If you have a child on the spectrum, you may have been asked to assist in creating an Individual Learning Plan. However, you may be unfamiliar with this term. So, what is an ILP? What is the process in creating one? What are the benefits? And do you really need one for your child? Let’s take a look at all things ILP’s.
What is an ILP?
An Individual Learning Plan, or Individual Education Plan is ‘a written statement that describes the adjustments, goals and strategies to meet a student’s individual educational needs so they can reach their full potential. It helps you plan and monitor a student’s unique learning needs’ (Department of Education and Training Victoria, 2021). Other names used may be ‘individual learning improvement plans’ and ‘Koorie education learning plans’ or may come under another name in other states. ILPs allow access and equity for students and are not limited to autistic children. Any student who requires extra support can request an ILP.
Who is involved in creating the ILP?
A meeting scheduled for the sole purpose of discussing the ILP. There is usually at least one parent attending, on behalf of the child, or the child themselves, if they are old enough. There may also be a senior school administrator, and a school psychologist, if appropriate. Their grade teacher or co ordinator may also be present. If it is a large school, a staff member with particular administrative duties for students with ILPs will attend. Anyone who you think may provide helpful information can attend the meeting. It can also include external professionals, such as the child’s speech therapist.
How is an ILP created?
At the ILP meeting, participants will discuss: academic strategies, communication strategies, student wellbeing, student physical health and needs, independence, socialisation, self regulation and behaviour. The team of people involved will start by understanding what the student can do, their strengths, potential responsibilities and needs. They then will develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals. They will plan a program that is age and developmentally appropriate and individualised for that particular student.
Frequency of reviews?
After it has been implemented, the ILP is monitored and regularly reviewed over weeks and months. An ILP meeting usually occur biannually at the minimum. They may be scheduled more often than that. But at least at the start and middle of the year.
What are the benefits?
Because an ILP is personalised for your child and allows different professionals to keep up to date on the student’s progress together, it is indeed a valuable working document. It allows different professionals to keep up to date on the student’s progress it is indeed a valuable working document. An ILP encourages collaboration between invested parties. It identifies the student’s needs and resources to help them. If it has the student’s voice at its centre, the child is likely to become more confident and engaged. These alone are compelling reasons to create an ILP. Also, from an administrative perspective, it meets the legal requirements for the disability standards of education.
Are there any barriers in creating an ILP?
For an ILP to be successful, there must be a general agreement on the goals. It will not work if everyone involved if not on the same page. If the document is not readily used in the school program and easily accessible to all those involved, it will not be utilised as effectively or have as successful results.
Do I need an ILP for my child?
The act of connecting all your child’s supporters and discussing their learning and development needs is a worthwhile endeavour. Furthermore, sharing knowledge about your child and working together to organise goals will always be beneficial. It will always be far more advantages if all parties involved agree on how to move forward with the plan, and check in consistently. The more documentation created and the greater collaboration of various stakeholders to champion for your child’s needs, will ultimately result in a better educational outcome. Not to mention a far happier child and both mentally and physically.