6C - Special Factors

Considerations while Developing an IEP

In developing an IEP for a child with a disability, the IEP Team shall:

  • In the case of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior;
  • Consider the communication needs of the child;
  • In the case of a child with limited English proficiency, consider the language needs of the child as those needs relate to the child’s IEP;
  • In the case of a child who is blind or visually impaired, provide for instruction in Braille and the use of Braille unless the IEP Team determines, after an evaluation of the child’s reading and writing skills, needs, and appropriate reading and writing media (including an evaluation of the child’s future needs for instruction in Braille or the use of Braille), that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate for the child;
  • In the case of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode; and
  • Consider whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a) (2))

Consideration of Special Factors Documentation

The Consideration of Special Factors section (page 1 of the IEP) shall provide the necessary documentation that the IEP Team considered the special factors when developing the child’s IEP.

For children with limited English proficiency, the IEP Team further shall document its consideration of special factors on the Alternative Language Services (ALS) Considerations form.

For children who are deaf or hard of hearing, the IEP Team further shall document its consideration of special factors on the Considerations for a Student Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing form.

For children who are blind or visually impaired, the IEP Team further shall document its consideration of special factors on the Considerations for a Student Who is Blind or Visually Impaired form.

With respect to the special factor of assistive technology, if the IEP Team determines that the student requires assistive technology devices and services (by checking “yes” to the Special Factors question regarding the need for assistive technology), the IEP Team shall document its determinations on the Assistive Technology Consideration Guide for IEP Teams form and include this document as part of the IEP.

With respect to the special factor of behavior, Albuquerque Public Schools shall consider the NMPED Guidance Document Addressing Student Behavior:  A Guide for Educators (revised September 2005), to the extent such guidance is consistent with the IDEA and its implementing regulations, state statutes and regulations, and does not impose a requirement that is not otherwise imposed by federal and/or state law.

If, as part of its consideration of special factors, the IEP Team determines that additional evaluation is needed, the applicable supplemental forms shall be completed.

Behavior

In the case of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, the IEP Team shall consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior including, as appropriate, by conducting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and developing a behavior intervention plan (BIP).

Albuquerque Public Schools strongly encourages IEP Teams to conduct FBAs and integrate BIPs into the IEPs for students who exhibit problem behaviors well before the behaviors result in proposed disciplinary actions for which FBAs and BIPs are required under the federal regulations.  (6.31.2.11(F) (1) NMAC)

The child’s unique needs shall be paramount importance in determining what behavioral interventions and supports, or behavioral management strategies, are appropriate for a child with a disability and shall be included in the child’s IEP.  Therefore, FBAs are an ongoing process.  (OSEP Letter to Anonymous (March 17, 2008))

The focus of the special factor of behavior shall be on interventions and strategies, not assessments, to address the needs of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others.  Therefore, while conducting an FBA typically precedes developing positive behavioral intervention strategies, the IEP Team determines, as part of its consideration, whether an FBA is necessary to develop interventions and strategies to address the child’s behavior.  ( 71 Fed. Reg. 46683 (August 14, 2006))

Communication Needs of the Child

For each child with a disability, the IEP Team shall consider the communication needs of the child.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a) (2) (IV))

For a child with limited English proficiency, the IEP Team shall consider and address, as appropriate, the child’s inability to speak or understand English.  Albuquerque Public Schools does provide both alternative language services and special education to students who need them.  (OCR Memorandum to Senior Staff (September 27, 1991))

Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Instruction in Braille shall be provided unless the IEP Team determines that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate for the child.  In making this determination, the IEP Team shall consider an evaluation of the child’s reading and writing skills, needs, and appropriate reading and writing media (including an evaluation of the child’s future needs for instruction in Braille or the use of Braille).  IDEA does not require a clinical low vision evaluation.  Whether a clinical low vision evaluation is conducted is a decision that shall be made by the child’s IEP Team.  These considerations are documented on the Considerations for a Student who is Blind or Visually Impaired form.  The resulting decisions shall be integrated in the IEP as appropriate.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46683-46684 (August 14, 2006))

Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

For a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, the IEP Team shall consider the child’s language and communication needs, opportunities for direct communications with peers and professional personnel in the child’s language and communication mode, academic level, and full range of needs, including opportunities for direct instruction in the child’s language and communication mode.  These considerations shall be documented on the Considerations for a Student who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing form.  The resulting decisions shall be integrated in the IEP as appropriate.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(iv))

Assistive Technology Devices and Services

With respect to the special factor of assistive technology, the IEP Team shall document its consideration on the Assistive Technology Consideration Guide for IEP Teams form (as part of the IEP).

The IEP Team shall determine whether a child needs an assistive technology device or assistive technology service in order to receive FAPE.  Assistive technology may be required as a part of the child’s special education, related services, or supplementary aids and services.  The IEP Team shall comply with the “Albuquerque Public Schools IEP Special Education and Related Services Procedural Directive” and the “Albuquerque Public Schools IEP Supplementary Aids and Services Procedural Directive.”  (71 Fed. Reg. 46547 (August 14, 2006); 34 C.F.R. § 300.105(a))

This determination regarding whether a child needs assistive technology may be made based on existing evaluation data.  However, the IEP Team may also propose a reevaluation, including an assistive technology evaluation, if necessary to determine the child’s need for assistive technology devices and services as part of FAPE.

When an IEP Team proposes to conduct an assistive technology evaluation, the following forms must be completed:

  • Parent Prior Written Notice of Reevaluation;
  • Consent for Multidisciplinary Special Education Evaluation; and
  • Assistive Technology Evaluation Referral Form.

The IEP shall include a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child.  This shall include any assistive technology devices and services determined by the IEP Team to be needed by the child in order for the child to receive a FAPE.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46685 (August 14, 2006))

Related services shall not include a medical device that is surgically implanted (including those used for breathing and nutrition), the optimization of that device’s functioning (e.g. mapping), maintenance of that device, or the replacement of that device.  (34 C.F.R. §300.34(b)(1); 71 Fed. Reg. 46547 (August 14, 2006))

When an IEP Team determines a child requires access to an assistive technology device in a non-school setting in order to receive a FAPE, Albuquerque Public Schools shall allow the device to go with the child to the non-school setting, including the child’s home if necessary.  (Appendix A to IDEA 1997 Regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 300, Question 35)

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

The eleven strategies below shall be considered by the IEP team in developing the IEP for a child with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) eligible for special education services under 34 CFR Sec. 300.8(c)(1):

  • extended educational programming;
  • daily schedules reflecting minimal unstructured time and reflecting active engagement in learning activities;
  • in-home and community-based training or viable alternatives to such training that assist the student with acquisition of social or behavioral skills;
  • positive behavior support strategies based on relevant information;
  • futures planning for integrated living, work, community, and educational environments that considers skills necessary to function in current and post-secondary environments;
  • parent or family training and support, provided by qualified personnel with experience in ASD;
  • suitable staff-to-student ratio appropriate to identified activities and as needed to achieve social or behavioral progress based on the child's developmental and learning level and that encourages work towards individual independence;
  • communication interventions, including communication modes and functions that enhance effective communication across settings;
  • social skills supports and strategies based on social skills assessment or curriculum and provided across settings;
  • professional educator and staff support; and
  • teaching strategies based on peer reviewed, research-based practices for students with ASD.

The IEP team shall document consideration of the strategies. These considerations shall be documented on the Autism Considerations form.  The strategies must be based on peer-reviewed, research-based educational programming practices to the extent practicable and, when needed to provide FAPE, addressed in the IEP.

Administrative Position: Chief Academic Officer

Department Director: Executive Director of Special Education

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

For more information about the legal references below, refer to the following sites:
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46547
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46683
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46684
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46685
  • 34 C.F.R. §300.34
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.105
  • 34 CFR §300.300
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.324
  • 6.31.2.11 NMAC
  • Addressing Student Behavior: A Guide for Educators
  • Appendix A to IDEA 1997 Regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 300, Question 35

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

Required Forms:

Supplemental Forms:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: IHBA

Introduced: April 1, 2011
Reviewed: April 12, 2011
Adopted: April 22, 2011
Reviewed: October 12, 2012
Revised: October 12, 2012

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