IEP Placement Decisions – The Least Restrictive Environment:
Unit Objectives for IEP Placement Decisions.
By the end of this unit, you will be able to:
– Define “Least Restrictive Environment” (LRE) for IEP Placement Decisions;
– State the primary IEP placement choice expected in IDEA;
– Explain when it is acceptable to remove a child from the regular education classroom;
– Explain what placement choices must be considered by the school for each child;
– State the primary goal of IDEA for placement of children with disabilities.
IEP Placement Decisions can, perhaps, have the most significant, lifelong affect on your child’s life.
Children need to be “included” rather than excluded. “Inclusion” has been repeatedly documented as being the best placement for children with disabilities, and IDEA supports placement of children in the regular education classroom above all other placements.
The Inclusion Bill Of Rights For Parents is an excellent document by LD Online. It clarifies why you should strive for your child’s inclusion in the regular education classroom. Children with disabilities have been separated, either partially or totally, from their peers. IDEA specifies children are to be included in the regular classroom whenever possible and as much as possible.
IEP Placement Decisions and the Least Restrictive Environment
Least Restrictive environment applies to children even when behavior difficulties are significant. IDEA Appendix A, Question #39 is required reading if your child is a child with behavioral issues. In part, question #39 says, “If the child can appropriately function in the regular classroom with appropriate behavioral supports, strategies or interventions, placement in a more restrictive environment would be inconsistent with the least restrictive environment provisions of the IDEA.”
Consider what it means to be included: “[v] add as part of something else; put in as part of a set, group, or category; [v] consider as part of something; [v] allow participation in or the right to be part of; permit to exercise the rights, functions, and responsibilities of; Synonyms: admit, let in” (WordNet Dictionary @ hyperdictionary.com).
Write a descriptive paragraph stating how your child will feel if he is separated from his peers. Consider how IEP Placement Decisions will affect your child educationally, emotionally, and socially. Seek the best placement for your child.