4/28/2017 Specially Designed Instruction

Posted by Nikki Rankin on 4/28/2017 7:00:00 AM

A change was recently made in the IIEP system requiring the identification of the specially designed instruction (SDI) to be included within the body of each IEP goal. The SDI is the instruction that will be utilized in order to teach the student the skills needed to achieve the goal.

Article 7 defines SDI as the process of adapting content, methods, or instructional delivery to address the unique needs of the student and to ensure the student access to general education curriculum (7-32-88). According to Matt Johnson from the Indiana IEP Resource Center, “SDI is the instruction intended to close the performance gap between individual students with disabilities and his or her general education peers. The annual goal then measures the effectiveness of this specialized instruction.”

It's what's special about
special education.

A flurry of panic spread across the field as teachers discovered this new requirement within the IIEP program. While it is a new component within our template, it is not a new concept. A child’s right to specially designed instruction has been in special education law since the 2004 reauthorization of IDEA.

When I train about goal writing, I explain a cyclical process of IEP goal development and implementation as pictured here.

We begin with a student’s present levels of performance. Based on the data, we determine the needs of the student and provide specially designed instruction to meet those needs. The goal is written as a way to measure progress with the application of the SDI. We monitor the child’s progress towards the goal which results in a new set of present levels.

I acknowledge that teachers and therapists who strive for both quality and compliance would appreciate guidance on “what to put in the box” within the IIEP system. Our colleague, Gloria Crowell from Indian Creek, shared these two practical resources with us. This specific, useful composite of SDI’s came from a project sponsored by the Ohio Department of Education. This comprehensive resource is provided by the Texas Education Agency. I am hopeful that this explanation and these practical resources will assist you with both the development and provision of specially designed instruction for your students.