Writing IEP Goals and Objectives: Reflecting an Activity-Based Approach to instruction for Young Children With Disabilities

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Abstract

endall is a three-year old with significant challenges including vision and hearing problems, physical disabilities, and limited formal communication. Prior to when Kendall entered preschool, an early childhood coordinator in the school district developed an IEP for Kendall based on assessment information from a standardized evaluation instrument. A group of specialists and therapists had individually conducted additional assessments with Kendall and each developed a set of objectives for her. The teacher now has all this information and is charged with the challenge of implementing Kendall's IEP which now contains nearly 40 objectives! Most of the skills identified on Kendall's IEP, such as focusing on objects, holding up her head, and making choices, are quite different than the developmental outcomes identified for other children in the class.

During the teacher's preservice training, she learned about embedding skills into developmentally appropriate activities. Yet, no one ever said what to do when a child has this many objectives. Being a conscientious new teacher, she is concerned about making sure she "works on" each child's IEP objectives, but can't imagine how to do this for Kendall when there are six other children in the class with IEPs. As a last resort, the teacher does what she knows is really not best practice and assigns an aide to pull Kendall from existing classroom activities to "work on her IEP."

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