In one of my education classes, I was required to read a section called Designing an Appropriate IEP in one of the class texts. The text focused on how to plan and evaluate an Individualized Education Program. After reading through the section, I realized that learners with disabilities go through many challenges compared with normal learners. As such, disabled students have to wait until they are 18 years old to engage in the formulation of their IEPs. I feel that it is unfair for the education stakeholders to wait for such a long time before engaging the learners in these developments. This is a reflection paper concerning what I learned from the text.
During their secondary schools’ sessions, disabled students rarely participate in their IEP conferences. Teachers converse during the conferences for nearly 50% of the time. Parents converse for 15% of the time. On the other hand, students converse for only 3% of the time. I find this strange because students should be allocated more time, unlike the parents and teachers, as they are the major stakeholders. Although the IDEA requires disabled students to reach 18 years old before being allowed to make their own decisions, I learned that there are more benefits if students participate in this process at an earlier age. For instance, I noted that advanced preparation resulted in significant gains in student’s knowledge and self- efficacy during transition planning and after transitioning.
Just as I learned in chapter two of the text, I realized that teachers and IEP teams should make use of the available supplementary aids and services to enable students with disabilities to gain access to the general education curriculum. In the previous sections of the text, I noticed that there are various ways of making use of supplementary aids and services to benefit disabled children. However, in this section mapping process was introduced to complement the services. In the section, I distinguished how the mapping process is carried out. Although I realized that the process is complex, I noted that it permitted the users to identify points in their curriculum, enabling students with disabilities to receive instruction that is based on their unique learning needs.
In chapter two of the text, I realized that when designing an appropriate IEP program, technology, and pedagogical methods would come in handy. Through pedagogical methods, learning curriculum can be made universal to benefit all students regardless of their regions. Before the end of the text, I noted that the most challenging section in students’ education program is the transition period from high school to post-secondary education. Although several improvements have been made by the higher education institutions to increase services for individuals with disabilities in their transitioning period, I was disappointed to note that many disabled students still struggle to adapt to post-secondary programs. I believe that more measures and strategies should be adopted to ensure that students with disabilities acquire relevant skills required in college way before they complete their high school studies.
Before I read this section, I was not fully informed about the challenges faced by disabled children as they transition from high school to college. Having learned of their challenges, I would advocate for appropriate IEP programs to be adopted much earlier before the students leave high school. By being engaged in the development of IEP programs at an earlier age, disabled children would transition from high school to college with ease. As such, they would be informed of the challenges awaiting them. Through this, they will acquire the necessary skills in time to tackle the challenges.