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The individual educational plan: a reasonable minimum for Japanese children with ESSENCE

Participiants: Kanako Korenaga & Christopher Gillberg.

Background: Kōchi prefecture (Japan) consists of 34 municipalities. The situation of educational support for children with disabilities depends on each school’s condition and school principal’s concept of inclusive education. In accordance with the concept of an individual educational plan (IEP) that exists in several European countries (specifically Scandinavia), we launched an individual IEP proforma as part of a Kōchi prefecture R&D-project. The Kōchi IEP proforma – the completion of which has been introduced throughout the prefecture as a compulsory activity for children needing educational support –is comprised of different documents, including a (i) main sheet (including the information contained in the referral document), (ii) basic information sheet (name, address, family history, blood type etc.), (iii) assessment sheet (psychological and educational test results, e.g. those from testing with WISC, K-ABC, Binet test etc.), and (iv) comprehensive information sheet detailing information in chronological order, from birth to current, and in professional support order, i.e. regarding educational support, medical support, welfare support, employment support. In the present R&D-project, we are studying the effect of using the IEP main sheet as an “educational support conference” (ESC) basic document. At the support meeting, participants discuss the contents and goals of the support plan. Not only the completion of the IEP proforma, but the holding of the ESC is compulsory.
Study: All children, 7-15 years of age, included in the present study were considered (clinically) to be of normal intelligence. They all had problems diagnosed as belonging in the group of disorders referred to as ESSENCE. A “coordinator” was chosen to be the key person for an individual child in need of support at the school. Children included in the study were selected with a view to cover aspects of transition and continuity of support (from kindergarten to elementary school, from elementary school to junior high, and from junior high to high school). The coordinator completed the IEP proforma for that child. He/she then set up a 1-hour support meeting (including parents (sometimes also the child), principal, teachers, assistants, psychologists, doctors, OTs, PTs, SLTs etc), during which the contents and goals of the IEP proforma main sheet were discussed. Before the support meeting, parents and teacher had completed the SDQ and a 36-item questionnaire relating to awareness of child support and child needs. At follow-up 6-11 months after the support meeting parents and teachers completed the same questionnaires.

Results: At follow-up it was clear that awareness of the child's problems had increased markedly. Completing the IEP proforma and holding a support meeting led to several positive changes regarding awareness and support at school for normally intelligent children with ESSENCE.

 

 

Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 8/9/2012
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