A One Page Profile is one of the best things you can do in preparation for the IEP.
A One Page Profile is a page that a parent can make and have added to the IEP. It includes everything to know about the student at a quick glance. It should have a picture, important information, strategies that work, difficult things, and any other vital information school staff should know.
I had some fun when I made one for my son – I added graphics from his interests and made it look nice. Everyone in the IEP meeting complimented me individually on how great it was. I think it is really important, and every IEP should have one. I’ve made an example of a One Page Profile for each section; the finished one is at the end. Follow it as a step-by-step or look through the screenshots for ideas.
Why You Need To Have A One Page Profile
IEPs are vital, but they are also long.
If your child’s IEP is shorter than 10-12 pages, it may not have everything needed. That is a lot of paperwork for every teacher, teaching assistant, and staff member who interacts with your child.
The One Page Profile gives specific, helpful, informative bullet points that will help them support the student in the best way possible.
When a substitute teacher comes in, they should read every IEP, 504, and health plan, as well as the notes from the teacher on what to do. However, they may only get a notice that they will sub an hour before the kids arrive, and all of that reading might not be practical.
A One Page Profile will help them know the important information condensed down to the most important information, including a photo for easy reference and identification.
Making the One Page Profile might be the best thing you can do to help staff that aren’t writing the IEP.
How To Make A One Page Profile
It doesn’t need to be pretty or amazing. It doesn’t even need to be digital. Do it however it works for you.
You can handwrite it on paper, do it in a word processor, or use graphic arts software.
I highly recommend using Canva. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free; more options than you need are available on the free account.
The examples I show today are going to be using Canva.
Start with a document that is 8.5×11 or whatever size you want to print in. Most printers do letter size, which is the same size as the rest of the IEP.
If you don’t have a printer, you can email it to the IEP team before the meeting and ask them to print copies for every member of the IEP team and another copy for the official IEP document. Admin is usually happy to do this and loves it when parents make a One Page Profile.
Here is the outline I like to start with:
One Page Profile: Picture
The top-left section on the page should be a picture of the student.
The picture should be how the student looks every day and easily identifiable. This isn’t the place to include the super adorable picture of them dressed up and their hair done up when that isn’t how they dress or do their hair every day.
Choose a picture of them that is a candid photo, and someone who has never met them could easily identify them using that photo.
If possible, get the ok to use the photo from your child.
Here is an example:
One Page Profile: “About Me” Section
This section is a place to let staff know about important things about the student within the limited space available.
If you get stuck on what to add, here are some questions to ask:
- What is their favorite color?
- What is their favorite character?
- What do they like to talk about?
- What do they like to do?
- What can someone new to them do to build a connection?
I’ve added this section to the example:
One Page Profile: Future Section
This section can give insight into the child’s family, future, and more.
It should include your hopes and dreams for your child. Include what you think is important, but consider what is reasonable in their future and what you want to happen.
Some questions to ask if you don’t know what you want to include:
- Will the child graduate with a regular or modified diploma?
- Will they go to college, community college, or technical school?
- Will they live independently, at home, with support?
- What would you like them to be as an adult?
- What social life do you see for them?
- What other ideas do you have about their future?
Here is the section added to the example:
One Page Profile: What Works
An essential part of the One Page Profile that anyone working with your child will want to know is what they can do to make your child the most successful. This section should be a short list of things that have had success at home or in the classroom.
Keep this section positive. Instead of saying isn’t asked to read out loud say Reading silently. Or keep that for the next section.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you don’t know what to add to this section:
- What strategies work best to avoid escalated behavior?
- What strategies work best to bring them out of escalation?
- What do they enjoy doing in class?
- What are their strengths?
- What accommodations are in use in the class that works best?
- Mention equipment used in the class for them.
One Page Profile: What Doesn’t Work
What doesn’t work is always the section that is the most difficult for me to do.
You will want to list what teachers have done that created a problem in the past. Look at it like situations, not accusations. Phrase things in as positive of a way as possible, but ensure that everything is extremely clear.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you get stuck:
- What situations create anxiety?
- What actions of people nearby trigger them?
- What common classroom strategies don’t work?
One Page Profile: Extras
At this point, the One Page Profile is complete and may be considered finished.
However, I always like to add the extras. I feel like the extras provide an insight into their personality. Visually interesting One Page Profiles are also easier to remember and can add more to them without adding more to read.
What you might consider adding:
- Insert their favorite color(s).
- Add clip art or drawing for their favorite animals, characters, or things.
- Add words around the page with the good qualities about the child.
- Add clip art, graphics, or pictures to make the page represent their personality.
Finished One Page Profile Example
I added a few of the extras listed above and inserted some personality to the example. I think it is easy to see the difference between the One Page Profile that is plain and the one that has the extras added. It can be a bit more effort, but if you can, it will be worth it!