The student-led Individualized Education Program (IEP) process: an approach to increasing confidence and self-advocacy in 8th grade students with special learning needs

The purpose of this research project was to determine whether preparing students for leading their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings would increase their self-confidence and prepare students to advocate for themselves. A student-led IEP approach was researched. A workshop was provided to teach social skills and inform students of the necessary components of the IEP and the IEP meeting process. Lessons and opportunities for practice taught them to be active participants in their own IEP meetings. Students who participated in the workshop provided feedback to the researcher by responding to questionnaires and surveys. Findings indicated that following the workshop, students' confidence increased. The investigator plans to continue to support her students with special needs in the area of student-led IEPs and self-advocacy. Key Words: IEP, Student-led IEPs, self-advocacy, self determination, Individualized Education Program, Special Education.