November 18, 2022

How IEPs Can Help Children with Behavioral Issues

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other learning disabilities can exhibit certain behaviors that might land them in trouble in school. Often, they get punished, suspended, or expelled for the behaviors caused by their disabilities.

What the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Says About Behavior

Each individualized education plan is designed by a team at your child's school. The team will define when and where the child should receive special services and distinguish annual learning goals. As a parent, you will be invited to attend these meetings. 

The IEP team can also address the actions to take when a child's behavior affects their ability to learn. Instead of referring to a "one-size-fits-all" rulebook for a child's behavior, the school should reference the IEP for guidance on handling these cases.

Behavioral instruction interventions written on an IEP can significantly help create a learning environment that works for your child. A Function Behavior Assessment (FBA) can help find a behavior intervention plan that reduces triggers and equips your child with adaptive skills they can use in the classroom.

Function Behavior Assessment & Behavior Intervention Plans

Before creating a plan for your child, the IEP team at school will first mandate a functional behavior assessment to get to know your child's needs. The purpose of this evaluation is to focus on the child's behavior from various angles and establish what triggers the behavior. A positive behavior intervention plan can only be made by making these observations.

After conducting the assessment, the team can use research-based supports and interventions to help your child. The intervention strategies should focus on minimizing any triggers that could contribute to your child's struggles in the classroom.

All children, regardless of their disabilities, can learn appropriate behavioral skills. Parents can request a behavior intervention plan to develop appropriate behavior patterns. The plan should incorporate changes that can be made in the classroom to eliminate possible triggers.

An IEP should also contain strategies to replace negative behaviors with positive ones and include instructional support tools (we recently covered this in more detail in our article on Applied Behavior Analysis here).

Your child's school should provide personnel with the professional training and knowledge required to implement the strategies. Professional training does not only contribute toward the child's success but is a requirement of the law.

Children should not be punished for behaviors that occur because of their disabilities, especially if they don't have the support they need from their teachers. As their parent, you have the right to seek legal action if your child has been suspended, expelled, or wrongfully punished for their disability.

Call Our New York Special Education Lawyers for Help

At Mizrahi Kroub LLP, we understand that every child is entitled to an education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For this reason, we are committed to protecting your child's rights, particularly if they require special education.

Whether you need help filing complaints or litigation against the school district, the lawyers at Mizrahi Kroub are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a case evaluation with one of our New York special education lawyers.

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