Writing IEP Goals and Objectives

Writing IEP Goals and ObjectivesGood IEP Goals and Objectives are the Keys to a Student and Teachers Success.

An IEP is like a road map. If it is well written everyone knows exactly where they want to go and how to get there. For IEPs to be effective the team must write good goals and objectives. A goal is a measurable statement of the desired long-term, outcome of a student's performance. Goals generally address change. For example, (student with autism's name) will work quietly without distracting others.

Writing Good IEP Goals for a Student with Autism

IEP Goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions:
Who is involved?
What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
How: Identify requirements and constraints.
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

A general IEP goal would be, "the student with autism will behave appropriately in class." But a specific IEP goal would say, "The student with autism will work quietly without distracting others."

For an IEP goal to be effective you must have a way to measure progress toward the goal. What do you want the student to know or be able to do in 12 months as a result of this IEP? During the IEP ask yourself is this goal measurable / observable? What will you observe? To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?

Make sure IEP goals are attainable. For example, for a nonverbal student with autism the ultimate goal may be the ability to verbally communicate. However, this goal may not be attainable within a year. Instead a more attainable IEP goal would be: The student with autism will learn to use PECS to communicate his wants and needs.

How do you know if an IEP goal is realistic? The IEP team truly believes that the student with autism can meet that goal. Additional ways to know if the IEP goal is realistic is to determine if the child with accomplished anything similar in the past. Keep in mind at this point the conditions and supports the child will need to accomplish this goal.

IEP goals need to have a time frame. Having a set amount of time will give your goals structure and keep everyone on track to helping the student with autism meet their goal.

IEP Objectives
Good IEP objectives are measurable benchmarks toward reaching a goal. It is important that IEP objectives, like goals are developed using the SMART model as well.

When creating objectives the IEP team needs to ask: What are the intermediate steps the student with autism needs to reach in order to meet the goal? For example, if a goal is: Johnny will demonstrate appropriate social skills that result in interactions with adults and peers twice daily. Then a short term objective for meeting that goal would be: Johnny will use strategies from his social skills group so that he can respond to a peer or adult with a positive social interaction at least once each day.

Writing good IEP goals and objectives takes a little effort but it is well worth it. Well written IEP goals and objectives will help the whole IEP team support the student with autism and keep their program on track!
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