Congratulations! You’ve made it this far, and this is the exciting part. The goals and objectives section of your child’s IEP is where your team lays out clear, actionable goals for your child’s educational progress in the year ahead.
Goals and objectives aren’t synonymous. A goal is specific and measurable. It refers to your child’s overall target after a set time, such as being able to read the entire alphabet in 3 out of 4 opportunities by the next IEP meeting.
Objectives are the smaller skills and steps needed to get to that goal, such as being able to read 50 percent of the alphabet in 3 out of 5 opportunities with 2 prompts. Objectives often include supports such as prompts, whereas a longer-term goal emphasizes independence. Here’s a handy breakdown of the difference.
No matter what, goals and objectives for a child with CVI should be:
Importantly, this section should be written from a perspective of strength, not deficits or weakness: Goals and objectives should highlight what skills your child can build upon, not what they can’t do. This needs to be a positive, forward-thinking framework that connects past strengths with future opportunities. It should:
Vision should be considered across every goal and objective, not isolated to your TVI. Every single person on your child’s team should have reviewed and understood the accommodations required for your child to address the skill they’re targeting within their objective.Marguerite Tibaudo, Assistant Director for Assessment and Intervention at the CVI Center at Perkins
At Perkins, we like the aptly named SMART model of goals and objectives. What does that mean? Goals should be:
Here’s a non-SMART goal: This year, Pete will begin to identify letters of the alphabet.
Here’s a SMART goal: Within six months, Pete will identify capital letters A-L 75 percent of the time in 4 out of 5 opportunities when presented one at a time in an 18-point Arial font against a black background. Within a year, Pete will identify capital letters A-Z 75 percent of the time when presented one at a time in an 18-point Arial font against a black background.
The SMART method is also useful because it supports ongoing data collection: With linear, clear milestones, an educator should be able to develop a data-tracking system for each goal, which in turn determines whether adjustments need to be made and helps to solidify present levels for the following year’s IEP.
As a parent, you have the right to ask how a goal or objective was determined and for the data that supports it.
Finally, remember: Goals and objectives don’t focus on services your team will provide; it’s all about what your child might achieve using those services. And your child can achieve. Kids with CVI can learn, progress, and grow.
Ready to learn more? Watch our presentation on Building Accessible and Meaningful Learning for Students With CVI.
Goals should be written to reflect what the student will do, not what service is provided. Some examples of possible IEP goal focus areas identified within the present levels are: Reading comprehension, fluency skills, communication, time-management, self-advocacy, self-regulation, organization, independent travel, interpersonal and social skills, college and career exploration, math skills, fine motor skills, and writing skills.Allan Blume, educational consultant
Below are a few examples of IEP goals and objectives for an elementary student with CVI and other needs. All identifying information has been changed. These examples are meant to inspire discussion only. All goals and objectives are based on comprehensive assessment, ongoing evaluation, and the individualized needs of the student.
Measurable Annual Goal: Given direct, explicit, and repeated instruction, Kai will use math manipulatives to represent and solve problems demonstrating an understanding of number sense in 4 out of 5 opportunities as measured by the objectives below.
Measurable Annual Goal: Given direct, explicit, and repeated instruction, Kai will increase his phonemic awareness, word recognition skills, and comprehension skills given 4 out of 5 opportunities as measured by the objectives below.
Measurable Annual Goal: Kai will improve his ability to produce target sounds, increase his ability to understand language, express himself, and continue to develop his social language skills as measured by the below objectives.