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Iep For Autistic Child


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I have to write an IEP for a child who has only been with us for a week and has autism. His needs are such that he requires one to one support whilst with us and in order to provide this i have applied for the childcare inclusion fund, as he is not yet three.


He currently attends our local child development centre where he receives specialist help from a range of specialists. We have all met and discussed his needs and i have been given assesment forms about him.


My problem is that i feel a little bit out of my depth. I have written, without problem many IEP's for children with additional needs but this child's needs are quite serious.


He really has no speech and mostly makes noises/sounds. He very rarely makes eye contact and is unaware of other children. He is facinated by unusual things such as shapes and lines and doesn't bother with conventional toys. He needs to be fed, is not yet toilet trained and is unaware of dangers.


He is a happy smiley child but clearly has moderate to severe learning difficulties. He is 2 and a half but has a mental age of a one year old.


Has any one experience of where i could start and of some basic targets to aim for? It really needs to be kept simple.


I have to write it now as he will be having an assesment in a weeks time to see how things are progressing with us.


Help, any ideas?




Ask x

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Hi Ask

Hard one without knowing more about the child

Think about what he does and uses throughout the day and build on that ask the person who does his 1:1 etc whether they can think of anything appropriate


Does he use pictures to communicate, signs or anything else?


Ones I have used in the past are:

Point to / look at a picture, sign the word..., etc.

Push a ball

Follow a line with his finger


You say he's fascinated with shapes, lines etc, in what way? does he feel them, mouth them, pick them up? Would he post them?

Does he follow an instruction ie will he sit when asked?


Look through his notes again and see if you can spot something that can be built on


Sorry not much help, hopefully you'll think of something!

Good Luck


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I have had a very similar senario, but would not expect to write an IEp for a child who has only been with us for a week without consultation with oher agencies involved to see what they want to develop first.


we usually wait about 4 - 6 weeks allowing child to settle and become familiar with adult support worker, routine, different environment etc, and completing a series of observations of the child in the setting, and then write a report about the child to send or give to the agencies involved at each meeting arranged.


Our report would give details of the setting, our routine, etc and then followed by a summary of child and any progress made in follow up meetings. usually use the following areas to write about.. but can vary depending on child and needs.

PSE ,Communication, physical abilities, interests and abilities. This can often be accompanied by an observation ot two to show how we came to these conclusions.


we set up IEps in conjunction with others working with the child so there is no conflict and all have the same goals or aims for the child.


The meeting is quite soon after starting with you and in your situation I would probably write a brief report on progress over the last 2 weeks and then ask for help and advice on targets they want set for the child.



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Cant help you very much really but make sure your targets are small and achievable, dont be too ambitious.




With the aspect of communition you need to liase with his SLT. Have objects of reference say a paintbrush attached to the painting area a spade to the sand a book to the book area and then hand him another and take him to the area and match the objects children with ASD need to start at a very conrete level and then move onto pictorial PECS. His IEP due to his autism should only have 1-3 targets of social, communication, behavioural, sensory they should be autism specficic and easily achieved. Say to point at the juice for communication. Why dont you see if you have any autistic schools in your area and contact them for advice.

Hope this helps

Claire :)

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Portage may also be a point of reference, they have very small specific targets. Remembering that his developmental age is 12 mths, look at BTTM and work from where he is at, what he can do, is interested in.


I agree that he needs to have time to settle first and just get to know the adults and peers around him.



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We have used Intensive Interaction with children with severe learning difficulties, as a way to develop the basics of communication. It helps to develop pre-language communication behaviours alongside social interaction. We start by observing the child (what does child like playing with/doing, is there anyone child enjoys interacting with, where does the child like spending time, how does child show enjoyment/disinterest/unhappiness). After these observations, we discuss the information to see where child will most enjoy interaction with us then plan for staff member to be available to interact (one-to-one) with this child. Adult then gets down to child's level, joins in their world and follows their lead. Adult responds to whatever child is doing by copying/imitating vocalisations, facial expressions, body movements. The idea is the child will learn about eye contact, attention for another person, cause and effect (if I do something it causes them to do something) and that eventually child learns that shared interaction is better than being alone. The adult should treat everything child does as having meaning. Adult should reamin flexible and follow child's lead. THe enjoyment of these interactions should mean that the child will want to do them again and soon try out new behaviours. The adult could try extending on what the child is doing without dominating.


Most importantly, the adult should not stop suddenly but let interaction end slowly. The adult should not push an interaction if child does not want to participate - just try again later. The adult should also make themselves unavailable if child is doing a behaviour that you do not want to encourage, just try responding again to child when they do a differnt action.


Our Speech and Language Therapist was very helpful with giving us strategies and supporting us in using intensive interaction when we first started.


I may write on a child's IEP that we use intensive interaction strategies to elicit eye contact and attention (for instance) as a way of developing social interactions. Parents should be taught strategies as well as they are fun and enjoyable and based on parent-baby interactions. Intensive interaction is very useful to use with children with autism.

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  • 2 months later...

to write an IEP for a new child is unrealistic - you don't know the childs diffciculties or developmental needs. They are expecting too much too soon.

also the other professionals who support the child do know him well - so they could contribute to your targets


you should have a target from others as this will cover areas of need

ie the speech therapist should give you a target around the things he/she has been doing and so on - get the others to do the work

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