February 9, 2014 § 1 Comment
So tonight I am thinking about how IEPs. Particularly the page that tells us to list a students strengths. This piece is often glossed over when we are writing the IEP. It’s in the same section as evaluation results and this is the information that is typically focused on. IEPs are written based on deficits. So we are constantly working on areas of need for students but as teachers are we always utilizing the students strengths to obtain theses goals and benchmarks? I would say probably not. Imagine if we could have an IEP that also helped our students further develop their strengths and those strengths became so strong they would far outweigh their deficits? That would be amazing! As adults we end up with the freedom (hopefully) to work in jobs that allows us to utilize our strengths, specialize and shine in our chosen area. Let’s face it those of us who alway stunk at math or hated math will likely end up in a job where we don’t really have to use it much and if we absolutely have to, we find our way because in our niche it becomes meaningful to us. When something is meaningful it’s certainly easier to deal with.
Recently I made a request to the school for music therapy for my daughter to support her in math. Music is a strength for her and music is inherently mathematical. I was armed with a library of documentation that supported just this. The director refused to read the documentation and refused service. There is a lot more to this story and this is not the forum but that being said – why do we deny students using what their strength is to support their deficits?
(Oh and for the record – I am not giving up on the music therapy – no way!)