What if your child did not meet IEP goals? Part 1

children_drawing_with_crayonsSo you are reading through the evaluations and everything sounds really negative.  Goal after goal is not met.   You immediately tighten up, feel stressed, feel like your child is not measuring up.  

When goals and objectives are not met the traditional thing to do is look at the child’s failures.  That is NOT what an IEP is about.  Individual Education Plans are intended to identify your child’s strengths so the team can develop a program custom tailored for their success.  That gets lost in all the testing.

Take a couple of deep breaths.  Read below and design the NEXT IEP for your child’s success.  First possibility – the wrong goals and objectives were set.  Here’s an example:

This child has difficulty using their hands for fine motors so these 2 goals are set.

Goal 1: Child will sit upright with feet on floor and legs at 90 degrees

Goal 2: Child will write his alphabet letters with 90% accuracy

These goals focus on the motor skills that the child has difficulty with. They do not break the task down into the ingredients for success that they uniquely will use.  If these goals are the focus of the IEP then there will be limited time to show all the other wonderful things the child can achieve and demonstrate in class.

drawing-competition-for-school-kids_l-295x196Note:  none of the other children are sitting with their feet flat and their legs at 90 degrees.  I guarantee it.  Children need to move all the time.  Your child does too.

See how the REVISED goals are about meeting the child where they are and providing the means for them to learn and succeed.  You might add some OT or PT or ABM goals to support those listed below and stipulate whether they are provided outside the class, or provided by the parent at home.

REVISED GOAL 1: Child will have supports in place to achieve more ease with fine motors

Objective:  Child will be able to to grasp and release many differently shaped objects easily

Objective 2: Child will be able to draw circles, straight lines, wavy lines and dots with ease.

Implementation – Trial of a number of chairs with varying level of support to determine what is needed.

Crayon-Sandpaper-DrawingREVISED GOAL 2:  Child show understanding of alphabet letters and sounds through reading and writing.

Objective 1:  Child will form letters through tracing, putting shapes together, and writing with an adapted or unadapted implement.

Objective 2: Child will select correct letter when given the name or sound from a  field of 8.

Implementation:  OT to test adapted implements including hand straps, built up handles, variety of shapes etc.  Teach and OT to adapt assignment by providing cut paper, iPad app, alphabet cards as appropriate.

These new goals and objectives make it clear that the child is doing fine and the task is for the professionals to design the environment that will work for the child.

Part 2 – http://www.andrealbowers.com/so-the-iep-goals-were-not-met-part-2/

Related post:

IEP time – focus on the positive

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