SAMPLE Strengths & Needs for IEP... and School Safety Pl



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makelifehappen
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Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:44 am

PROFILE OF STRENGTHS



Motivated to do well almost to point of self imposed perfection
Concrete thinker
Excellent verbal ability
Good sense of humour
Extremely visual
Strong math skills
Strong interest in technology, especially computers
Quick to grasp new concepts and skills
Enjoys math, puzzles, cards, chess
Able to hyper focus at times
Persevere
Honest and direct
Strong desire for positive peer interactions and friends
Music
Art/drawing
Rote memory
Attention to detail
Loyal
Logical thinker
Fairness
Justice in support of underdog (sometimes overly moralistic)


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Last edited by makelifehappen on Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

makelifehappen
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Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:45 am

PROFILE OF NEEDS



Needs to experience success and feel that he is a valued member of the class
Needs to have a positive learning environment
Needs to have staff and peers educated about Aspergers
Needs to be taught skills in all areas of social, emotional and academic learning in order to understand the expectations of students in the school environment
Needs to be taught strategies on how to be a positive active learner
Needs assistance with information processing (eg. FM for CAP)
Needs assistance in developing skills to work with short term memory and auditory memory disability
Needs to be taught how to focus
Needs to be taught study skills that include the review of daily work for comprehension, memorization and conceptualization
Needs to be taught skills in proofreading
Needs to be encourage to achieve success relative to his personal potential
Needs to be taught to use technological tools such as calculators and computers with appropriate software
Needs to be taught computer keyboarding to assist with the graphomotor and fine motor difficulties
Needs to be taught strategies on how to give precise and complete oral and written answers using technological aids
Needs to be taught positive peer interactions
Needs to be in an inclusive, nurturing environment free of bullying for both structured and non-structured times
Needs assistance in anxiety management to avoid problematic behaviours
Needs to be taught social skills in the following areas:
Appropriate peer interactions in both structured and unstructured time
Relationships with adults and/or authority figures
Strategies and skills in recognizing non verbal cues
Strategies for building self esteem
Needs to experience small successes in peer interaction
Needs strategies in sensory motor integration – visual special learner, will need to learn how to cope with noise, lights, touch, fine and gross motor skills, smells and food textures
Needs abstract concepts translated into concrete methods
Needs extensive help with Transitions:
Perseverations
Thoughts
Schedules, classes
Structured and non-structured times
Guided independence
Needs skills in understanding non-verbal information such as body postures, gestures, facial expressions, tome of voice as it applies to humour, innuendo, implied meaning, sarcasm, metaphors
Needs to be taught organizational and time management skills for work done at school and home
Needs to be taught how to identify important ideas and study materials
Needs to be taught skills in self advocacy and problem ownership
Needs to be taught how to take risks, especially social ones


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makelifehappen
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Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:27 am

It has been our experience that when dealing with the school system, there is this optical illusion that they know what your child needs are, have done many IEP's before, have worked with children "like yours", have extensive knowledge and training in how to work with and teach your AS child. I was never more appauled when I found our IEP sent home with 3, YES 3 goals and 2 modifications and one of these three measurable goals was to get her to the find her way to the bus independently! Are they for real??! !! !!

*shakes head*

I have asked here and on many other forums, groups, parent networks for suggestions for IEP's, but it seems that everyone is even more clueless than the last guy, as the school tends to write up this sort of rubbish and gets away with it! It kills me, daily, as I sit at my computer tapping away at my keyboard playing search engine Queen, to know that there are people out there that simply do not have the language, knowledge or resources to get the services that their children are entitled to and deserve. Asperger's is still being swept under the carpet and not given the full credit that it deserves as a ASD.

Here is a copy of the Safety Plan that we have created, drawing on many points from a sample one I was given recently, which identifies my child's needs and steers clear of the staff's needs (which is what the school board often writes up when they do the safety plan).

Best wishes!



Safety Plan

Behaviour

Anxiety: Tense body, Fidgeting, Stomachache, Headache, Holding her hands over her ears, Asking for a time out, Obvious physical signs of stress, Increased volume of voice/uncharacteristic manner, Fatigue, Lack of inertia

Trigger(s)

Hypersensitivities

Noise (Hearing): CAP Disorder, Bells, Fire drill, Gymnasium noise, Lunchroom activity/noise, Music class (instrumental), Unstructured times such as recess, lunch, entry and exit times in hallways, Lights, Fans, Air conditioning, Noisy traffic, Malls/restaurants/social gatherings or outings, White noise (classroom noises – desks sliding, pencil sharpener /tapping, chatter)
Temperature: Over heating – low heat threshold, Cold sensitive
Hunger: Hunger/thirst or low blood sugar, Allow AS CHILD FILL IN NAME ability to have snack, even during times of discipline
Visual distractions: Strobe lights, Flashing lights, Fast action scenes on television or video, Flickering florescent light
Tactile defensiveness: Enjoys tight clothing, Likes to be touched, but only on her own terms, Tags, Texture, Sock seams. Elastics, Snow pants, Underwear, Hats
Tastes: Sensitive to certain tastes and textures
Smells: Perfumes, Wood, Aftershave, Food, Plants, Animals
Transitions: Any routine variation, Schedule change, Supply teacher

Prevention Strategies

Remain Calm
Evaluate the extent of hyperactive behaviour to assess need for immediate or graduated response.
Either remove the trigger from AS CHILD FILL IN NAME or AS CHILD FILL IN NAME from the trigger in a calm, nurturing & non-punitive manner
Make sure the FM system is on especially if the class is noisy/assembly times difficulty may be due to high ceilings in school/echoing
Talk to AS CHILD FILL IN NAME quietly and reassure her that she is ok
Give plenty of advance notice as to changes in routine or schedules including reminders
Breakdown instructions into smaller steps
Offer visual and verbal instructions for assignments and rephrase or repeat to ensure comprehension
Assist in organizing her day with a visual schedule, agenda
Prepare AS CHILD FILL IN NAME for unstructured activities by rehearsing what she needs to do and advise her that she may seek a quieter place.
Ask AS CHILD FILL IN NAME if she has eaten appropriately
Consider turning florescent lights off and using an incandescent lamp
Do not restrain or touch her while she is in an anxious state. It will only cause her to escalate.
Have staff refrain from wearing perfumes and aftershave
Outline clear expectations of what behaviours are acceptable and not acceptable in the classroom
Where possible, select classes with smaller number of students and a highly structured environment

Intervention(s)

When AS CHILD FILL IN NAME shows signs of anxiety, be supportive by:

Be respectful of her feelings
Try to reduce the triggers especially if she is reacting to competing voices/noises in the classroom
Check for overheating – remove excess sweaters or jackets
Check for headache – look for directions from parents in OSR
Suggest a walk or redirection to help her calm. Use a pre-determined signal such as laying the agenda on the desk or taking the attendance to the office. AS CHILD FILL IN NAME can then take time to collect herself in a calming way and not become the focus of a power struggle.
Have a quieter non-threatening place where AS CHILD FILL IN NAME can go to regain her composure while maintaining her self-esteem and dignity
Do not try to rationalize her behaviours with her at that time, as she is not capable of social autopsies while in anxiety mode
Help AS CHILD FILL IN NAME to de-escalate by encouraging self-calming strategies such as deep breathing, removing herself to a quieter place while trying to assist her in maintaining her self-esteem and dignity
Check for hunger – suggest she may want to get a snack from her lunch
Assist her to get something from her lunchbag such as a source of protein
Redirect and support but do not touch.
It is important to note that at this stage, further escalation of behaviour can be avoided. Do not get in a power struggle.



Behaviour

Defensive stage: Demanding questions, Tries to gain teacher’s attention, Challenges / intimidates, Tells others how to behave or be quiet, Begins to lose rationality, Refusal and non-compliant

Trigger(s)

Confusion over expectations – unclear instructions, negative interpretation
Lack of insight in reading the body language of teachers and peers
Misses social cues and voice inflections
Fears teacher and/or class rejection
Lack of preparation or perceived lack for the structured class (homework not complete or no supplies)
Negative feedback for poor work, reprimands for behaviours judged inappropriate for which she had no control
Lecturing or yelling at her
Embarrassing her or shaming her
Blaming her

* When the above triggers are not resolved the behaviours will escalate.

Prevention Strategies

Positive feedback about achievements and ongoing progress
Negative test results should be provided in individual settings

Intervention(s)

Set simple clear limits
Give her expectations that are concrete, reasonable and attainable
Be consistent
Tell AS CHILD FILL IN NAME what she needs to do
Offer choices that will allow her to regain her composure
Restate expectations outside the room again


Behaviour

Loss of Control: Raising voice, Yelling, Hitting others/self, Shoving desk, Throwing objects, Hiding under desk or in a small space, Tearing paper

Trigger(s)

Trying to discuss the cause of the meltdown and lecturing her about it, during .
Blaming her
Making her feel embarrassed or ashamed

* If triggers cannot be resolved then the behaviours will escalate

Prevention Strategies



Intervention(s)

Once AS CHILD FILL IN NAME goes into a “full rage” and her loss of control is a safety concern for herself or others AS CHILD FILL IN NAME is often unable to reason or disengage her emotions at ther point. It is important to remember that rage is not always specific to events in the classroom, but AS CHILD FILL IN NAME’s anger at herself for losing control.
AS CHILD FILL IN NAME should be allowed space and not be crowded
Always allow AS CHILD FILL IN NAME to vent
Remain calm, using a neutral, firm voice tell AS CHILD FILL IN NAME to go to her safe place and walk with her
The person accompanying her to the safe place should walk with her and do not attempt to talk to her. This is not a time to reprimand her or chat until she has regained control.
Avoid confrontation- ther is not a time to discuss cause of the outburst.
Do not use restraints or holds on AS CHILD FILL IN NAME as it will only escalate the behaviours.
Redirect her verbally. Use short instructions in a calm voice.
Once she begins to calm down and regain control, remind her to do some deep breathing exercises.


Behaviour

Tension Reduction (Recovery stage): Expressions of remorse and frustration at her inability to self-control, May express desire to hurt herself in order to prevent this from happening in the future, Can become extremely sad and tearful. AS CHILD FILL IN NAME knows the others fear her when she goes into a rage and is very distressed by it, Slowed breathing, body tension subsides

Intervention(s)

This is an important time for learning to take place. It is not a time for detailing all of her inappropriate behaviours and making her accountable by either suspension, removal of privileges or expulsion. It is time to remember that she has been identified as having Autism. All, including AS CHILD FILL IN NAME can learn.
Allow AS CHILD FILL IN NAME to talk about her feelings
Once AS CHILD FILL IN NAME has expressed her feelings, this can be an opportunity for instruction and discussion on how to better handle specific situations in the future
Allow AS CHILD FILL IN NAME to maintain her dignity
Allow AS CHILD FILL IN NAME to express her feelings and discuss alternative strategies that can be used if the situation occurs again
Discuss and plan appropriate consequences for behaviours but only when her condition is taken into account. Be sure she feels she received a fair hearing and all the children involved were treated the same.
Once AS CHILD FILL IN NAME has regained control she may need help re-integrating into the classroom and catching up on missed work.
Restore the environment if necessary
Do not continue to nag or argue about her meltdown as it could lead to more.
Offer praise for regaining her self-control


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Triangular_Trees
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Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:16 am

I've never heard of an IEP today where the parents weren't active participants in determining the goals etc. In fact, I think it may even be federal law that the parents are able to fully participate in setting up should they choose to do so (though I'd have to look that up to verify for sure)



girl7000
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Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:45 am

Just want to say that I too think it would be useful to sticky this.



Corsarzs
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Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:49 am

When did you meet Z? May I copy this and take it to his teachers? Thanks


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ster
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Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:25 pm

needs to have staff that understand he's not being defiant~ only literal in his translations.
needs to have staff that understand the importance of routines & schedules & not making last minute changes
needs to have a behavior support plan that is consistently used.



outlander
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Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:24 pm

As a 62 year old aspie who went through school and somehow survived at at time when the term "Asperger's Syndrome" was unknown, may I add an AMEN or even a Sevenfold-AMEN to the above lists. And If I may add a few of my own to the needs list.

Needs strong support and parental intervention with school staff in the event of bullying, and consider getting a lawyer if they are reticent or inadequate about doing anything.
Need support in dealing with social embarrassments which arise from AS.
-- A big one for me was prosopagnosia or "face blindness" and inability to recognize people by their faces, particularly a problem when I met them out of the context in which I normally knew them.
-- Another big one was being percieved as deceptive or lying due to atypical body language.

It wasn't comfortable or easy and I might have turned out even better, but I finally made it as a college professor in Mechanical Engineering. (by the way, a thread on wrong planet about professions for Aspies rated "college professor" as an excellent fit :D )


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earthmom
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Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:24 pm

As a 47 year old Aspie who also had no help, and a mother of 2 Aspies who were mostly homeschooled and later went through high school with no special help, I have mixed feelings about these type of things.

On the one hand, if the child is finding school impossible then yes the parent needs to step in. But teaching the child that the world will change to adapt to him is the wrong message. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to spend time teaching workarounds and ways to adapt to the child? So many of the things on the "Needs" list are needed to be taught and helped with by parents, not necessarily the school district. They can't be in charge of raising our kids and teaching moral and life lessons as well as school work, IMO.

As for the lists of what the child needs, what is sad is that what you're saying is the child needs patience. Acceptance for who he is no matter who that may be, and some kindness. That's what all kids need. Aspies more than others at times maybe but still, if teachers/school administrators approached the whole thing from a kindess, helpful, patient outlook, there would be no need for parents to push for more specialized things most likely.

I never agree with fighting to change the school. If it's not working for you easily, leave it and homeschool. The child will be safer, and allowed to blossom in a safe, accepting environment. The school loses money for every person who leaves it and eventually they will get the message that way.



Last edited by earthmom on Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

earthmom
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Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:26 pm

outlander wrote:
As a 62 year old aspie who went through school and somehow survived at at time when the term "Asperger's Syndrome" was unknown, may I add an AMEN or even a Sevenfold-AMEN to the above lists. And If I may add a few of my own to the needs list.

Needs strong support and parental intervention with school staff in the event of bullying, and consider getting a lawyer if they are reticent or inadequate about doing anything.
Need support in dealing with social embarrassments which arise from AS.
-- A big one for me was prosopagnosia or "face blindness" and inability to recognize people by their faces, particularly a problem when I met them out of the context in which I normally knew them.
-- Another big one was being percieved as deceptive or lying due to atypical body language.

It wasn't comfortable or easy and I might have turned out even better, but I finally made it as a college professor in Mechanical Engineering. (by the way, a thread on wrong planet about professions for Aspies rated "college professor" as an excellent fit :D )


Good for you on your success!

I also have the face-blindness problem. I couldn't get through college but later taught myself to program, worked as a programmer and got my vocational certification and taught college. I've been fortunate to do many interesting things in my life. I don't think I would have tried if I had been labeled as 'disabled' early on.



makelifehappen
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Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:44 am

earthmom wrote:
As a 47 year old Aspie who also had no help, and a mother of 2 Aspies who were mostly homeschooled and later went through high school with no special help, I have mixed feelings about these type of things.

On the one hand, if the child is finding school impossible then yes the parent needs to step in. But teaching the child that the world will change to adapt to him is the wrong message. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to spend time teaching workarounds and ways to adapt to the child? So many of the things on the "Needs" list are needed to be taught and helped with by parents, not necessarily the school district. They can't be in charge of raising our kids and teaching moral and life lessons as well as school work, IMO.

As for the lists of what the child needs, what is sad is that what you're saying is the child needs patience. Acceptance for who he is no matter who that may be, and some kindness. That's what all kids need. Aspies more than others at times maybe but still, if teachers/school administrators approached the whole thing from a kindess, helpful, patient outlook, there would be no need for parents to push for more specialized things most likely.

I never agree with fighting to change the school. If it's not working for you easily, leave it and homeschool. The child will be safer, and allowed to blossom in a safe, accepting environment. The school loses money for every person who leaves it and eventually they will get the message that way.


Headed that way...believe me, I get it! *sigh*


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sinagua
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Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:31 pm

makelifehappen wrote:
earthmom wrote:
As a 47 year old Aspie who also had no help, and a mother of 2 Aspies who were mostly homeschooled and later went through high school with no special help, I have mixed feelings about these type of things.

On the one hand, if the child is finding school impossible then yes the parent needs to step in. But teaching the child that the world will change to adapt to him is the wrong message. Wouldn't it be more beneficial to spend time teaching workarounds and ways to adapt to the child? So many of the things on the "Needs" list are needed to be taught and helped with by parents, not necessarily the school district. They can't be in charge of raising our kids and teaching moral and life lessons as well as school work, IMO.

As for the lists of what the child needs, what is sad is that what you're saying is the child needs patience. Acceptance for who he is no matter who that may be, and some kindness. That's what all kids need. Aspies more than others at times maybe but still, if teachers/school administrators approached the whole thing from a kindess, helpful, patient outlook, there would be no need for parents to push for more specialized things most likely.

I never agree with fighting to change the school. If it's not working for you easily, leave it and homeschool. The child will be safer, and allowed to blossom in a safe, accepting environment. The school loses money for every person who leaves it and eventually they will get the message that way.


Headed that way...believe me, I get it! *sigh*

I am in the process of getting an IEP for our son, and this whole thread is very informative and thought provoking. My FIL says the schools are happy to receive money from the state for every kid with an IEP or 504, but they're very loathe to actually use that money toward helping the kid. (If this is true, it disgusts me - it's like a foster parent accepting money from the state and not spending the money on the kids.) Our son still likes school, but he really doesn't have friends (just one, really) and often distracts and/or annoys the other kids. He's oblivious to this, of course.



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Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:10 pm

well i'm not a parent but a 27 yr old with aspergers who graduated high school and had a study job for a while, self employment, internet business, etc- i agree with what outlander said. i believe that if you can get a diagnoses of aspergers at a early age your child will do much better. there was no such thing as aspergers, or adhd, add when i was in school. However i believe home schooling or just having your child at home doing there favorite interests and hobbies and not being in public schools is the best option. If i knew i had aspergers in high school i probably would of dropped out and take a GED just to reduce that anxiety and constant bullying, and constant migraines that was a pain in my life.

I think parents need to understand that even though schools, and others say being socially involved or that getting a good job it is best for your child, it is not!! !

Parents need to realize that aspies have very narrow interests. (such as engineering, or computer programming, forcing them to do stuff they dont wanna do is just gonna make it harder for parents.

best the best way to help your child, is to listen to your child. alot of us are very sensitive to to th senses, and please focus more on what your childs interests are on be positive and love your child no matter what, keep the yelling, arguing and critics/bullying to minimal, and i know it's hard but if you are married put your child first (if your husband or spouse is calling your child names or putting your child down) that will be in your childs memories forever.

the more you argue, fight with your child, and others critizing your parenting skills infront of your child is gonna end up just making your child worse. keep the alcohol to a minimal around your kids. I dont know about others but aspies tend to also be diagnosed with ptsd, ocd, anxiety disorder cause of people telling them that your child is a loser, is dumb or they lose someone there close too, such as friends dying or moving away. stay positive when your around your child. it can be rewarding if you keep your child in your life.

just so you know, to new parents that by the time your child is in high school and beyond there gonna have emotional breakdowns,depression,anxiety. due to any dramatic events in the past (divorces, friends dying, family dying, being abused or harassed by others) keep your child around people who are friendly and like your child. (if your child dont like school, try to find a alternative that they enjoy) keep them busy with there interests in heart, like if you have a aspie teen, get them a laptop or something there interested in.

just so you know i had a pretty good education and did well in school, but parent divorces and family deaths and alcohol, diabetes, depression, family problems,adoption, family splitups, constant memories of bullying in school triggered, depression, ptsd, ocd,anxiety for me as an adult. The aspergers wasnt a issue for me, it was the neglect and ignorance and of others and family problems that is more severe then the aspergers as an adult.



outlander
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Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:37 pm

jaydog wrote:
just so you know i had a pretty good education and did well in school, but parent divorces and family deaths and alcohol, diabetes, depression, family problems,adoption, family splitups, constant memories of bullying in school triggered, depression, ptsd, ocd,anxiety for me as an adult. The aspergers wasnt a issue for me, it was the neglect and ignorance and of others and family problems that is more severe then the aspergers as an adult.


Wow! that has resonance with me!
I did not have the long litany of problems that you did but did have
-- Family strife
-- constant memories of bullying in school which probably qualify as ptsd
-- minor ocd
-- anxiety problems

The bummer is the flashbacks that I experience where suddenly I have the entire mental image of a stressful or embarrassing moment replay in my head with a complete set of all associated emotional discomforts. It is like a video clip with emotional response added. This happens all the time and often even to the point that I wince and maybe even make a vocal response apropos to the flash back and utterly unrelated to anything actually happening to around me in the present.

Is this flashback thing frequently found among other aspies as well?


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jaydog
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Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:35 pm

i had/have major flashbacks that would wake me up in a sweat and cause severe panic attacks. i think alot of aspies have anxiety too.



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