The IEP Journey: The Heart of Special Education Planning

In today's episode, we sit down with Stephanie DeLussey, a dual-certified veteran special education teacher, IEP coach, and author of the upcoming book "The Intentional IEP." Stephanie shares her unique insights into the often daunting process of writing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). She emphasizes the importance of collaboration between parents and teachers, and offers practical tips to make the IEP process more effective and less stressful for everyone involved.

Read the full transcript and show notes at:

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Show Outline:


Timestamp: 00:00:00 - 00:01:00

In this episode, Vicki Davis sits down with Stephanie DeLussey to discuss the importance of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and how to approach them intentionally. Stephanie shares her expertise in creating effective IEPs that genuinely cater to the needs of each student.

The Importance of Parent Input

Timestamp: 00:01:01 - 00:04:48

Stephanie emphasizes the crucial role that parent input plays in shaping an effective IEP. She suggests using input forms to gather valuable information from parents, which can then be used to write the present-level section of the IEP.

Writing the IEP: The Present Level Section

Timestamp: 00:04:48 - 00:05:22

Stephanie walks us through the process of writing the PLAAFP (Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance) section of the IEP, which serves as the foundation for the entire plan.

Gathering Additional Input

Timestamp: 00:05:22 - 00:06:08

Stephanie advises sending out teacher input forms and consulting with other professionals who work with the child. This additional input helps in determining the skills to focus on when writing IEP goals.

Drafting and Revising the IEP

Timestamp: 00:06:08 - 00:07:16

Stephanie talks about sending a proposed draft IEP to the family for review. She emphasizes the importance of open communication and flexibility in making any necessary changes.

Communication and Feedback

Timestamp: 00:07:16 - 00:07:48

Vicki and Stephanie discuss the best ways to communicate with families, whether it's through email, phone calls, or face-to-face meetings, depending on the family's preference.

The IEP Meeting and Follow-Up

Timestamp: 00:07:48 - 00:09:11

Stephanie outlines what happens during the IEP meeting and the importance of ongoing communication with general education teachers and parents throughout the year.

Addressing Misconceptions

Timestamp: 00:09:11 - 00:11:09

Vicki and Stephanie tackle some common misconceptions about IEPs, including the difference between being "fair" and being "equitable."

Conclusion and Resources

Timestamp: 00:11:09 - 00:12:02

Vicki wraps up the episode by thanking Stephanie for her insights and mentioning Stephanie's upcoming book, "The Intentional IEP," set to release in January.

Check out this episode!

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