By Doug Goldberg from Special Education Advisor
When most people hear about a child that has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) the first thing that crosses their mind is, “I wonder what their deficits or needs are.” This is because too many IEPs are being written using the deficit model. The deficit model focuses on the student as the major problem, neither looking within the environment nor the instructional practices in the classroom. As Kral stated way back in 1992, “if we ask people to look for deficits, they will usually find them, and their view of the situation will be colored by this. If we ask people to look for successes, they will usually find it, and their view of the situation will be colored by this”. Only focusing on the child’s deficits could have the following effects, 1) the IEP will not work very well, and 2) it will cause self-esteem issues and behavior problems with the child.
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