12 Tips for Therapists Developing IEP Goals

Goals MUST:

  1. Be directly related to the student’s ability to participate in his/her educational program, assisting the child to be more independent within his/her routine.
  2. Involve a team process between disciplines in order to allow goals to be addressed throughout the student’s program.
  3. Be able to be monitored and assessed consistently (measurable) and at defined or regular intervals. At a minimum, quarterly reports on the student’s progress must be given to the student’s parents/guardians.
  4. Focus on expected growth within a one-year time interval.
  5. Be developed considering the best overall interests of the students (consensus building often requires some give and take among professionals.
  6. Identify what the student will do, not the staff.
  7. Be individualized, NOT mass produced; one size does not fit all.
  8. Be developed establishing a baseline level; what is the current level of performance. (You don’t know how much progress has been made unless you know where you started).
  9. Be developed to maximize the growth of the child, but minimize the number of goal expectations. Too many goals decrease the focus of the program.
  10. Use language that is understandable to all members of the team — including parents/guardians.
  11. Use verbs that are measurable. You can’t measure it if you can’t see it, hear it, or count it.
  12. Welcome parent/guardian ideas when writing plans for students. Refer to your ideas as parents should always be primarily considered as active and equal participants in the IEP process.