Individual Education Plan Consultation

By now, parents should have received a consultation form asking for your input into the goals that you want included in your child's Individual Education Plan.

Over the years, I received returned forms that ranged from no input to detailed goals that really could not be implemented in any school! So, what is good input from the parent. You know your child best; the teachers know about the curriculum, how most children learn, and know what is expected behavior that will allow all children to function in a busy classroom.

So, let's use this post to talk about your child's social behavior. The purpose in setting this goal is that children need to be able to behave in social situations that lead to acceptance, and lead to reading the social cues that will allow him or her to learn.

For example, if a child cannot sit on the carpet quietly, or sit at a desk when the teacher is teaching or other children are presenting, there are real social, as well as educational implications. So, a goal might be that "Sara will sit quietly on the carpet, or during a small group or whole group lesson quietly for 3 minutes." (Time goal will change depending on the child. Participation could be added. "Sara will ask one question or relevant comment or answer or repeat a comment one time during the lesson." Strategies could be used to achieve this goal, such as holding a weighted lap pad, having a fidget toy, getting tokens every 15-30 seconds of on task behavior.) Rewards would be used to give positive reinforcement. When the goal is met for the time specified, the goal is set higher.

Think about what holds your child back from participation in home events. Think about what prevents her from being successful at group activities at home. This could lead you to helping the school develop some goals that lead to better transitions during changes in schedules, dealing with frustration, learning how to choose a calming activity. For play, you might suggest that a goal would include a turn-taking game with some peers. Well, the teacher would write peers on the IEP, but we know we want to encourage playing and building friendships for our kids!

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