Education Sample Essay Paper on IEP Case Study

IEP Case Study

Overview of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and specific learning disability (SLD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common condition among teenagers caused by behavioral abnormalities that cause the victims to be hyperactive, have trouble focusing, and act without thinking (Charach, Dashti, Carson, Booker, Lim, Lillie, & Schachar, 2011, p. 123). The victims in most cases will comprehend the expectations but have difficulties in meeting them due to the particular failure during brain developmental stages (Charach, Dashti, Carson, Booker, Lim, Lillie, & Schachar, 2011, p. 126).

Consequently, the teenager is unable to concentrate on some specific details. The identification symptoms for the condition are divided into three categories that include the inattentive type, hyperactive-impulsive, and those that show a combination of the two. This group of people has a tendency of making careless errors, have little focus on tasks and activities, listening to challenges, and avoid mental tasks. Similarly, they are easily distracted and have self-organization problems, coupled with over-impulsive, excessive fidgeting (Charach, Dashti, Carson, Booker, Lim, Lillie, & Schachar, 2011, p. 129).

Case study analysis

In the case study provided, the teenager is in need of special education to enable him capture ideas in the best way possible. Henry is an 11-year-old youngster in the fifth grade who has been diagnosed with ADHD and learning difficulties. Mr. Smith, the class tutor, asserts that Henry has been very disruptive and detached from the classroom environment, and in most cases not committed to coursework and assignments. He, however, ascertains that the youngster is not entirely weak as he is never intentionally disrespectful and is compassionate when attentive. The school psychologist’s findings suggest that Henry qualifies for special education services, claiming that his state significantly hinders his learning and class performances, an idea ascertained by Ms. Young. A team of education experts, teachers, parents, the psychologist, and the student, Henry, convene a multi-disciplinary team to discuss the youngster’s education plan. As a special educator, my observations on the proceedings of the first annual individualized education plan are as follows (IEP).

The meeting

The stakeholder conference to discuss the blueprint of a learning plan communication is important as the appearance, verbal and non-verbal cues of the participants are accessed. Moreover, illustrations that are noted from the facial expressions, body language, and hand demonstrations are clearly seen and understood given the sitting arrangements. Mr. Smith in sneakers, for instance, is calm and does not show any form of nervousness and or low self-confidence. However, his suggestion that the student be isolated is a disdain and may not fully help in achieving an all-rounded growth of the pupil.

Conversely, Ms. Young, shows a relaxed mode from her dressing and physical appearance that nurture well with the informal meeting. Her composure and actions of intermittent eye contact is a sign of high self-esteem and self-confidence. Her presentation is informative and effective in updating all the stakeholders giving them opportunities to ask questions from the audience. She is also conclusive in her topic coverage and effectively addresses of emergent issues. Her opinion is also helpful by recommending that a change in the school environment for Henry may worsen his situation. Dr. Burman’s (The institution psychologist) appearance, dressing code and narration perfectly suits this occasion. The Mickey Mouse picture on the tie and his explanation of a gift from his child highlights his consideration of the prevailing circumstances where the subject is a teenager, Henry. His sitting position depicts self-belief and self-confidence. Nevertheless, he fails to allow the listeners to ask questions showing how insensitive he is. In addition, he uses complex words coupled with loud recitations during the presentation making the comprehension of his ideas difficult. However, his contribution is useful in unraveling the issue at hand.

Dr. Jackson, the assistant principal, demonstrates casual mood, a move that creates a conducive and informal setup for this open discussion. His posture shows some coolness and bravery necessary when addressing this type of gathering. However, his nonparticipation in this meeting is an explicit show of a possible tension in freely airing his views to the audience. Mr. Jefferies shows his insensitiveness by coming to this casual meeting in official dressing. He, however, alludes to self-composure by his selective eye contact and sitting posture. His position on the issue is not conclusive in solving the problem and proves his detachment from parenting roles and concern for the family.

The boy’s mom, Mrs. Jefferies is arguably dressed for this occasion but seems intolerant especially with Mr. Jefferies’ aloofness on a family issue. Her descriptive narration illustrates the awareness of the situation at hand and deep knowledge and concern in finding a lasting solution. Moreover, she is empathetic with her son considering the fact that Henry might be suffering from ridicule from his peers for being admitted for special education. Henry, in jeans and a tee-shirt, constantly staring at the table and blurting answers, an indication of an inherent health problem and is in dire need of a quick plan of action to help him develop to his fullest potential regardless of the challenges.

Common interest

All the people in this meeting had one agenda; to develop a conclusive participatory education plan to cater for Henry’s condition and state. Although they had different methods on how the issue could be tackled, they unanimously suggest that an amicable solution was necessary despite their difference in opinion.

Perspectives (emotions) of the attendees

The attendants have diverse opinions due to their divergent professional and personal background (Woods, Martin, & Humphrey, 2013, p. 178). For example, Mr. Smith is more concerned with Henry’s cognitive development given that he is well informed on Henry situation. Whereas, Ms. Young and Dr. Burman are psychological experts and their lines of argument are more technical and based on the scientific assessments and findings.

Additionally, Dr. Jackson’s management and administrative professional work experience makes him irrelevant on the issues at hand explaining why never contributed during the meeting. Likewise, Mr. Jefferies’ line of work and life experience, for example, having divorced makes him emotionally aloof and lacks parental feelings necessary in finding a consensus. Henry’s mother, on the other hand, has a career background in dealing with children; therefore, she understands John’s condition and is expressively sensitive.

Brainstorming options

These are the discussed possible deliverables that the team can plan to adopt in the education plan (Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 2013, p. 134). They are arrangements that the committee agrees to adopt by collectively participating in the development of the cognitive aspect of the boy (Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 2013, p. 136).  The committee, for instance, suggests the use of headphones for a child with ADHD help them screen out the external stimuli and concentrate on the task at hand. The class teacher is recommended to apply this in a special room or in the main class but with other students too supplied with the gadgets to avoid possible teasing (Scanlon, 2013, p. 27). The aim is to help ADHD students to focus and be more proactive in their studies. In addition, the application of screen like a carrel or division on the student’s desk will help reduce the distraction brought about by the external visual stimuli. Also, visual timetable or chunking displays breaks time into manageable chunks for the student and focus on a particular period. Moreover, this timetable can be used in conjunction with a behavior program to display the rewards.

Attention teaching by timing the moment the child has focused on a task continuously without losing interest is necessary and steadily, the teen’s focus will improve (Scanlon, 2013, p. 29). Brain gym and stress toy application reduce fidgeting by maximizing the opportunities for legitimate movements to make it less likely for the child to move unnecessarily and cause disruption (Scanlon, 2013, p. 37). In addition, by these sequences of exercises, the mental activity too increases tremendously. Stress toy on the other hand keeps the boy busy preventing him from fidgeting and being disorderly and helps improve the concentration levels.  

Application of ICT especially the computer can be very resourceful to a child with ADHD as these electronics are non-judgmental and provides immediate feedback in a multi-sensory way that is very essential. Incorporation of computerized instruction and a timer or timetable to guide the child to move to the next task limits chances of boredom by allowing time for focus and effective transition to another activity. Formation of circles with other children can make the kid learn the social rules and skills like turn-taking, listening, empathy and decision making (Tannock, 2013, p. 13). Circle times and topics should, thus, be selected with the ADHD child in mind. Classroom management strategies would include provision of frequent, immediate and consistent feedback on acceptable behavior to help the children monitor themselves, specific positive achievements, and use of careful reprimands like criticizing the inappropriate behavior not the child and avoiding negative consequences like punishing the entire class (Tannock, 2013, p. 18).

The teacher can also deal with specific ADHD difficulties, for example, reduce task length through differentiation, alternate difficult and preferred tasks, and use timer to ensure concentration, allow breaks and reward completion and quality work. The kid could also be sat in front of the class away from the window and doors that could easily distract the kid (Tannock, 2013, p. 23). This physical proximity to the instructor, sitting next to well-behaved pupils and the use of headphones and study carrels help reduce external interruptions. Similarly, the use of behavior programs and routines like the traffic lights system and cube box challenge can be incorporated. Besides, the ADHD child should not always be reprimanded but should occasionally be spotted and praised for any appropriate deeds and manners. The child should also be helped in his personal organization inside and outside classroom (Barkley, 2014, p. 46). The child’s disorganization can be corrected by peer support, color-coding of books, provision of organized printouts and coursework materials, compensating tidiness, and simplification of worksheet format.

Supportive, complementary or co-teaching involves stages where the regular and special teachers do pre-class therapy, in-classroom and the third is a pullout session where you do post- class clarification. These intense sessions are individualized and reduce stigma on the targeted student with special needs (Barkley, 2014, p. 49). Moreover, it incorporates strategies of developing a rapport with students, identifying the teaching styles that make the class cohesive, and maximizes on the individual strengths and weaknesses for improvement. The instructors collaborate in discussing the students’ IEPS and help set the expected educational objectives and goals for the students while taking risks in learning and applying new methodologies they deem practically fit and necessary.

Reaching an agreement

The meeting should adjourn after reaching particular agreements and with attendant comprehending their roles in the creation of an ideal environment for the educational development of Henry. It should be clear that everyone has the responsibility to play directly and indirectly by supporting and complementing each other to achieve the ultimate results.

School-wide vision

The school adheres to the national laws and acts that administrate education as well as management and the decisions here will be guided by these set of government and local school regulations (Barkley, 2014, p. 56). The interest of the institution, therefore, is to deal with the challenges of creating a practical environment for learning in the school but more specifically for the ADHD child without compromising the plight of others as required by law. This directive requires the school to put in place integrated academic, behavioral, and medicinal services and accommodation for the student.

Furthermore, the outsourcing of placement opportunities needs liaison with the parents who behaviorally and biologically understand their child and the school that can advise on the technical aspects of the attachments and placements. The various opportunities that provide a good platform for the ADHD children to sharpen their skills are considered based on the financial requirements, practicality of that geographical and occupational adjustment, eligibility for loans and grants, health and safety standards and interests of the attaché meant for work placement.

Therefore, this responsibility calls for a collaborative method by the institution and the family or home. The administration must put measures to allow for seamless cooperation and commitment between the teachers and the parents of the boy. For example, the parents can be allowed to assist in the boy’s encouragement, check on his academic status, and assist in classroom especially in their areas of expertise, report on the noticeable improvements on coursework and other assignments. Moreover, they can team up with the school in sourcing for the academic stationery, accommodation services and other material needs and resources. 

Role reflection

As a special educator in this situation, I am supposed to provide personal and professional advice and direction in the entire meeting process. I am supposed to study the situation and ensure that all the necessary precautions and meeting requirements are in place. Moreover, I am supposed to be aware of the involved emotions, manage my tension and be fully committed to solving the issue at hand both by feelings and intellectually. To solve the issue at hand successfully and simultaneously manage the conflict resolution challenges apparent in this meeting, I will apply a number of strategies. First, once gathered and performed the commencement preliminaries like prayer, I will start by laying the ground rules. These entails sets of customized policies to be used in this gathering that will effectively curtail any form of movement and interruptions.

The rules aim at encouraging participation, concentration, and management of attention distracters. Being the motion mover, my job is to ensure that everybody feels relaxed and at ease and encouraging them to think of the issue at hand and not their individual differences. Furthermore, as a special educator in the seminar, the job is to observe and identify the feelings, needs, and interests or requests of the participants. After comprehending the content together with everybody, the next step is to encourage the group to negotiate a consensus and reach an amicable solution. However, setting the right mood for this group of people with divergent personal and professional background to make the sharing enjoyable would be tedious.


Barkley, R. A. (Ed.). (2014). Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. Guilford Publications.

Boud, D., Keogh, R., & Walker, D. (2013). Reflection: Turning experience into learning. Routledge.

Charach, A., Dashti, B., Carson, P., Booker, L., Lim, C. G., Lillie, E., & Schachar, R. (2011). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Scanlon, D. (2013). Specific Learning Disability and Its Newest Definition Which Is Comprehensive? And Which Is Insufficient? Journal of learning disabilities, 46(1), 26-33.

Tannock, R. (2013). Rethinking ADHD and LD in DSM-5 Proposed Changes in Diagnostic Criteria. Journal of learning disabilities, 46(1), 5-25.

Woods, L. L., Martin, J. E., & Humphrey, M. J. (2013). The Difference a Year Makes: An Exploratory Self-Directed IEP Case Study. Exceptionality, 21(3), 176-189.