SMART Goals

Do you ever wonder what a good goal is? I'm sure you've searched the "goal bank" looking for goals that might be good for your child, but here's just a little tip on writing goals that are unique, individualized, and specific to your child's needs.

First, look at your child's present levels. Where are his/her struggles? Identify them (I use a highlighter)

Then follow this:
S Speciļ¬c
M Measurable
A Achievable/Attainable  
R Realistic and relevant
T Time-limited (1 year)

Specific - you want your child's goal to be specific! You don't want "William will increase his language by the end of second semester" 

Well, that's not very specific, is it? We don't know by how much, in what settings or if this is expressive language, written language, functional, fluency, social, receptive etc..  

A better goal based on Williams assessments/present levels would be - "William will name items from an array of 25 symbols when given verbal clues describing appearance, function, or other features, in 8 of 10 opportunities supported by General Education, Speech Therapist, and Special Education Teachers"

Measurable - That would be the 8 out of 10 opportunities. If you feel that may be too high you and the team can talk about what might be more attainable. It could even look like 80% , 75%, 7 out of 10, 90% - how ever it's written there it should be measurable. This is also important for collecting data and how close William is to reaching this goal.

Achievable/ Attainable - You know your child best! Look closely at his/her annual goals. Look at the benchmarks (I call them baby steps) in how they are going to reach that annual goal. Is this something you can see your child doing from where she/he is at now? Talk with the team, go over your concerns, ask them to explain how they plan to reach that goal (what does that look like?) and if the team needs to  - rewrite that goal to something more attainable. If he/she reaches the goal sooner, you can always meet again and create a new goal.

Realistic/Relevant - This is important because this is the part of the goal that because the unique and individualized piece. Make sure this is a goal that is relevant to YOUR child and unique to YOUR child's needs.

Time Limited - 1 year. We want all goal reached by the next annual IEP meeting. There is an issue when we have to write the same goal over and over. If your child isn't reaching his/her goals we need to discuss as a team what we can do differently to help meet the needs of the child.

Well, that's a start on creating unique and individualized goals for your child!


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