Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists spend much of the day working directly with patients and students, helping them to become their best, however, like every job there is paperwork and behind-the-scenes work that therapists must complete too.
One of the most complex and most important of these is the IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). IEPs are vital to helping students get the right services in the classroom. Developing an IEP is a group effort and must include the participation of teachers, therapists, and parents.
If you are a therapist in a school setting, you will find yourself with many IEPs in your future. Here are a few tips to assure success.
Do Your Research
It is important that you understand the child’s complete educational picture. Spend some time learning about what his or her needs are in the classroom. This way, your goals will be consistent with information offered by other therapists and teachers.
Monitor and Review Old Goals
Whether you were involved in the previous IEP or arena testing or not, timely, consistent, and accurate documentation must be included in every IEP. Did the child succeed at all goals? Which goals did he or she struggle with completing? Comparing past goals with current performance is key.
Always Set Measurable Goals
In an IEP, the most important thing about goal setting is that each goal must be measurable. When you review each goal you set for the child, make sure you can measure progress every step of the way. If you cannot, adjust the goal or, perhaps, the wording so you can track the progress easily.
Remember the Other Side
Think about the teachers, parents, and administrators. They are an important part of the IEP process. Make sure your goals are in line with their expectations and desires as well. While there are many aspects to developing and monitoring IEPs, there are plenty of people available to help. Talk to your peers, as well as teachers and parents, to find out what and how they can be of help. Remember that the ultimate goal is to design an IEP that will assist the child in maximizing his or her educational experience.
Do you have additional questions? Contact us today!