Important aspects of the IEP are relevant goals that come from areas of struggle and the need for remediation. Goals reflect present levels of functioning; that is, strengths and needs of improvement. In addition, goals must have specific plans of action as well as the knowledge of who will be carrying out the plans for each goal.
I participated in an IEP meeting recently for an 8-year-old whose family was very concerned with behaviors and academics. In this IEP are 18 goals!! The quarterly feedback for each goal was a documentation of whether or not the goal had been met or whether or not the plan was even introduced in order to meet the goal.
Here is an example of a goal: “John will be able to comprehend a passage of reading and report back answers of “w” questions.” Here are some questions that should be asked about this goal that is not measurable:
Many of the goals were not achieved or not introduced. So why would they even be a part of the IEP? If the goal was not achieved, why? Is it currently unachievable based on his educational evaluation? Is he not moving forward and achieving the goal because the plan must be tweaked?
There are too many unmeasurable goals that are not even specific to his strengths and needs. There are too many goals to follow and to ensure that there is success. This IEP needs to be revised in order to prioritize his current needs and for all to follow. In addition, they need to be measurable. According to the IDEA, they need to be goals that promote further education, employment, and independent living. These are areas that always should drive the development of goals. If goals are not measurable or not within reach at the time, how will we monitor success?
Once there are reasonable goals, there should be data provided quarterly that reflect success or the need to change or modify. Merely a check off list that a child is not achieving or is barely achieving tells us nothing about the plan and how it is working.
Sometimes, the fight for the right support in school can be tough. But once achieved, that is only half the battle. The other half is insuring that goals and plans are written in a way to insure a forward progression and goal achievement.
To understand more about what ADHD advocacy is, and how it can dramatically help your child, please contact me directly for a free consultancy session. On our call, you will have the opportunity to share the challenges that your child is facing, and get instant feedback on critical next steps to help both you and your child. You can contact me directly by clicking here!
A little about the author and founder of ADD Advocate, Karen Lowry: I am a certified ADHD Coach. ADHD advocacy is my passion. There are so many school support challenges facing our children, that knowing your rights as a parent have never been more crucial. Effective ADHD coaching depends on effective advocacy for our kids. Remember, if you should ever have any questions about anything regarding school support, or just understanding about ADHD, IEP programs, 504 plans, etc….