Thursday, February 23, 2012

Self Advocacy and Student Led IEPs

064I attended this session presented by Dr. Tracy West and Mrs. Jenny Johansson.

Here are the notes from this session:

1. Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for those decisions. (VanReusen et al; 1994)
2. Self Advocates know themselves, know what they need, and know how to get it.
3. Sometimes there are obstacles to getting students to be self advocates. These may be our own beliefs/fears or the parents’ beliefs/fears.
4. Mrs. Johansson’s student, William, modeled how he would present his IEP. He had an IEP with a PowerPoint presentation and shared his information.
5. Certain slides had a little symbol/code that signaled to William when the teacher would present that slide.
6. William’s parents were very pleased with the results of this kind of IEP meeting. They felt their son had improved tremendously by learning to be a self advocate.
7. Preparing for their IEP meetings was a year long process. A red binder was kept for each student to add information that may be needed to make their presentation.

My thoughts:

I have had student led IEPs for many years and I think they were more effective than having the teacher lead them. They were a lot of work to prepare for but well worth the effort. The parents and teachers seemed to be more engaged and interactive in these meetings. I was able to incorporate many of our standards into this project throughout the year. I’m glad to see that more and more teachers are doing this.

Do you do this? If so, please share any suggestions with us! 

Original Image by Pat Hensley


Sioux Roslawski said...

I have my students create a "strengths/needs and ways to improve" sheet to begin our parent-teacher conferences. Even though parents are encouraged to bring their child, most don't. However, it's always interesting to see how children perceive themselves. (They're always harder on themselves than they should be, and often don't see some very important strengths they possess.)

loonyhiker said...

@Sioux That is a great idea! Thanks for sharing this.