When an individual has been identified with a specific learning disability and/or ADHD he/she is eligible for a school-based document that outlines in detail the student’s strengths and weaknesses and specific accommodations and/or modifications that would benefit his/her learning. This document is called an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). It is a legal document that formalizes the types of supports that a given student will receive to optimize his/her learning. Formulation of an IEP also helps to make the school accountable for providing services and supports for children with specific learning disabilities.
Within the school board in Ontario there are generally two types of IEPs that can be implemented. The first is an accommodationed IEP where the student is required to do the same educational curriculum as other students, but are able to access supports that make learning the material more feasible. An example of an accommodation within such an IEP would be access to specific instructional accommodations supports such as frequent teacher check-ins, or greater access to small group work.
In contrast a modified IEP is one where the actual curricular expectations for a student are modified in a way so as to reduce the difficulty of the material. As an example, a modified IEP may detail that a student in grade 4 is able to work on grade 3 level mathematics. In most cases children with specific learning disabilities access accommodated IEPs; however, modified IEPs are implemented in specific circumstances.
In Ontario some students are formally identified as exceptional for learning by the IPRC (Identification Placement and Review Committee). This committee is typically comprised of three members one of which must be the Principal or Superintendent. A student may be identified as having exceptional learning needs based on his/her physical, communication, intellectual or other area of need. The goals of the IPRC are to decide whether a child should be identified as exceptional, identify the areas of exceptionality, decide on an appropriate placement, review the placement and identification at least once each school year.
Educational assessments done through the school are frequently reviewed in the process of placement decisions. However, quite frequently a recent psychological assessment may also be reviewed and form the basis of this essential decision-making.