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Monday, August 30, 2010

Autism Alphabet Soup

Special education teacher Pam Downing writes in The Brownsville Herald:

"Abby" walked into the classroom with her 6-year-old son "Ian". The teacher had asked her to come in to discuss an annual plan for her son’s education. The boy’s annual ARD (Admission, Review and Dismissal) was due in a week. The teacher had sent home a draft individual education plan (IEP) for her to review. As Abby sat down, she turned to the teacher and said, "This is almost fifty pages long. I don’t understand it. Why is it so long?"

The teacher nodded and said, "I agree Abby. I think there are far too many pages, too. Our paper and ink seems to get longer every year rather than less. Some of the material appears to be more for legal requirements rather than for what parents are really worried about." Abby looked at her son Ian. She looked over at the papers and asked, "So, what should I look at first?" "Well," said the teacher, "there are several parts of an IEP for any child, but there are additional ones for a child with autism. Let’s go over each section slowly."

The first thing we are going to discuss is what is called your child’s competencies. Essentially, it is a written discussion of what your child can do right now academically. It is now called the PLAAFPs (present level of academic achievement or functional performance). Some other areas I want to discuss today include last year’s and next year’s goals and objectives, his FBA (functional behavioral assessment, his BIP (behavioral intervention plan), his AU supplement (autism), his ESY (extended service year), and his AT evaluation (assistive technology).

And don't forget