18 IEP TIPS


1. Use language to describe EVERYTHING. Use step-by-step instructions  rather than saying, "Do it this way" and then showing how to do it.  Though  a picture is proverbially worth a thousand words, this learning disability  means that instructors must use those thousand words when showing a  picture  or giving a physical demonstration. ("I shouldn't have to tell you this"
 will never apply!)

2. In social situations, spell out all expectations. Be concrete and  specific. ("Obey me because I'm the parent," is not specific!) Be  explicit. Avoid figurative speech, slang, idioms, etc. ("I shouldn't  have  to tell you this" will never apply!)

3. Provide direct verbal training in planning and organizing. 

4. Communicate with parents (and/or therapist) on assignments, so that  we can also help to improve planning and organizational skills.  

5. Provide direct verbal training in writing essays. Continue to teach  outlining and following an outline.

6. Communicate with parents (and/or therapist) on writing skills, so  that we can also remediate.

7. Require the use of word processor for all essay-type assignments.

8. Avoid power struggles, threats, and punishment. Threats (such as  "If you do this, then you will lose these privileges") only serve to  destroy  a sense of hope. Instead, defuse the situation by moving child to a new  location within the classroom, redirect attention through verbal methods,  or -if possible- negotiate the problem verbally, using concrete and specific  verbal instructions.

9. Recognize that apparent confusion and awkwardness are real and  unintentional. In addition, much sarcastic or inappropriate behavior is  the  child's own attempt at compensation for disabilities. If the assignment  requires visual perception, organization of materials, organization of  numerous complex ideas, or understanding of an overall social gestalt,
then  inappropriate behavior may be his way of responding to a dilemma. With  verbal explanation, the underlying dilemma might be solved. 

10. Provide plenty of positive feedback whenever cooperation or constructive work occurs in small-group assignments. 

11. Place in a small group that has students who will be good role models for cooperative assignments (if possible).

12. Encourage sharing of verbal information and strategic thinking in  cooperative assignments.

13. Check often for understanding (in both academics and social settings). Do not rely on a yes or no answer. 

14. In math, continue to provide assistance with aligning columns and  calculating in columns. In science, provide additional explanation of  figure captions (as needed).

15. Adhere to schedules. Provide plenty of warning whenever schedule will change.

16. To the greatest extent possible, verbally teach conversational strategies that will improve nonverbal communication. That is, explain eye contact, tone of voice, loudness, distance of speaker, gestures, etc.

14. In math, continue to provide assistance with aligning columns and  calculating in columns. In science, provide additional explanation of  figure captions (as needed).

15. Adhere to schedules. Provide plenty of warning whenever schedule will change.

16. To the greatest extent possible, verbally teach conversational strategies that will improve nonverbal communication. That is, explain eye contact, tone of voice, loudness, distance of speaker, gestures, etc.

17. Use the child's remarkable verbal skills as the basis for learning new material and new skills, especially remarkable memory skills, fund of  information, strategic abilities, and logical reasoning.

18. Continue occupational therapy.