Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hashing Out IEP Goals

Spring is here, and certain parents know what that means: IEP season has arrived. For those that don't know what an "IEP" is, it is an "individualized educational plan" written for children who need educational supports or other specialized education.

For Nolan, the IEP is put in place because of his hearing loss. This is an interesting dynamic, because Nolan's language tests as age-appropriate, and he has no delays. If he were older, we would consider placing him on a 504 plan (this provides physical accommodations for children with physical handicaps).

Nolan is, however, only three years old. We want him to have a "running start" into kindergarten, to strengthen pre-literacy skills, and to have coping skills for situations where his hearing will inevitably be impacted by background noise.

His IEP meeting is on May 25, and we have to hash out some goals for the little guy. There are some areas which need some work, so we have come up with the following goals:

  • Nolan will initiate peer interactions. Currently, Nolan will only initiate interactions with adults. In the classroom, he will only partake in parallel play unless aided by another adult. He will never initiate social contact with another child. He's come a l-o-n-g way, but socialization is very important, so we will place this goal into his IEP.
  • Proper use of pronouns. Everyone is a "he" or a "him," which makes sense. Our household is almost entirely male! For some reason, Nolan has also reverted back to referring to himself in the third person nearly all of the time. I'm not quite sure where "my," "me," and "I" have gone!
  • Articulation. Most of Nolan's articulation errors are age-appropriate (like fronting: using a /t/ for /k/and his use of /w/ for /l/), but he has some related to his hearing loss (confusing M and N). Most of the time, he is intelligible to a stranger, like any other child his age. Occasionally, the articulation errors compound in a single word. "Nilt" is "milk" - a stranger may not understand this word out of context.
Anyhow, I am looking for goals appropriate for a child turning five years old. The IEP will be in place next year (when Nolan is four- going- on- five years old), so I need great goal ideas for a child getting ready to enter kindergarten! Hearing loss mamas out there, do you have any great pre-literacy goals/auditory goals/self-advocacy goals? We are trying to keep the number of goals down on the overall IEP (easier to chart and track), but ideas are most welcome from those of you who have been-there-done-that!


Susannah said...

monrovia is all she and her- kind of funny.

ps re: your iep...go mama bear, go!

Mommy said...

Having been on the other side of the table, teachers and specialists will have some ideas of good goals that will help him in the school setting. Generally, these people want to help you child and have a thorough grasp of the social and academic aspects of school.

leah said...

Most of our goals come from our academic advisors, but we don't have many people with experience with deaf and hard of hearing children (i.e. we have no AVT). Because of that, we get ideas for goals from others who have access to AVT. We live in a pretty rural area - the only modality in our area is sign language for deaf children. The educators don't have the specialized knowledge of things an oral-deaf child needs to succeed in the classroom. We can't get the school's TOD on the case until he's in kindergarten.

leah said...

I should also probably clarify that when I say "we" came up with his goals, that means Nolan's SLP and myself...not Dennis and me! lol!

rouchi said...

I had a tough time with Prisha as we had no IEP in India.Coming here it took 6months for the school to realize that she would need one.It helped but I wish it had happened earlier.I hope he gets the best possible IEP!

TheSweetOne said...

I wish we lived next door to each other. We spent Monday afternoon with our social worker going over everything we need to do (and all that we can`t do because of school board politics) for Lauren`s JK year. Like Nolan, she doesn't start til September 2012 but I'm all over it. Terrified that something will get missed and she'll be at a disadvantage. IEP, IPRC... ABCs. It's all alphabet soup no?

leah said...

I'm really concerned about socialization and pre-literacy skills. I have a feeling he'll be fine in the long run, but I don't want to miss anything that would give him a "leg up," so to speak! I've heard that third grade is when the curriculum becomes more difficult and some kids start to struggle (you learn to read in grades K-2, and "read to learn" in grades 3 and up).

SurfinSLP said...

Hi there,

Blog lurking SLP here, thought I'd come out of hiding for one of my favorite topics.. IEP goals! It's hard to say without knowing Nolan personally, but maybe you can see if any of these fit:
-Responding to (verbal) initiations from peers
-Rhyming (can be hard for our D/HOH kiddos! maybe start by identifying rhyming vs nonrhyming words)
-Alliteration ("sit" starts with ssss.. what else starts with sss?)
-Adapting to playground games and becoming part of the action
-Verbally expressing feelings
-Waiting for turns in games
-Maintaining attention to and completing classroom tasks
-Asking for additional information about what is encountered
-Looking at books carefully and putting them back on the shelf when finished
-Raising a hand to indicate that help it needed
-Taking turns, sharing, and communicating during play
-Initiating and maintaining relationships with peers
-Requesting the teacher's attention appropriately
-Responding to an adult's questions or comments
-Using appropriate voice volume
-Speaking in a variety of situations to inform and/or relate experiences, such as retelling stories
-Following the teacher's 2-step directions to the class without needing individual clarification/repetition
-Carrying on a conversation with another person that extends a previously expressed thought or idea
-Using appropriate vocabulary when telling about objects, activities, centers, or topics of interest in the classroom (color, size, texture, weight, opposites, etc.)

Here are some goals I like to put on IEPs for my higher-functioning deaf/hoh kiddos:
-Let an adult know when hearing aid/CI battery dies (or device is not working)
-Explain why has hearing aids (bully-proof that kid!)
-Put in own aids (depending on fine motor ability)
-Let teacher know when cannot see/hear
-Let teacher know when FM equipment is not working
-Seat self appropriately (away from noise such as door, pencil sharpener, in direct view of teacher/interpreter)
-Explain what to do if a friend doesn't hear you (say it again)
-Explain what to do if you didn't hear a friend (request repetition)

Does your state have a preschool curriculum or an early childhood skill guide or something along those lines? That's where we take our goals from. :)

Sorry to intrude on the Mommy world. I enjoy your blog and think you have such a great attitude.

leah said...

Surfin SLP - those are great ideas! The self advocacy and peer interaction goals are great. Thanks for the input - we can work some of these ideas into his goals. The alliteration and rhyming goals are great, too - Nolan will be 4-5 next year, and rhyming will be an appropriate skill to obtain.

Thank you!