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Writing an Effective IEP

OnDemand Webinar (88 minutes)

Walk through the process of composing an IEP and learn how to match data collection systems to observable objectives.The IEP is the quintessential special education document. When this document is not well-developed and implemented, there is much to lose: parents may lose faith in the educational process, school districts may lose thousands upon thousands of dollars in due process proceedings, and - most importantly - students may lose opportunities for success. The heart of a well-written IEP exists within the goals and objectives. Equally important are the selection, composition, and plan for implementation of these objectives. Many IEP's simply fall short with regard to one or more of these three considerations. This material will help special education teachers, supervisors, and parents compose an IEP that will be of greatest benefit to the student receiving special education services. This content will explain how to select goals and objectives that have immediate and long-term meaning for the student. Further, through examples, it will teach you how to match data collection systems to observable objectives. Finally, it will present a brief collection of worst practices that could negatively impact the IEP and expose the school district to due process. The information will help special education stakeholders make the most of the IEP process, which will ultimately lead to improved student outcomes.


Thomas Phillip Kitchen, MS, BCBA,


IEP Non-Negotiables

• Far More Than Simply a Legal Mandate, the IEP Is a Useful Document Directly Related to the Quality of Special Education Services That Are Delivered

• The IEP Must Be Based on a Comprehensive Assessment/Evaluation Process and Must Include the Parents

• IEP Goals and Objectives Must Reflect Curricular Considerations That Are Meaningful for the Student and His or Her Family

• IEP Goals and Objectives Must Be Truly Observable and Measurable

• The Education and Services Specified by the IEP Should Be Based on Peer-Reviewed Research

Composing an IEP and Managing the IEP Process

• Well-Written Objectives and Corresponding Measurement/Data Collection Systems Provide Tenable Evidence of Student Progress in the Event of Due Process

• Objectives Should Be Centered Upon Observable, Action-Based Behaviors

• Upon Composing an Objective, One Must Have a Data Collection System in Mind (Which May Differ From Objective to Objective)

• Incorporate Data-Based Staff Performance Management Systems to Evaluate the Integrity of IEPs

IEP Faux-Pas

• Failure to Collaborate Seamlessly

• Matching Students to Services, vs. Services to Students

• Providing Anecdotal-Only Information During Progress Reporting

• Ignoring Special Considerations