How Are My Child’s IEP Goals & Objectives Developed?
Parents often times find themselves overwhelmed when reviewing their child’s proposed IEP goals and objectives. It is not an easy task. In deciding if your child’s proposed IEP goals and objectives are appropriate ask yourself the following questions.
What assessments/evaluations/data were used to guide the development of my child’s goals and objectives? It is best practice for educators to gather information about your child’s performance with skills in each of the IEP domains (e.g., academic/cognitive, communication, fine and gross motor, social/behavioral, employment, independent living, health, self-help, etc.) prior to developing their goals and objectives. Data and direct observations (in some cases through a formal assessment or evaluation) are intended to inform educators with regards to the child’s specific strengths and needs and will guide the team in developing appropriate, meaningful, and ambitious targets for your child’s IEP.
Are the goals and objectives “ambitiously appropriate?” It is important for your child’s goals and objectives to be tailored to their specific needs. Under Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) your child is entitled to a free and appropriate education that meets their individual needs. Therefore, assessment of your child’s individual needs is critical and you as a parent should feel very comfortable inquiring about the appropriateness of your child’s goals and objectives and how they were individualized based on their strengths and needs.
Are the goals and objectives meaningful? Your child’s goals and objectives should be relevant to their development. In other words, the targeted skills must serve a purpose particularly in advancing your child’s learning in the community. Question if the goals and objectives are functional and will contribute to improving your child’s learning and quality of life in the future.
Is there anyone who can help me evaluate if my child’s goals and objectives are appropriate? Access the resources you may have in your community. If you have outside (home/community) providers who know your child well ask them to review the proposed goals and objectives. If they have provided independent evaluations then use the information and data they have gathered to assess the appropriateness of the goals and objectives. An advocate or attorney can help you connect with resources in your community to assess your child’s needs and make recommendations for school teams to consider when developing your child’s IEP. Forte Law Group frequently collaborates and consults with leading clinical experts within specialized fields to support our team and the families we represent in gaining a better understanding of your child’s unique case. An attorney can also help determine if goals and objectives are written in a manner that are observable and measureable and help you navigate through the ins and outs of developing your specific child’s IEP.