As a Special Education teacher of Autistic children, one of my major responsibilities was formulating the student’s Individual Educational Plan ( IEP). Goals for an Autistic child usually fall in one of three major categories. These goals address all three areas of concern to parents and educators of Autistic children. Educational, social and conversational goals should be addressed when planning specific and meaningful goals for an Autistic student’s Individual Educational Plan. The first addressed on the Invidiaul Education Plan is generally the educational goals.
When writing an IEP goal remember that a great goal addresses the specific behavior, one step at a time. The goal also addressees the percentage of times or number of times a child is expected to achieve the goal. Some goals add a time frame for completion. The key words for all Individual Education Plans is an acronym S.M.A.R.T. This stands for specific,measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. All goals should be written with these five words in mind.
Educational goals in an Autistic classroom often focus on a child’s learning the structure of the classroom. Visual cues prove important in such a classroom. A great educational goal addresses the use and comprehension of visual cues. A great sample visual cue educational goal might be: When following classroom procedures, using oral and visual cues, student will respond appropriately 3 out of 4 times within a one week time period .
Higher functioning Autistic children often receive the majority of their education in a regular or mainstreamed classroom. Mentioning any pull out or special education time spent outside of the regular classroom needs to be addressed in the Individual Educational Plan. Regular classroom teachers often fret about writing IEP goals as they have not been properly trained. However, this responsibility usually falls with the special education or resource teacher. As the child will be served in their classroom, writing the goal becomes their responsibility. A good pullout goal might read: Student will receive one hour a day of resource or special education classroom instruction from August 15th to the end of the school year or May 31st.
While these are examples of educational goals for an Autistic child’s Individual Educational Plan, remember that each child is unique and a one size fits all goal approach is not beneficial to a student with Autism. More exact and specific goals result from talking to parents and previous teachers. It may take a lot of effort to compile educational goals specific to each child, but the student will benefit from goals directed towards his education and social development.