you know, number one for CISE and sensitive measure of learning is count per minute or count per time, the way to evaluate mastery.

[00:21:53] Other behavior is by looking at something called fluency. So fluency is also measured as count per minute, but what we have discovered in our science, which coincides with what happens in neuroscience is that as, as we engage in repeated reinforced practice of a behavior over time, that behavior becomes more and more rapid.

[00:22:16] That behavior becomes like a hierarchy. More correct. Or, or, you know, airless or accurate. All right. And then there comes a, there comes a point where that behavior hits the ceiling and can't improve anymore because it's occurring at the pace at the highest pace it can. And then what we discovered is when kids achieved that level of fluency or automaticity, effortlessness, other ways you can talk about that.

[00:22:41] Yeah. Children achieve that level of fluency three things reliably. Number one, that behavior is neurologically permanent. What does that mean? It is remembered. It is remembered over long periods of time, even in the absence of ongoing pain. So number one, when children achieve fluency, which is a true measure of mastery of a skill or a behavior, that's something the child does, then that is neurologically permanent.

[00:23:09] It doesn't go away. All right. Number one, number two. When children achieve fluency, there is a grand resistance to distractions and fatigue. What does that mean? That means that fluency increases attention span. Now keep that in the back of your hat, because let's think about all the add diagnoses that are happening out there.

[00:23:29] So attention span is improved and number three children are more likely to apply skills easily as easily and effortlessly for the learning of more complex things. All right. So our science, which again is not re not well-liked by the establishment and is marginal. Has discovered that when you, when you have repeated, right, it reinforced practice of skills over time, they moved to a level of mastery called fluency, which produces neurological permanence increases in attention span, and the ability to apply skills, to learning more difficult things, which should be the, the basic outcomes of what education should produce.

[00:24:06] That's what we should be wanting our kids to do. Sadly, usually the educational establishment is not based on our science at all. They don't allow us in there unless it's dealing with kids with profound disabilities, we aren't involved because education isn't based on science. It's based on opinions and traditions and beliefs that go back, you know, since the turn of the 20th century, it's archaic.

[00:24:28] So they haven't evolved. So sadly what's now happened is because kids are moved ahead in the grade levels based on age, not based on mastery of skills, what happened. Kids are moved ahead because we're, you know, the expectation out there because of developmental psychology and developmental theory, which is all theory.

[00:24:49] The theory is that kids are going to improve and be able to learn more complicated things because they've turned a year older, which is not correct. And our science has demonstrated this learning cognitive or academic skills is not a function of development or age. It's a function of a very specific kind of training.

[00:25:08] Like anything, tennis golf, a musical instrument, chess, math, reading, all of those things are based on training. Those are things we do, and those are things we have to learn and we have to learn them via instruction. So sadly, when instruction is not designed based on science, but based on opinions and traditions, many, many kids fail 60% of the American population.

[00:25:34] Fail to achieve proficiency by the time they graduate. And that is a fact. You can look that up on the national assessment of educational progress, NAEP go to the website, 60% of American school children graduate below proficiency. So 60% of kids fail. The educational system fails 60% of kids. So we shouldn't be surprised that some of those failures are now being medicalized.

[00:25:59] Meaning the blame is being placed on the child. And it's being suggested that they have a learning disability or something inherently wrong with them that is promoting or producing this failure. However, I will tell you right now in my 20 year career with thousands and thousands of learners, less than 1% of the time, our children impaired because of some neurological learning problem, more often than not, they have been classified for a learning disability because they have been instructionally failed and they have been moved to here.

[00:26:31] I'll go through the grade levels without true mastery of core components, skills being achieved. And as a function, they can't function at the level. They're expected to function because their core skills are not in place. And what do they need? They only only need effective fluency based instruction. So that they can have repeated reinforced practice of skills to mastery and then successfully move up the ladder.

[00:26:57] We have repeated these outcomes with thousands of kids for 20 years, and most of them were either classified for the learning problem or on the way to being classified. And guess what? There was no learning problem. The problem lies in the instructional environment and the fact that education refuses to evolve.

[00:27:16] So as parents. If I can leave you with anything, it is the distinction that if you have not yet gone down this road, and you've been told that your child has had probably has a learning disability needs to have a neuropsychological evaluation, please. If I can do anything for you is find a way of getting them a skills assessment, a core skills.

[00:27:39] So that your child's core academic skills can be looked at with precision and can be identified as where are they not masterful, because I promise you they're not because education doesn't allow children the time or use the kind of methodologies required to produce that kind of mastery with kids. So more often than not, your children have no core mastery and skill.

[00:28:01] But they're expected to function as if they do. And when they can't, they're labeled as having a learning problem, which absolves the educational establishment of responsibility of educating them effectively. And in medicalize is the problem, psychological evaluations and all of those things. Don't look at learning at all.

[00:28:19] They look at your child's performance on one test and as a function of that performance on one test. And let me tell you it's performance it's behavior on one team. An inference is made about why we performed that way. The inference being, they have dyslexia, they have discalcula, they have some auditory or visual processing disorder, but that has never been directly measured.

[00:28:43] That is an inference made based on the performance on a test by which there are many other explanations for why they perform that way. Number one, being they haven't mastered the skills required to perform well, which is a much more simple, pragmatic. Explanation that is based in your child's history of instruction and lack of skill mastery, and the solution pragmatically is going in there and providing your child the kind of reinforced practice required to achieve true mastery of skills.

[00:29:15] So they can be independent, vital, successful kids. If there's anything that I hope to accomplish in my life. It is creating power for parents by having distinctions that they don't have around what is going wrong with the way your child is being educated and how your child is now being blamed for the fact that education doesn't work for the masses.

[00:29:36] And now your child is being medicalized for that failure. But the failure isn't your child's failure. That failure is the failure of the system. And you need to know that. So there's my contribution to you and you can, you know, I dunno fine. You can, you know, again, I'm Dr. Kim barons. You can Google me and find me everywhere.

[00:29:53] I'm happy to have further conversations with anyone who's interested in it. So does the passion of my life.

[00:30:00] Liz Weaver : Thank you for watching. If you'd like to start working on building up your child's fundamental learning skills, improving their self-esteem and confidence, all of the skills that they need to succeed in academics, click on the link in the description and start a free trial of the learning success system.

[00:30:16] And I'll see you inside the members area. I want to take a second and introduce Ben. She's the family rescue looking for a new home. So anyway, she's here today with us, trying to get used to filming. .

An IEP is not a cure all.

Key Takeaways:

IEP's are a last resort
All possible interventions should be tried prior
IEP's are a long and difficult process

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