No One is Perfect: Goal Writing

Are you always on time with your paperwork?

Do you get 100% on every test?

Are you always right?

You are probably saying of course not. You need to think about this when writing your goals for your students. They are having therapy because they are having difficulty with a particular skill.  The reason that you evaluate skills for a baseline is that these can assist you in both looking at the very specific skill that the client is having difficulty with as well as it allows you to determine what is a realistic percentage of improvement you could expect given the time you are working with the client. So if the student is able to do a skill at 50% and you have 10 weeks or 20 hours of therapy it would probably not be realistic that the child would be able to accomplish this goal at 100%.

Accuracy: As stated above it is crucial that you have the expected accuracy. This can be done using percentages, ratios or rubrics as long as you are carefully considering what the baseline is and then what is the expected outcome given the time you have to work on the goal and the complexity of the difficulty. You should also note the mastery qualifications that you are expecting (ex.across three sessions, an average for the semester).

Measurable: The most crucial piece of your goal is that what you are working towards needs to be measurable.  Anyone picking up your goal would be able to quickly understand how they could set up a situation that they too could determine that the student had met the goal.

Complexity: You need to tell the level of expectations. What is the level of the complexity of the stimulus ( How many steps in the direction? What is the reading level?)

Context: Under what condition is the goal being achieved?  You need to say the whos, whats, whens, and wheres.

The Level of cues or supports: Are you using visuals?  Is there a graphic organizer?  Are you expecting independence?

There are several other posts that speak to goal writing including:

Spring 2017 Examples of Good Student Goals

Some Sample Clinical Goals Fall 2016: How to Write

Conversation: Social Pragmatic Goals

Developing Social Emotional Language Goals

Great Goals for Fall 2015 Semester

Summer 2015 Examples of Good Goals

Getting Baseline Data for goals and program development

February 2015 Some additional examples of speech and language goals

Some new speech and language goal examples September 2014

Developing Student Goals

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