Individual Service Plans

Written by Kimberly Clark
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The term individual service plan (ISP) is used throughout the medical, healthcare and social service industry to describe a program that has been specially designed for a disabled person's care. It is basically an individualized life plan for the person with the disability based on what he or she hopes to get out of life. These types of plans are also commonly known as Individual Program Plans, Habitation Plans, or Education Plans.

ISP--A Team Effort

Even though they are called individual service plans, the development of the plan is a team effort. The key player on the team is the disabled person, or if the situation warrants, their court appointed guardian, which is usually a close family member. The team is then rounded out by a group of professionals that may include medical professionals, psychologists, counselors, educators, and physical therapists.

First, the entire team works together to develop a thorough assessment of the individual's current status. Next, with as much help as possible from the disabled person, they all try to determine where he or she wants to be down the road. Finally, the objectives are broken down into a series of short-term goals to be achieved in a realistic timeframe.

When a person reaches a milestone, the plan and team members may change slightly. This is perhaps one of the biggest differences from the traditional cookie cutter way of treating people with disabilities. Historically, the disorder was treated, not the person.

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