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Last Updated: 02/23/2018

 Ask the Advocate with Samantha Garcia-Emerah


Question: I have a 9 year-old son in the 4th grade.  He has been diagnosed with Autism and is included in a regular ed setting with adaptations, modifications, and a full-time teacher's aide.  My question is about social skills and how to write goals and objectives for the IEP.  Do you have any suggestions, ideas, or know of any models that may be useful to me and the team?
Writing social goals should be approached the same as academic goals. First you need a clear idea of the child's present level of performance. While there is no real formal "testing" in this area, a good round table discussion between you, his classroom teacher, aide, and a behavioral or specialty consultant (ie. autism consultant) that has observed your child could be an excellent way of establishing what skills your child has achieved and identifying what should be his next social/emotional goals. 


This approach seems to invite open conversation and allow everyone ownership in the goals and objectives. Once the goals are identified, you can break them down, identifying the different skills needed to accomplish the goal.  The skills your child already has can be built upon. The skills he needs to accomplish the new goal become the objectives. Once the objectives have been identified, you plan HOW to teach your child these new skills.


A goal is merely a statement of what the child is expected to accomplish. An objective is HOW the student will accomplish that goal. A good objective has four parts: the skill; conditions as to how the skill is performed (with supervision, independent, using a model, etc..); criterion (this is actually a proficiency goal; for 10 sec, 90% of the class time, when asked, etc...) and evaluation (how the new skill we be evaluated).


You would be amazed at the wonderful ideas that will come out of a friendly round table discussion where everyone feels ownership of the task at hand.


I hope this is of some help to you.
Samantha Garcia-Emerah

Bridges4Kids and Early On Michigan



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