Goals are hard to create: another blog with helpful information

Creating goals is hard but if prior to setting goals you follow a process it can become easier.


  • Consult with the family: it is very important to include families from the beginning of the process as team members.
  • Review records and any information that suggests next steps in the child’s therapy.


  • Armed with the information from your family consult and case review you can set up some activities or tasks to find baseline on some goals that you might be considering. So for example, if the parent wants the child to speak clearer you might administer an articulation test.  If the teacher is concerned about child’s understanding of a story you might read a story and have the child answer questions of increasing difficulties.


  • You have input from the family and team including a chart review. You have information from your work with the child so you have some ideas on the child’s capabilities.  You now have a skill area that you will be working on. The next thing to do is to look at the research-based practices that will use. These can be found on the ASHA website. ASHA Evidenced-based research portalTHIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Once you have selected your evidenced-based practice your goal should reflect this practice.
  • Some errors I see with students is that they will select an evidenced-based practice but their goal does not match this practice.
    • So for example, a person may select a functional core vocabulary articulation practice but then have the measurement similar to a traditional articulation practice ( r in the initial position with 85% accuracy).
    • A person may administer the Entire World of R but then not follow the guidelines this program has for the selection of a target and will have multiple targets which also is not the philosophy of this practice.
    • A person may read aloud a story and ask comprehension questions then set the goal as a reading comprehension goal rather than what actually happened which was listening comprehension.
  • The other error that I see is that the baseline measurement does not match the goal.  If you are measuring for baseline and you write about percentage then the goal should have the percentage in the goal, however, if you measure baseline by a rubric then the goal should have a rubric for the measurement. It is similar to the adage, compare apples to apples.

Hope this is helpful. Goals are hard to write. I know I have 39 years of experience but each time I reflect on the goals that I am going to develop for a student it really takes me hours to research, reflect and then to write.


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