HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion
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Addressing the Motor Domain Through the IEP/ITP Process
By Nathan M. Murata and John Solomon
Mr. Takei has taught adapted physical education (APE) for almost 30 years. As an undergraduate during the 1970s, he experienced much of the education movement and the passing of Public Law 94–142, the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (Dunn, 2013). At that time, this federal law meant little to him, as he was a college athlete and working on his teaching credential. While taking a required APE course as part of his teaching credential, Mr. Takei was required to complete 40 hours of field experience (practicum) teaching students with disabilities. He thought, Maybe I’ll do Special Olympics and complete my 40 hours there as a volunteer coach. The problem was that Special Olympics teams met only once, maybe twice, a week for one-hour practices. At best, Mr. Takei would have only completed a little over 25 hours of his practicum, so he also participated with the local Easter Seals Organization to make up the 40 hours. HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion
During his practicum at Easter Seals, Mr. Takei slowly began to realize the value of teaching students with disabilities. He taught Easter Seals students basic sports and games and had teachers and teacher’s assistants from the organization working with him. He noticed how the students would try so hard to complete a simple task, demonstrating enthusiasm and grit, and all with a smile on their faces. Even the staffers noticed how much more excited and vocal students reacted when Mr. Takei arrived at class. Both Easter Seals and Special Olympics created a sense of calling for Mr. Takei, and 30 years later, he is still at it.
Mr. Takei taught at a special high school for children ages 14 through 22 with more severe disabilities where 1:1 student-teacher ratios are common. Paraprofessionals, teachers, therapists, parents, and volunteers all work collectively and collaboratively on the educational and community-based outcomes for these students. The curriculum is centered on two areas: community-based instruction and functional skills. Community-based instruction is specialized teaching and learning occurring naturally in the environment, with potential employment opportunities and activities for daily living (Heward, 2013). Functional skills are those specific skills that may be transferable to other settings (Heward, 2013). In addition, students are taught proper hygiene and health and wellness skills. Each student’s program is based on her or his individualized education program (IEP) and individualized transition plan (ITP). The ITP details a student’s postsecondary outcomes for a smooth transition into adult life (Heward, 2013). HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion
One student at this school had the attention of Mr. Takei. His name is Adam. Adam is a 15-year-old ninth grader with multiple disabilities. At his IEP/ITP meeting, Adam’s parents expressed their desire for Adam to be employed with supports. They wanted him to experience the community-based instruction that the school provided. “Having children with Adam’s type of disabilities and other similar disabilities can have a profound impact on students when they engage the ‘real world’ outside of school,” stated Adam’s mother, Helen. The IEP/ITP team discussed and agreed to have another meeting with Mr. Takei to discuss the details of a community-based instructional (CBI) program for Adam. Because his parents wanted Adam to experience work, several key issues surfaced: (a) his ability to locate a workplace willing to hire him, (b) the work-related skill sets required for the job, and (c) the supports to be provided.
After working with Adam for several months, Mr. Takei believed that a physical activity program, emphasizing strength and overall fitness, would be beneficial for Adam and brought this to the IEP/ITP meeting. However, Mr. Takei needed to have a detailed assessment on Adam’s strengths and weaknesses so that he and other team members could have the necessary information to begin a CBI plan. A detailed educational motor assessment followed, and the summary follows:
Adam is nonverbal and does not consistently follow verbal commands. He ambulates independently within his school environment, demonstrating a wide base of support, impulsivity, increased walking speed, increased arm swing, a forward weight shift and trunk flexion, increased knee flexion and valgus (knees collapsing inward), and difficulty with staying on a straight path. He can ambulate without loss of balance, but he does not consistently follow commands to slow his gait speed. Muscular strength deficits are evident throughout the core, scapula, upper, and lower extremities as demonstrated by his difficulty with transferring into standing from half-kneeling. Muscle tone fluctuates between hypertonicity and hypotonicity throughout the lower extremities. Resistance to passive stretching of his muscles (spasticity) was noted in his plantar flex-ors bilaterally. Range of motion of the joints in the extremities is within normal limits with the exceptions of bilateral knee extension, hip extension, and at various joints of the ankle and foot. This is also secondary to deficits in muscle length around the above joints. HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion
At the next IEP/ITP meeting, Mr. Takei suggested that he would work with Adam for a few months on muscle strength and overall fitness. Mrs. Tom, Adam’s special education teacher, would work on single-word identification and simple commands to signal “restroom,” “tired,” “rest,” “thirsty,” and “hungry.” Mrs. Tom also located a local Asian food distribution warehouse owned by someone who had a sister with disabilities and who always had affection for those with disabilities. The IEP/ITP team was thrilled that the school had located a company who would hire Adam to do stacking, counting, and moving freight less than 20 pounds. The company would pay Adam minimum wage for up to 10 hours per week for the first three months, and he could increase his hours once he became accustomed to the work.
The IEP/ITP team concluded that Mrs. Tom and Mr. Takei would both work closely to get Adam ready for employment right after his lunch period. The team would also assist in monitoring and evaluating progress to see if goals were being met. Mr. Takei knew that Adam would have to be able to pick up boxes up to 20 pounds from the wooden pallets and place them on the shelves. He would also need to move boxes from shelf to shelf and, at times, carry the boxes up to 20 yards away. Mr. Takei designed his PE program around the IEP/ITP because the transition plan is part of the CBI program. Getting Adam ready for employment and living a quality life was the overall goal sought by his teachers and family. The PE program was not a traditional program where games, sports, dance, or swimming were taught; rather, the activities were designed around the future and necessary outcomes (Adam’s CBI and functional skills). Mr. Takei taught Adam simple weight training activities and had him walk consistently around campus for 30 minutes without stopping. Mr. Takei felt this would prepare Adam for his employment. HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion
Prior to closing the IEP/ITP meeting, it was decided a 1:1 paraprofessional would work with Adam at the Asian food warehouse. The IEP/ITP team located a part-time paraprofessional, Mr. Sione, and provided him with full-time employment during this period. His afternoon task was to assist Adam as he worked in the food warehouse. The IEP/ITP team also felt that having Mr. Sione support Adam during Mr. Takei’s class might be beneficial. Keeping Adam focused on the task would be another challenge. The outcome was yet to be determined on how well Adam would do for this CBI program. Adam was set to start his CBI program in one week with the support of Mr. Sione. Consequently, Mr. Takei continued to work on and develop Adam’s strength and stamina in preparation for his CBI program.
Respond to the following questions based on the case study above. Copy and paste these facilitation questions to a new document and add your name, the course code, Case Study #2 at the top of the document. Submit your completed assignment to the designated Dropbox by the posted deadline. Email any questions for clarification. HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion
1. What is the critical issue in this case?
2. Are there related issues? If so, what are they?
3. What are some of the specific elements that contribute to these issues?
4. Who are the characters in the case?
5. What role did the characters play in creating and solving these issues?
6. What are some of the suggested strategies you might use to address these issues?
7. Are there any related topics for discussion?
8. What accommodations are required, if any? HWC Addressing the Motor Domain through the IEP & ITP Process Discussion