I am not sure who writes/approves the canned goals in IEP Direct but some of them are rather silly.
Being a former full time educator myself I know that academic programs spend quite a bit of time teaching students how to write appropriate goals that are both functional and measurable. Something seems to happen between the classroom and practice because the quality of many goals that I see written for children in school settings is very poor.
This is not new but is a perennial rant because the situation does not ever change. Programs like IEP Direct have now compounded the problem because it perpetuates the thinking that "if the computer has it listed as a well-written goal then it must be ok."
The offending goal today is:
Joey will demonstrate a consistent hand preference and appropriate grasp on a crayon to trace basic shapes and letters using correct sequencing with 1/4" accuracy.The problem with this goal is that it attempts to measure too many things with too little specificity. There are at least six goals in this single goal:
- Joey will demonstrate a consistent hand preference
- Joey will use an appropriate grasp on a crayon
- Joey will trace basic shapes
- Joey will trace basic letters
- Joey will trace with correct sequencing
- Joey will maintain accuracy within 1/4"
My favorite point of silliness about this goal is accuracy within 1/4". Here is a picture of the letter 'A' drawn correctly and also drawn within 1/4" accuracy. Obviously, the absurdity scales when the demand for writing within a more confined space increases - but this is a scaled size that a kindergarten student might attempt:
Would you feel as though your child had achieved this goal if they produced a letter that looks like the 'letter' on the left??
I would like to encourage school-based therapists to be a little more thoughtful when writing goals or when clicking the silly drop down menu options when writing IEPs.
I promise all practicing therapists that parents are getting very tired of trying to understand what the goals mean and how they are supposed to know if a child is really making appropriate progress.