An IEP should include goals and objectives specific to each child's unique needs.251 Goals may be broad, such as "John will increase his verbal communication and comprehension," or specific, such as "This student will learn to interact more with her peers at recess and lunch." Educational objectives are tailored to a child's individual needs and based on the long-term goal. They describe the process by which the child may reach the goal and how a child's progress will be monitored.
GOAL: "Krista will increase her verbal responses to questions during the course of the year."
OBJECTIVE: "Krista will increase her verbal responses by receiving speech therapy from a licensed speech pathologist at least four times a week, in a one-on-one situation, in the resource room.
The sessions will last at least 30 minutes. Krista will verbally answer questions with 85 percent accuracy, after receiving both verbal and visual cues. The speech pathologist will send weekly reports, based on record keeping, to Krista's parents as well as her homeroom teacher. This therapy shall begin September 1st and continue until June 3rd, excluding pre-determined school holidays."
The above objective specifically states:
- The service to be provided (speech therapy),
- The professional who will be providing that service (a licensed speech pathologist),
- The setting in which the service will be provided (resource room),
- How often the service will be provided (four times a week), and
- The length of the service (30 minutes/session from September 1st through June 3rd).
The evaluation component of the objective addresses the question "How will we know whether Krista is making progress?" In this case, the speech pathologist will determine whether Krista is meeting the goal of 85 percent accuracy and send reports to her homeroom teacher and family each week. Other evaluation methods include test-taking, videotaping, peer reports, daily logs, checklists, computer printouts, and worksheets.
The above information is only one example of an objective to meet the goal of increasing verbal responses. Goals can have more than one objective. Parents may wish to review with school staff the curriculum and methods used for their child's education. This information can be used as a springboard for discussion among IEP team members.