Designing Well Written IEP Goals

Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families

Does your child’s IEP have SMART goals?

An IEP, defined by as “an agreement between school and parent that outlines the special education and unrelated services to be delivered to a child who has been found eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),” is built around annual goals.

These goals will set the course for your child’s development over the course of the year. To have a successful IEP, you must design well written goals for your child that are easy to measure. We recommend the well-known “SMART” goals methodology as the best process for writing goals for your child’s IEP. The method is this:

S – Specific – Goals should be use very specific language.

M – Measurable – Vague goals are not easily measured. If goals are specific, they will be measurable.

A – Action – Use action words, like increase or decrease, when writing the goal.

R – Realistic – The goal must be realistic for your child to accomplish, keeping in mind how certain skills are sequenced or built on one another.

T – Time-limited – Within the language of the goal, be sure to specify a time frame in which the goal is to be reached.

When goals are written to be SMART, they will naturally be measurable. Well written goals contribute to a strong IEP for your child, which will be continually discussed during regular IEP meetings with your child’s teachers, therapists and other educational advocates.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s IEP, do not hesitate to contact Peak Potential Therapy. We provide educational advocacy and consulting services for parents of children with autism and special needs.