How do I write IEP goals for my child with autism?
In order for any service in an IEP to be implemented, a service provider needs to be attached to an IEP goal. Service minutes are dependent on goals — the more goals there are in any given area, the more service minutes the student will need to meet said goals.
Goals will be individualized to meet each individual student’s needs, and they should be meaningful, measurable, appropriately challenging, and aligned with a student’s strengths, needs, and interests. Here’s an example of a goal that is written to support a child in building self-regulation skills:
By (annual due date), in the classroom setting, when given a menu of self-regulation strategies and when suggested to take a break before and/or during whole group instruction, Sarah will select and engage in a self-regulating strategy for at least one minute before returning to group, in 80% of opportunities over a two-week period, as measured by observation data.
If there are specific tools and accommodations the student needs in order to achieve a goal, Dr. Pelangka says it’s important to ensure that those accommodations are written into the goal. This will hold the school team accountable and make sure the child has access to those accommodations when they need them.
Check out our article A Parent's Guide to IEP Goals for more strategies and printable templates for writing effective goals. Also see our article Getting a Child with Autism the School Supports They Need for more information about specific IEP supports for autism.