Cerebral Palsy and IFSP, IEP, IHP.
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy

IFSP, IEP and IHPCerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral PalsyCerebral Palsy

A child with a disability may face many trials and tribulations in school and will probably need individualized support.  Thankfully, states are required to meet the educational needs of disabled children.

 Up to the age of three, a child’s educational services are provided through an early intervention program. States that collect federal funding to provide early intervention services must for every family affected by disability outline an individual family service plan, or an IFSP.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

The IFSP is focused on the entire family, not just the child with cerebral palsy. As well as the services needed by your child, IFSPs list services such as helping you learn how to use daily activities to help your cerebral palsied child develop and helping siblings to understand what it means to have a brother or sister with a disability, The methods and tactics for drafting an effective IFSP are the same as those for drafting an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Keep track of when you last reviewed your IFSP, and be sure to revisit it every six months.

 One significant amendment to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA (see section on Legal Rights) demands that early intervention services be provided to families and children to the “maximum extent appropriate” in the child’s “natural environment.” This means that assistance should be provided at a place familiar to the child, such as the home, as oppose to being administered in a center. This mandate is indicative of IDEA’s ardent predilection toward placing children with disabilities in regular schools with their non-disabled colleagues.

 As with all children, every child with a disability is unique – a fact which IDEA readily recognizes. As a result, the act demands that your child’s education be customized to meet his or her unique requirements. Based on his or her evaluation, a program will be designed to address your child’s specific developmental delay. This is called an Individualized Education Plan, but is more often referred to simply as an IEP. An IEP is a written report that outlines: your child’s current stage of development; developmental strong points and setbacks; specific educational services your child will be given; immediate and annual objectives of the child’s special education program, as well as criterion for determining whether those objectives have been met; the degree to which your child will be included in regular classrooms; your child’s communication needs; any concerns you may have as a parent; and a behavior intervention plan to ensure your child’s involvement in regular education classrooms without hindering his or her or other students’ ability to learn.

 Under governmental policy, educational assignments must be founded in the IEP, not vice versa. In other words, your child is entitled to the services he or she requires in the appropriate setting as outlined in his or her IEP and should not be placed in a program based on availability. Parents, teachers, and other school district officials usually convene several times in order to develop a suitable IEP.

Drafting an IEP is preferably a collaborative endeavor, with parents, instructors, therapists, and school representatives deliberating which objectives are apt for you child, and in what way they should be realized.  Due to the deep-seated emphasis IDEA puts on inclusion, regular education instructors are obligated to be on IEP teams. Drafting an IEP should be a process – there will and should be many revisions to the plan. A final IEP will be a mutually satisfactory educational plan.

 IEPs should be extremely explicit. There should be exact objectives set for your child in every sphere of development, making sure to indicate how and when those objectives will be attained. It may seem like quite the daunting task to clearly layout your child’s educational plans, but a detailed IEP ensures that your child will receive his or her prescribed services because it enables you to more narrowly look after the education your child is receiving. As your child grows and develops, his or her educational needs will no doubt change. For this reason, the law demands that an IEP be revisited at least once a year to make certain your child’s instruction continues to meet his or her ever-changing needs. Your child with cerebral palsy no doubt has individual needs that separate him or her from the rest of disabled children. Be sure that the people who draft your IEP are made aware of these needs and that services are prescribed as necessary.

 In order to corroborate placement in a specific kind of program, you should collect information that substantiates your child’s special needs. Then present letters from physicians, therapists (occupational, physical, or language), developmental experts, instructors, psychologists, and other professionals that further corroborate your position on which program would best suit your child’s needs. This extra work on your part may be what tips the scales in your favor for the decisions regarding your child’s education.

 When you attend your child’s IEP meeting, make sure you bring someone along with you such as a spouse, friend, advocate, lawyer, teacher, etc. Take notes during the meeting, be assertive, and get everything in writing. As a parent, you know your child best, and therefore are your child’s most vital asset – you must be a strong advocate on his or her part during the IEP process.

 Many years after your child has completed his or her IEP, and after he or she has completed his or her academic career, you will need to aid your child in setting up an occupation. Similar to the manner in which an IEP is developed and similar to how an IEP helps your child get the most out of his or her education, when it comes time for your child to begin his or her professional life, he or she will undoubtedly profit from an Individualized Habilitation Plan, or an IHP.  The IHP describes the services a disabled person might need to work productively as well as services one might need to live autonomously, if preferred.

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Cerebral Palsy and Education: Evaluations, Financing,
IFSP, IEP, IHP, Legal Rights and Special Education.