In Ireland, the use of individual education plans (IEPs) for deaf and hard-of-hearing children at mainstream schools is new and not always practised.
These individual education plans (when used) are a roadmap for a child’s educational and social development.
If a child is to have an IEP after their initial HSE assessment, you need to understand the IEP process, and how an IEP can be developed.
Education plans are drafted with input from parents, the local SENO (Special Needs Assessment Officer), the school and any other professionals required.
Children of pre-school age will benefit from an individual development plan, with input from their visiting teacher and/or early intervention service.
Where possible, IEPs for deaf children should outline:
- the child’s linguistic and communication needs
- their favoured communication method/s
- their potential for using residual hearing
- their academic needs
- their social, emotional (and cultural) needs as applicable
Goals in the IEP should be specific, measurable and related to classroom activity and the school curriculum to accurately chart your child’s progress. This is a teacher’s guide to IEPs for reference.
IEPs need to be child-centred and reviewed regularly. If your child receives a cochlear implant, their IEP should alter to support their changed needs.