As an advocate, one of the things I often see during IEP's are vague and poorly defined goals if they even have goals at all. I tend to devote a great deal of my focus on the goals during IEP's because I am a numbers guy. When I read an IEP and analyze the current goals vs. former goals, I can usually get a great feel for how the IEP and school has performed. A few things you want to pay attention to when review goals are:
- Progress - The purpose has to be improvement. Whatever programs or instructional tools the school uses has to show results. It doesn't matter how much they like a program or even how much you may like it, if your child is not showing progress you need to try something new.
- Measurable - You can have the best goals in the world but if you don't have a specific, reliable, and accurate way to measure progress towards that goal, you are unlikely to reach them. You want to make sure not only are the systems in place to measure progress, but to also make sure YOU understand the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the systems.
- Comprehensive - Make sure their are goals for each and every area of your child's educational development. Each and every program that is in place for your child should have a goal attached to it. Everything that you discuss in the IEP in regards to how the district or school plans to educate your child should have a goal.
At LONHA we strive to assist our clients in assuring we have the mechanisms are in place to allow us and the parent to hold the school and school district accountable. Our experience in IEP's and special education advocacy enables us to ensure each and every IEP is exactly what it is supposed to be and that is an Individual Education Program specified to the needs of your child.