IEP Goals

Tomorrow morning, we’ll be headed to the school meeting where we’ll review all of Javan’s results with the whole team, finalize plans to encourage his success, and enroll him as a fourth grade public school student. In preparation, I’ve spent the last three or four days reading and rereading his proposed IEP goals, evaluation results, and functional behavior assessment (FBA) results. That’s a grand total of 83 pages of information to process and discuss. My highlighter is about out of fluid. I’ve already given you the highlights of his evaluations, so today I thought I’d give you an overview of his IEP goals. I know I’ve dumped tons of information an ya’ll the last few days, but wading through this stuff is a big part of being a special needs parent. This should be the last big information post for a while. Thanks for sticking with me.

An IEP, or individualized education plan, consists of a few state standards that have been specifically chosen and modified for the particular student in question and outlines individual instruction and goals related to those standards. Javan’s IEP includes two English goals, two math goals, one science goal, one social studies goal, and two behavioral goals. His progress on these goals will be reported every 6 weeks and should be successfully completed within 36 weeks, or one school year.

To give you an idea how pared down these expectations are from expectations for general education fourth graders in Texas, I’ve compiled the number of standard goals a typical fourth grader is required to achieve in a school year: 29 English goals, 10 Math goals, 10 science goals, and 23 social studies goals. That’s a butt ton of goals. Too many for special education students. So, the school chooses the most appropriate goals for each student to work on and then modifies those goals, adding extra learning supports and extra time to learn each goal.

Now I’ll outline for you Javan’s specific goals, both academic and behavioral. Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily all he’ll learn this school year. Each successfully completed goal will be replaced with new goals, so he will learn as much as he’s capable of each year. All of his academic goals are measurable by how often he successfully completes the task, and they’re only expecting 50% accuracy to call it a success. That seems awfully low to me. Id rather a 75% accuracy rate, so I’ll ask them about this tomorrow. They probably have a really good reason for setting the bar so low in the beginning.

Javan’s first English goal is to read aloud grade-level stories with fluency and comprehension and to read 100 sight words. This one I think will take longer than a year as he’s currently reading at a late kindergarten level and is very adverse to reading. His second English goal is to write complete sentences. This one I know he can do. Writing is very, very strenuous for him both due to visual perception issues and fine motor skills, but I don’t think it’ll take him a whole year to find success in this. In fact, he could probably do it now if he could be persuaded to try hard enough. It might look mrssy, but he could do it.

His first math goal is to recognize coins, identify their value, and count coins up to one dollar. He enjoys this task, and we practice it often by sorting and counting his piggy bank coins, but he could still use a lot of practice. Im happy that they chose something he’ll enjoy and that’s an important life skill. His second math goal is to solve one-digit addition and subtraction problems. Using manipulative like counters, which they plan to provide for his use, he can already do this. So this goal might already be met, unless they want him to be able to do it without the manipulatives, in which case he still needs additional practice. And subtractional practice. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

They chose the science goal based on his love and extensive knowledge of animals. He’s like a little animal encyclopedia. The goal is for him to identify five organisms that have structures to help them survive within their environments. I’m pretty sure they know he can already do that, but they wanted to start with something he loves to build comfort and confidence.

The social studies goal chosen is not one he’s had much experience with but will hopefully enjoy. He will learn to explain the meaning of patriotic symbols and landmarks of Texas, such as the six flags and the Alamo.

Javan’s first behavioral goal is to request adult support or attention using verbal or visual cues. I can see that one taking some time. His second goal is to attend to a task for five minutes. That shouldn’t be too difficult for him I don’t think.

So, that’s it for the IEP. Pretty simple. In lieu of wading through and pulling highlights from the 45 page FBA, I’ll just share a few pictures it included of recommended pages to use with Javan to help with behavior modification and emotional understanding:

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And as a special thank you for wading through all this information with me, here are some pictures of his classroom. I couldn’t show every area because there were other students in the pictures. Shown below are a reading area, a chill zone, the computer area, and the front board.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shannon Cherry
    Feb 03, 2016 @ 23:28:18

    Kristin, I am praying for you and Japheth, as well as Javan. I know this cannot be easy on you all. I am praying that God’s peace which passes understanding will engulf you. I hope and pray this will be a positive experience for you all. I have been directly involved with two individuals having this same diagnosis. It helped in many ways to have them in school, though they remained heavily medicated. They have both graduated now. They both enjoyed several good years. One even married and had a child. They have also had many bad years. I pray God’s best for you. Rest in Him. I know this is exhausting, too.

    Reply

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