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Running head: IEP CASE STUDY

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Case Study


Signature Assessment #2
Alexander Furman
Towson University

IEP CASE STUDY

Section I
Part A: Student Background
John is a first grade student at Woodholme Elementary School. He is currently 6 years
old, turning 7 in the summer of this year. He is learning English as a second language and is
originally from Honduras and receives English as a Second Oral Language (ESOL) services
because of this. In performing 2 informal observations of John, I saw a student who is generally
quiet, plays well with others, asks friends and teachers for help, and washes his hands regularly.
He sometimes stares at the wall or ceiling during instruction and then asks for clarification when
completing an activity. He appears easily distracted by others around him and is seated near the
teacher in most classrooms he is in to help with this. John uses short sentences to speak and
seems to have trouble with grammar, but has a great grasp of phonemic awareness and the
sounds that make up words. He can usually be one of the first in his reading group to sound out
or read a word.
John was originally referred for Special Education services in Preschool by Child Find
Referrals. He was transitioned from the Baltimore County Infants and Toddlers Program and
given his first IEP in the spring of 2012, when John was almost 3. John was initially referred
because of his mothers concern for his speech and language development. Spanish is the
primary language spoken at his house, but she expressed that in any language, John seemed to
struggle with communication with oral language. His family medical history is healthy. John was
born full term at 8 pounds, 3 ounces and has no health concerns.
The pre-referral strategies were handled by the Baltimore County Infants and Toddlers
Program. In observing the initial IEP documents, it appeared that this program conducted speech
and language therapy and some occupational therapy with John. These interventions resulted in

IEP CASE STUDY

John transitioning to Child Find Services for a formalized IEP team. In assessing John, the
Developmental Assessment of Young Children (DAYC) and the Preschool Language Scales-5
(PLS-5) were completed. He was 33 months old when completing the DAYC assessment with a
Spanish interpreter present. He scored at 18 months in the cognitive section and 20 months in the
emotional section. John appeared to be strong in imitation play and using toys appropriately and
showed needs in developing early math skills such as one and all. He showed affection,
interest in others, and exploration, but lacked the urge to participate in play and pretending. He
was also 33 months in completing the PLS-5, which was also administered with an interpreter.
He scored in the 17 the 17 month range for Auditory Comprehension, 18 months in Expressive
language, and 18 months in Total Language. His strengths in this assessment were determined to
be following directions, pointing to pictures, using greetings, and participating in an interactive
play routine. His needs were expressed as demonstrating inferential thinking, understanding
grammatical structures, understanding analogies, and using language to express his needs and
wants.
In completing these assessments and working with John and his mother, it was
determined that he has an impairment that requires Special Education and related services. His
mother elected to receive extended services from the Infants and Toddlers Program and
remaining with an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) instead of converting to an IEP at the
time of the first IEP meeting. A year later, John was given his first IEP. He was given age and
grade level appropriate goals and objectives and met each goal and objective accordingly. He
received speech and language services and academic services through Child Find Services
through first grade. This initial IEP began May 23, 2013, when John was 3. His primary
disability was coded as Speech/Language Impairments. His eligibility was determined through

IEP CASE STUDY

the assessments completed in the previous year where he was found to be experiencing at least a
25% delay in cognitive development, communication development, and psycho-social
development.
Part B: IEP Process
The IEP process at Woodholme begins with the calendar of teams for the year. As each
IEP team date approaches, that is the order in which each IEP is addressed. Once it came time for
Johns IEP process to begin, it was seen on the calendar that it was Johns tri-annual IEP meeting.
This means that formal assessments are required to be completed. The parent was aware and was
made clear that this was the year for re-evaluation and a new determination for eligibility of
Special Education services would be determined. Because Johns mom primarily speaks
Castilian Spanish, an interpreter was made available for all meetings and conversations between
the school and Johns mom. The IEP meeting was scheduled in coordination with Johns moms
schedule.
The team members included Johns mom with an interpreter provided by Baltimore
County, the IEP chairperson, the case manager, the occupational therapist, the speech and
language pathologist, and the general education classroom teacher. In preparing for this triannual IEP team, the speech and language pathologist conducted a Speech and Language
Assessment (SLA) to determine current levels of performance in receptive and expressive
language. This SLA included the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-5 (CLEF-5),
parent and teacher questionnaires, and a Language Sample. The case manager performed the
Woodcock Johnson III: Tests of Achievement (WJ III) to provide information regarding the
development of academic and application skills in the areas of reading, mathematics, and written
language. Johns classroom teacher composed informal observations regarding Johns progress

IEP CASE STUDY

socially and academically. The occupational therapist prepared a statement for the IEP meeting
as well, compiling strengths and needs in regards to fine motor skills such as pencil holding and
scissor usage.
This process aligned with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (IDEA) because there was a multi-disciplinary approach to formally and informally
assessing John in preparing for his tri-annual IEP meeting. In completing this, he was determined
ineligible for Special Education services and therefore dismissed from Special Education. The
team discussed this decision and consulted with each other to ensure that every member of the
team agreed. This information was brought to the IEP team meeting where it was agreed to by
Johns mother and the team as a whole. These steps and this process align with the requirements
in IDEA.
Section II
Part A: Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Performance
To determine Johns present levels of academic performance a formal assessment, the WJ
III, was completed, an informal assessment, the CLEF-5, was completed, teacher and parent
statements were reported informally, informal behavioral observations from classroom teachers
were compiled, and an informal language sample was completed. The results of these formal and
informal assessments and observations concluded that John is no longer eligible for Special
Education services. The classroom teacher, case manager, speech and language pathologist, and
occupational therapist all gave written statements showing their findings regarding Johns
present levels of academic achievement and performance in assessment reports. There was no
IEP drafted, so these statements are only in these reports and were explained to Johns mother
using charts and graphs to assist in understanding of the assessment results.

IEP CASE STUDY

Johns present level of academic achievement and performance in reading was


determined in administering the WJ III, specifically the subtests: Letter-Word Identification,
Passage Comprehension, Reading Fluency, and Word Attack. In the report, there were
descriptions of these subtests provided for Johns mother so that she would understand what each
subtest was measuring. In these subtests, John demonstrated Average abilities. A score in the
Average range appears as a standard score between 90-110 in each subtest. He displayed relative
strengths in Letter-Word identification, Reading Fluency, and Word Attack. In these subtests,
John completed reading tasks one would expect of a mid-to-late first grader. Johns reading
comprehension in the Passage Comprehension subtest was also within the average range;
however, he demonstrated comprehension abilities one may expect of a beginning first grader.
Johns relative academic strengths include reading isolated words, nonsense words, and
completing academic tasks. Johns needs include developing strategies for reading
comprehension.
Johns present level of academic achievement and performance in writing was
determined in administering the WJ III, specifically the subtests: Writing Samples, Spelling, and
Writing Fluency. In the report, there were descriptions of these subtests provided for Johns
mother so that she would understand what each subtest was measuring. In these subtests, John
demonstrated Average abilities. A score in the Average range appears as a standard score between
90-110 in each subtest. John was observed using an appropriate right-handed grasp of the pencil
he used and he verbalized sounds and words as he wrote, which is developmentally appropriate.
Johns strengths include basic sentence structure and isolated word usage. His needs include
composing sentences using four or more words.

IEP CASE STUDY

Johns present level of academic achievement and performance in mathematics was


determined in administering the WJ III, specifically the subtests: Applied Problems, Calculation,
Qualitative Concepts, and Math Fluency. In the report, there were descriptions of these subtests
provided for Johns mother so that she would understand what each subtest was measuring. In
Applied Problems, Calculation, and Math Fluency, John demonstrated Average abilities. A score
in the Average range appears as a standard score between 90-110 in each subtest. In Qualitative
Concepts, Johns abilities were scored within the Low-Average range when compared to other
students his age. A score in the Low-Average range appears as a standard score between 80-89 in
each subtest. Johns strengths include addition and problem solving strategies related to addition.
Johns needs include word problems and subtraction.
Johns present level of academic achievement and performance in speech and language
was determined informally through the CLEF-5. The CLEF-5 measures receptive and expressive
language skills, semantic development, sentence comprehension, language structure, and general
language ability. All of these are measuring Johns ability in English. The subtests of the CLEF-5
include Sentence Comprehension, Linguistic Concepts, Word Structure, Following Directions,
Word Classes, Formulated Sentences, and Recalling Sentences. In the speech and language
report, there were descriptions of these subtests provided for Johns mother so that she would
understand what each subtest was measuring.
In the Sentence Comprehension subtest, Johns strengths included understanding of
negation, modification, prepositional phrases, direct/indirect objects, infinitives, relative clauses,
direct and indirect requests, and compound sentences. His needs included understanding of verb
tenses, interrogatives, and passive sentences. In the Linguistic Concepts Subtest, Johns strengths
included understanding of inclusion and exclusion, location, quantity, and sequence. His needs

IEP CASE STUDY

included concepts such as conditional words like if and unless and temporal phrases like
until and at the same time. In the Word Structure subtest, Johns strengths included regular
plurals, possessive nouns, derivation of nouns, contractions, and possessive pronouns. His needs
included -ing endings, regular past tense, objective pronouns, future tense, comparatives and
superlatives, subjective nouns, and irregular past tense. In the Following Directions subtest,
Johns strengths included one level commands with no order, and some two step commands with
no order. His needs included two step directions and directions that included modifiers. In the
Word Classes subtest, Johns strengths included identifying pictures that were in the same
category. His needs included identifying words that were related by location. In the Formulated
Sentences subtest, Johns strengths included producing some simple sentences with nouns and
verbs. His needs included forming grammatically correct sentences and using other grammatical
structures such as adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions. In the Recalling Sentences
subtest, John was able to repeat up to a 7 word sentence correctly.
Overall, Johns strengths in speech and language were identified as asking and answering
questions using sentences, comprehending sentences, formulating simple sentences, semantics
and vocabulary, and following directions. His needs were identified as grammar and syntax.
Johns receptive language skills fell within the range of normal limits on the CLEF-5, but his
expressive language skills fell outside the range of normal limits. In the report, it is explained
that the reason John scored this way in expressive language because there were subtests that
scored him based on syntax, which is one of Johns only needs. This is identified as typical for a
student who is learning English as a second oral language, since it can take 7-9 years for an
English language learner of any age to develop proficient academically appropriate language.

IEP CASE STUDY

John was observed by the occupational therapist to determine if there was a need for fine
motor skills development. In these observations, it was found that John can tend to grasp a pencil
incorrectly and sometimes used both of his hands to operate the pencil. It was also observed that
John struggles to cut on a line with scissors. These observations were relayed to Johns mother.
There is no major concern regarding Johns fine motor skills development, however continued
observation from classroom teachers is needed to ensure that John continues developing.
Part B: Instructional and Testing Accommodations
Through assessing John formally and informally, it was found that John performs within
an average range of ability for most areas educationally and involving speech and language. This
being said, it was the IEP teams decision to determine John ineligible for Special Education
services. This being the case, he will no longer receive instructional and testing accommodations.
However, as a part of the IEP team it was discussed several strategies that can be used with John
to continue his success through the rest of his educational career. Three suggestions were made
by the occupational therapist who had observed some irregularities in how John uses a pencil and
scissors. She recommended that John complete written work at school and home on a flat, three
inch, three ring binder so that he is writing at an angle instead of flat on a table. She has observed
this to correct some of his irregularities. She also suggested that John use half-size pencils when
completing written work. She believes that some of the problems John experiences with a pencil
are from the fact that it may be too long for him. She has observed him using a half-sized pencil
and it has corrected some of his irregularities. Her last suggestion was continued practice at
school and home using scissors. She believes that with continued practice, he will be more able
to cut paper on a line.

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The team as a whole also agreed that if there was ever any concern from any teacher,
parent, or other professional, there could always be the possibility of revisiting Johns eligibility
for Special Education services. It was encouraged that John continue to practice academic skills
at home when he could and to continue any strategies that have assisted in his success at home.
At this time, however, these suggestions were offered only verbally since John will no longer
have an IEP.
Part C: IEP Goals and Objectives
Because there was no IEP written for John, he will receive no IEP goals or objectives.
John will be following a first grade general education curriculum inside a standard classroom
setting. However, before the team determined Johns eligibility for Special Education services,
several IEP goals were written for John as a draft if he was to receive an IEP. These goals do not
actually apply to any IEP and are not part of any document or the IEP team. These were only
composed as a draft to stay prepared.
For reading, since comprehension is an identified need for John, a goal was made that
read: By March 15, 2017, after reading grade level text, John will write 2-4 sentences
describing the main idea and 3 key details in the text as measured by teacher made rubrics and
student work samples in 3 out of 5 trials. The first objective for this goal read: After given the
main idea of a text, John will identify 3 key details that support it in 3 out of 5 trials. Objective
two read: John will independently state the main idea of a text and be able to write it in a
sentence in 3 out of 5 trials. Objective three read: John will independently complete a graphic
organizer to write the main idea of a text in sentence form and list 3 key details supporting it in 3
out of 5 trials. And the last objective read: John will use words from the text to formulate
sentences depicting a main idea of a text and 3 supporting details in 3 out of 5 trials. These

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objectives, if met quarterly, should allow John to reach this goal. This goal aligns to the Common
Core State Standard (CCSS) 1.RI.2, which is, Identify the main topic and retell details of a
text.
For writing, since it was identified that composing sentences using adjectives and adverbs
is a need for John, a goal was drafted that read: By March 15, 2017, after participating in a
guided peer discussion on how to add details to sentences (e.g. describe a person or object's size,
color, function) and given a written sentence related to a previously read grade-level text, John
will add 2 written details to the sentence, for 3 out of 5 sentence-revision activities. The first
objective for tis goal read: John will fill in the blanks in cloze passages with descriptive detail
words given three choices in 3 out of 5 trials. Objective two read: John will correctly identify
where descriptive words could go in a sentence relating to a grade level in 3 out of 5 trials.
Objective three read: After given guiding questions (e.g. what kind of? What could tell me
more about?) John will correctly identify a descriptive word that could be used in a sentence
connecting to a grade level text in 3 out of 5 trials. And the last objective read: John will find
words in a grade level text that are descriptive and explain why an author uses them in 3 out of 5
trials. These objectives, if met quarterly, should allow John to reach this goal. This goal aligns
to the Common Core State Standard (CCSS) 1.W.5, which is, With guidance and support from
adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to
strengthen writing when needed. This goals objectives utilize the Universal Design for
Learning (UDL) model because of the usage of cloze passages, word banks, and class
discussions. These are ways that multiple students with different learning styles and needs for
engagement can access the content and be active learners. Specifically for John, cloze passages
and group discussions can help overcome some language barrier.

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Part D: Supplementary Aids and Services, Program Modifications, and Supports


As previously stated, John did not qualify for Special Education services, so no IEP was
made. Since that is the case, John will receive no supplementary aids and services, program
modifications, or supports. However, John does and will continue to receive English as a Second
Oral Language (ESOL) instruction once a week, since his first language is Castilian Spanish.
John previously received speech and language services two times a week to address language
goals, but he no longer has language goals, so he will no longer receive this service. The IEP
team believes this is appropriate because John falls into an acceptable range of academic
achievement and performance. Since he tested as average across multiple assessments, he will be
instructed and tested with his peers in a general education classroom.
Section III: Reflection
The meeting began once all members of the school that were part of the IEP team were
present in the conference room in Woodholme Elementary School. The meeting started 5 minutes
late because one member of the IEP team was using the bathroom. The IEP chairperson sat at the
head of the table closes to the door, with a spot next to her right as you walk into the room for
Johns mother. The interpreter sat next to her. I sat in the corner of the room to save space at the
table. The case manager sat across from Johns mother and the occupational therapist sat next to
her. The classroom teacher sat next to the interpreter and the speech and language pathologist sat
at the other head of the table, furthest from the door. The first order of business was to ask
permission for me to be present during the IEP meeting. Johns mom agreed to allow me to sit in
on the meeting. Because there was an interpreter and because John was being dismissed from
Special Education, I was not permitted to speak during the meeting, only observe.

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After I was allowed to be present, the room of people went around and introduced
themselves, said their title in the school, and said their relationship to John and what they do/did
with him. Next, it was said to the mother that the purpose of this meeting was to review the
assessment data compiled from multiple sources and to determine eligibility for Special
Education services. The occupational therapist shared her concerns and her suggestions for
support and Johns mother agreed with everything that she said. She had also observed how John
holds a pencil wrong and appreciated the advice to help him hold it better and to use shorter
pencils. The occupational therapist left after that.
Next, the formal assessment results from the WJ III were shared. The case manager
provided Johns mom with a copy of the Educational Assessment Report and described each
section so that the interpreter could explain it. She handed Johns mother a copy of a paper she
had made explaining what each of the subtests of the WJ III assess and measure. There was then
an explanation about how standard scores fall on bell curve that was shown to Johns mother.
Next, case manager began to tell Johns mom where he scored in all the subtests and what each
score meant. She continued with Johns overall strengths and weaknesses.
The speech and language pathologists explanation of her assessment results almost
mirrored the same format that the case manager used. She went over the assessment and its
subtests, what they meant, what the score ranges were and where they fall on a bell curve, and
what Johns scores were. After this, the classroom teacher shared her observations of John and
his work in the classroom. The team then relayed that it was their finding that John would no
longer qualify for Special Education services. They explained how this is a good thing and it
meant that John is making sufficient progress to catch up to his age level peers. Johns mom was
happy to hear this, but made sure to ask that if she ever had any concerns, that the team could

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meet again to discuss them. The team ensured her that if she ever had any concerns she could let
them know and they will start whatever process is necessary. She said she felt comforted by that.
In accordance with IDEA, Johns mom was told the purpose of the meeting and the
members of the team that would be attending ahead of time. She was also offered a copy of the
procedural safeguards in her primary language. The decision making process in the team was
very thorough and considerate. There were many different aspects of Johns educational and
academic achievement and performance that were measured and observed before the decision
was reached that he no longer qualifies for Special Education. There was not one member of the
IEP team that seemed unsure of the decision after the large amount of data was collected and
shown.
My role in this process was to observe the process and to assist in the formal assessments
for John. I completed several of the WJ III subtests with John while supervised by the case
manager to ensure accuracy and correctness. I observed how she scored the assessment and
wrote her assessment report. This experience was unique from other IEP meetings I have
observed since it ended up in a dismissal and I have never experienced this before. I felt that
being a part of such a well conduced and considerate IEP team was extremely productive and
useful for me. In observing how thoughtful each member of the team was in their reports and the
decision making processes was invaluable.