Your Child’s Strengths | 127 Student Strength Examples to Swipe for your IEP

Your Child’s Strengths

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting our kids’ needs met on an IEP, we forget to address their strengths. And, IDEA is pretty clear about this. It’s even first on the list!

In some sections, IDEA lists the strengths of the child as the first item. But again, we often go into IEP meetings with the mindset that the school is going to tell us “no” and we forget to address strengths or assets.

Our kids are strong! Sometimes we have to remind the school team.

See? It’s right here. (bold mine)

(3) Development of IEP

  • In developing each child’s IEP, the IEP Team, subject to subparagraph (C), shall consider—
    • (i) the strengths of the child;
    • (ii) the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child;
    • (iii) the results of the initial evaluation or most recent evaluation of the child; and
    • (iv) the academic, developmental, and functional needs of the child.

What are your Child’s Strengths?

And sometimes, during a meeting, we’re put on the spot. We know our kids are great kids, with a lot of assets and qualities to offer the planet. But under stress, we draw a blank.

Well, no more! Maybe you want to jot these down for the IEP meeting. Or just swipe them for your IEP parent concerns letter.

Many of these were crowdsourced from our IEP parent group.

Per IDEA, IEPs are to be strengths-based.

This is an area of the IEP that needs more focus and attention. I think that because so many IEP teams are worried about and focused on meeting the child’s needs, they forget to focus on the strengths portion of an IEP.

Student Strengths in the IEP

When adding your student strengths in an IEP, a team should approach this much like any other section of the IEP. The strengths should be identified, either through evaluations or anecdotal information from parents and teachers.

A team can also add strengths to an IEP by area or discipline. I listed examples below.

Types of Student Strengths

A student’s strengths can fit into different categories or domains.

  • Cognitive Skills or Strengths: In this area, I would include skills such as processing, communication, reasoning and attention.
  • Academic Skills or Strengths: reading skills, writing skills, math or science skills, preferred subject area excellence, or study habits.
  • Social Skills or Strengths: Examples include well liked, cooperative, problem solver, makes friends easily, socializes at appropriate times during the day, has a friend pool to draw from for support, communicates with others well.
  • Social Emotional Strengths: There will be overlap here with social skills. Some examples of social emotional skills include resilience, problem solver, positivity, optimism, pleasant and easy going, adapts easily to unexpected changes, flexible thinking, creativity.
  • Executive Functioning Strengths: Sure, lots of kids struggle in this area, but many excel. Examples of good executive functioning skills would be ability to stay focused/on task, organizational skills, time management, locker and backpack organization, planning.

Student Strengths Examples

  1. Outstanding memory in areas of interest
  2. willingness to forgive and give people second chances
  3. Persistent in reaching his desired outcome
  4. He has a strong desire for social connection and friendship
  5. He has an excellent memory and excels in completing tasks when given clear lists or flowcharts
  6. strong negotiating skills
  7. Is curious about the world around him/her
  8. Has a good sense of time, can plan
  9. Fun fashion sense as a means of expression
  10. Sensory/tactile learner, multi-sensory learner
  11. great at finding efficiencies
  12. able to recognize when work is truly necessary
  13. Eager to learn when refocused consistently
  14. When regulated M is a sweet considerate child
  15. Thinks out-of-the-box to find unconventional and creative solutions
  16. Generous and sharing
  17. exercises great emotional restraint when pushed to his limits
  18. Is empathetic toward the needs of others even if he cannot express
  19. Demonstrates an ability to learn
  20. Consistently processes information and responds, even though it is a delayed response
  21. ability to verbalize when he is upset or dysregulated
  22. may appear disinterested in class or not paying attention, but when questioned can regurgitate back the information that was just presented
  23. May be impulsive, but once regulated can usually identify the situation and trigger with great accuracy
  24. Can solve equations in his head, but may show frustration at having to show work
  25. enjoys sticking to a routine
  26. Can adapt to changes in daily schedule with proper warning and notification and explanation
  27. strong desire to do well and please others
  28. a happy, pleasant child when regulated
  29. is able to set realistic, achievable goals for herself
  30. Can follow 1/2/3 step directions
  31. Can follow directions when given clear, direct language
  32. Is able to and will ask for help when needed
  33. Can make a decision given 2/3/5 choices
  34. will interact appropriately with peers
  35. communicates appropriately to peers
  36. can initiate tasks/projects
  37. working memory has improved to where she can…….
  38. can listen intently without interrupting
  39. will raise a hand and wait patiently to be called on
  40. recognizes and respects the personal space of others
  41. can do 4/5/6 volleys in a 2-way conversation
  42. can verbalize when being teased/bullied and respond appropriately
  43. will accept unsolicited adult assistance/help without resistance
  44. good sense of balance and motor planning
  45. Learns material best when moving around, gross motor movement
  46. Likes to ride his/her bike, skateboard, and/or other self-powered personal vehicles
  47. good physical health
  48. physically strong
  49. athletic abilities (elaborate)
  50. Likes to exercise and will initiate independently
  51. good physical endurance
  52. Can follow instructions/rules for games such as (give examples)
  53. is a fair loser and winner
  54. Plays musical instruments (elaborate)
  55. participates in (community activity/sports) and elaborate
  56. Is aware and will be safe in the following setting (elaborate) and will respond appropriately
  57. Can care for the family pet (elaborate)
  58. Can act appropriately around a baby or younger child
  59. Enjoys working independently or in groups
  60. is persistent in carrying out assignments or activities
  61. Keeps a personal diary or journal
  62. Understands sarcasm, enjoys telling jokes
  63. Possesses a sense of personal responsibility
  64. Has strong opinions about controversial topics and is able to verbalize them
  65. Marches to the beat of a different drummer
  66. Handles stressful events well (e.g. is resilient)
  67. Has good character (e.g. honesty, integrity, fairness)
  68. Is able to plan for the future, describe future goals
  69. Displays good common sense and decision making
  70. Explains ideas or concepts well to others
  71. Asks relevant questions
  72. Has good listening skills, without interrupting
  73. Handles verbal feedback well
  74. Is able to effectively use non-verbal cues to communicate with others
  75. persuasive in getting someone to do something
  76. assertive skills without being pushy
  77. optimistic attitude
  78. can express how he/she is feeling
  79. Can easily pick up on the emotional state of another person
  80. Enjoys socializing with others
  81. Has at least one good friend
  82. polite and has good manners
  83. able to work out his/her own conflicts with others
  84. Volunteers his/her time
  85. friendly to others
  86. good at sharing with others
  87. good personal hygiene
  88. Trusts others without being naïve
  89. liked by his peers
  90. good organizational skills
  91. good study skills
  92. able to pay close attention to details
  93. good short-term and/or long-term memory
  94. able to become totally absorbed in an activity
  95. Has traveled to other countries
  96. tolerant of others who have cultural, ethnic, or racial differences
  97. pride in his/her own cultural, ethnic, or racial background
  98. Likes to find out about historical events around the world
  99. Enjoys learning about different cultural traditions
  100. Enjoys reading books
  101. Has good reading comprehension
  102. Enjoys doing word puzzles
  103. a good writer in one or more genres
  104. good speller
  105. large vocabulary for his/her age
  106. Enjoys listening to audiobooks or to someone telling a story or reading out loud
  107. Has a chemistry set or other science kit that he/she works with at home
  108. Enjoys logical or number games or puzzles like Rubik’s cube or Sudoku
  109. aptitude for fixing machines or mechanical things
  110. Likes to create three-dimensional structures with building materials
  111. good at doing jigsaw or other puzzles
  112. able to read maps well
  113. able to visualize images clearly, can describe
  114. Gets information more easily through pictures than words
  115. sensitive to the visual world around him/her, can express verbally and respond appropriately
  116. good handwriting
  117. good eye-hand coordination
  118. enjoys hiking and/or camping in nature
  119. Likes to spend time using a computer, tablet, or smartphone
  120. uses the internet appropriately for school and entertainment
  121. Knows how to set up audio-visual or computer equipment
  122. Likes to text on the phone
  123. Enjoys social networking (e.g. blog, website, Facebook); uses appropriately
  124. Has several his/her own favorite movies or TV shows that he/she likes to talk about and can do so without manipulating the conversation
  125. Loves learning new things; will seek out knowledge
  126. good test taker
  127. loves to run

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