Watch as Audra Classen, Ph.D., shares with the MFLN FD Early Intervention team how providers can help military families transition from an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Also check out the links to several useful resources for providers below.
Dr. Classen writes:
Early educators who develop a detailed IFSP/IEP document, which can be transportable to the next school district, build “trust” and a “personal connection” with military families. Listening to families and developing a detailed IFSP/IEP may prevent families from experiencing a less than satisfactory and frustrating experience when they transition to a new education setting. Preventing discourse and promoting a positive family professional partnership is ideal for supporting young children and their families. In addition, some school personnel should consider each military families’ situation to determine if expediting the special education process is appropriate. Expediting the process can be a proactive way to demonstrate responsiveness towards military families’ unique needs thus providing relief and comfort to parents that full and appropriate services are in place sooner. Furthermore, when school personnel take the time to actively engage military families in the IFSP/IEP process, the family gains a sense of control which can be particularly important given the lack of control families are experiencing in other areas of their family life during relocations and deployments. For parents, this sense of control and accomplishment in terms of their child’s education may prevent feelings of defensiveness and/or anxiousness and promote better child and family outcomes.
A transcript of this video can be found here.
Be sure to click on the following resources:
- IDEA barriers to military families who move frequently
- Letter from the Dept. of Education regarding military children with disabilities
- The Military Child and Special Education
- Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
- Legal Issues Facing Military Families with Special Needs Children
Audra Classen, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. Her expertise lies in supporting the academic and behavioral development of young children from birth to age eight. Dr. Classen is actively engaged in research to develop culturally responsive and family-centered services for military families and their young children.