Special Education IEP Checklist for a Student with a Brain Injury

Special Education IEP Checklist for a Student with a Brain Injury

Roberta DePompei, Ph.D, Jean Blosser, Ed.D., Ron Savage, Ed.D. and Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

An IEP checklist for students with brain injury helps parents, therapists and educators identify the special educational needs of students with brain injuries in school. It explains how to develop teaching strategies, plan environmental changes, and write functional and effective educational plans.

Item: IEP
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Full Description

Using a brain injury IEP checklist for students with TBI helps educators and therapists develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) under the Special Education Law. There are detailed checklists for strategies and accommodations to help the student think and communicate, handle emotions, manage behaviors, and use physical abilities. Classroom adaptations are listed for students to build on strengths in the classroom.

Item IEP
Pages 8
Year Second edition, 2011


Jean Blosser, Ed.D.

She is Vice President for Therapy Programs and Quality with a special focus on school-based and early intervention services. Her extensive clinical work and publications have focused on the needs of students and children with impairments in cognitive communication due to acquired brain injuries.

Roberta DePompei, Ph.D.

Dr. DePompei is a Professor and Clinical Supervisor at the Audiology and Speech Center at the University of Akron in Ohio. An advocate of the needs of youths with brain injuries and their families, she is on numerous national task forces and committees, as well as former co-chair of the Special Interest Group on Children and Adolescents with Brain Injuries for the Brain Injury Association of America. Widely published and a national and international presenter, Dr. DePompei specializes in the impact of brain injury upon speech, language and communication. She is especially interested in developing transitional opportunities for students as they progress through school and prepare for adulthood.

Ronald Savage, Ed.D.

Dr. Savage has worked with children, adolescents and young adults with neurological injuries and disabilities for over 25 years. Dr. Savage is the Executive Vice President of the North American Brain Injury Society.  He is the former Executive Vice President of the Neurosciences Institute at Bancroft NeuroHealth in New Jersey, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health and Rehabilitative Services at The May Institute in Massachusetts and Director of Clinical Services for Rehabilitation Services of New York. 

In addition, Dr. Savage has taught at the elementary and secondary school level as a classroom teacher and as a special educator.  He has also taught courses at several colleges and universities.  Dr. Savage is the former Chairperson of the Pediatric Task Force for the National Brain Injury Foundation, the former Co-Chairperson of the International Pediatric Task Force for the International Brain Injury Association, and is a founding member of the American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists.

Marilyn Lash, M.S.W.

Marilyn uses her social work experience and research in pediatric rehabilitation to develop sensitive and practical guides for families, educators, and professionals. Marilyn's specialty is helping families cope with the emotional impact of brain injury and developing strategies for negotiating the complex service system. Now President and Senior Editor of Lash and Associates Publishing/Training, she focuses on developing user friendly publications for families, educators, and clinicians.


This tip card helps parents, therapists and educators...

  • identify unique educational needs
  • develop teaching strategies
  • plan environmental changes
  • write functional and effective educational plans

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)


Student Accommodations or Assistance

  • Thinking and communicating
  • Feelings and behaviors
  • Senses and physical skills

Adaptations or Changes in the Classroom

  • What teaching strategies will help the student?   
  • Number of students
  • Instructions and assignments
  • Aids and adjustment

Environmental Modifications or Changes

  • Where does the student learn?
  • What changes are needed in the student’s classroom?

Additional Things to Consider

  • How will you know what the student is learning?
  • How can the student make effective transitions?
  • How are occupational, physical, and speech and language therapists integrated into the education program?
  • Is the student developing social skills?




Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

Once a student has been found eligible for special education, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) becomes the tool for describing what is needed and how services will be provided. The IEP is a contract between parents and the school for the student. Some schools may be unfamiliar with developing functional educational plans for students with brain injuries. This tip card provides a checklist for designing an IEP for a student with a brain injury.

Student Accommodations or Assistance

Needs help to

  • Pay attention and concentrate                
  • Get started in activities and work            
  • Become organized and plan ahead          
  • Reason and problem solve                       
  • Learn new information                            
  • Recall previously learned information     
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in speech     
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in writing     
  • Make good and safe decisions                 
  • Be flexible and adjust to change              

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