Journal Abstract 2 Essay

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Journal Abstract- Benefits and Barriers to Elementary Studen-Led IEPs

Danneker, J., & Bottge, B. (2009). Benefits of and Barriers to Elementary Student-Led Individualized Education Programs. Remedial and Special Education, 30(4), 225-233.

Educators have debated the issue of having elementary school students participate in their own IEP Meetings. Because “elementary students with disabilities are frequently taught in highly structured special education programs, which may limit the number of important decisions they are allowed to make” (Danneker, Bottge, 2009, p. 225) special educators don’t attempt to have these students participate in their own meetings. It is theorized that if students wait until middle school to participate in their IEP meetings, elementary students with disabilities will not learn self-determination or self-efficacy skills necessary for later in life. Danneker and Bottge have investigated the benefits and barriers of having elementary students with disabilities participate in their own IEP meetings. It was expected that elementary students with disabilities would be able to successfully participate in their own IEP meeting so long as they were properly prepared. Prior to having students participate in their IEP meetings, students participated in sessions that introduced the purpose, content, and format, identifying students strengths and needs as well as interests, and developing their goals and objectives. (Danneker, Bottge, 2009) In the past, IEP meetings were initiated and carried out by the special educator. Special educators had the duty of sending out the initial invitation, setting up the meeting, collecting the information needed to present in the meeting, facilitating the meeting and writing the document. (Danneker, Bottge, 2009) After the IEP meetings, the IEPs with student participation were compared to IEPs without student participation. Research found that “meetings became student centered, students had an opportunity to use self-determination skills in an authentic setting, and adult participations notes increased collaborative problem solving. (Danneker, Bottge, 2009, p. 228) This appeared to help students hone their self-determination skills which aid in developing leadership qualities, and increase self-confidence. (Danneker, Bottge, 2009) The participants in the IEP meetings agreed that elementary students who participated in their own IEP meetings have increased awareness of their goals and objectives. Prior to students participating in their own IEP meetings, students were unware that they had an IEP, nor goals and objectives set forth for them to achieve in the classroom. Preceding research, adults believed students to be inexpert and