Individualized Education Program (IEP) is one of the most effective ways to adjust the lessons according to the needs of the child and the expectations of parents and teachers. Frequently, this approach is required due to the learning disabilities of the student or to maximize the performance of the pupil in certain areas. The current case concerns Tiffany, who is a highly engaging and social 10-year old girl. She has no trouble communicating with peers and is very interested in activities that involve movement. Nevertheless, Tiffany’s academic progress has been slowed down due to low reading comprehension and processing speed. From these considerations, Tiffany’s parents have requested an IEP for the next academic year.
As mentioned briefly before, Tiffany is a very active child, and she had loved going to school until the 3rd grade due to the increased academic complexity. She is an enthusiastic gymnast, excels in the science class, loves art, and has a lot of friends. Nevertheless, Tiffany’s academic progress is significantly set back due to disabilities. In the 1st grade, she was diagnosed with a learning disability, and the experts identified the attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) when Tiffany was in the 2nd grade. Tiffany’s older brother is also diagnosed with a language learning disability; however, it does not hinder his academic progress significantly. Tiffany’s parents are very supportive and make every effort to make school more enjoyable and productive for their daughter. As a result, an IEP is the most appropriate choice to increase the efficiency of the education plan and recover the girl’s interest in school.
At present, the two primary areas of concern include low reading comprehension, working memory, and processing speed, which result in a poorer understanding of grammar and math. The full-scale IQ test has revealed no problems concerning verbal comprehension and perceptual reasoning, which explain Tiffany’s major interest in social activities. However, the consequent evaluation has also identified average results in working memory and low score in processing speed. These findings explain the problems in reading and math, which hinder Tiffany’s academic progress. Namely, Tiffany’s achievements in letter/word recognition, passage comprehension, spelling, and calculation range from 7th to 19th percentile, which are significantly below the grade level. As a result, Tiffany has received a C grade in both reading and math.
Despite the impressive achievements in art, PE, and science, the problems with other academic subjects have significantly decreased Tiffany’s interest in school. She frequently refers to herself as ‘stupid’, which is a maladaptive behavior and might cause severe psychological complications in the future. These issues are further complicated by the low levels of attention and increased impulsivity, which obstruct academic progress. From these considerations, an individualized education program is necessary to close the knowledge gaps in some subjects and help Tiffany maintain focus during complicated lessons.
In the current case, the primary areas of concern include the low results in attention and several cognitive abilities, such as working memory and processing speed. Consequently, these findings are transparently reflected in the weaker academic scores, specifically, in reading and math. The associated problems have led Tiffany to start ‘hating’ school and believing that she is ‘stupid’. Such thoughts and experiences might cause significant mental health complications in the future, and it is necessary to cease them in the early phases. From these considerations, the most appropriate choice to improve the academic scores and reignite Tiffany’s interest in school is the implementation of an IEP.