This is the first time for me to write an IEP for a student that is functional living or lifeskills and I'm not sure how to find the goals. My student is 6th grade, nonverbal, and seems to be functioning on a 2 year old level. He can sort and match things but doesn't write, trace, or show "academic" progress. I have to use the core subjects instead of just a functional living format. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
Can you give us an indication of his current performance? What does he do in reading, writing, and math? How does he participate in those subjects in your class? Also, how does he communicate? I understand that he doesn't verbalize, but what does he do? Gestures, picture communication symbols, voice-output device . . . .
I'm not sure about his IQ because he's never been tested since he's so low, nonverbal, visually impaired, and unable to complete testing. He acts similiar to a 1 1/2 to 2 year old by pulling you and moving your hand toward things he wants. He loves the computer and plays several games activated by the keyboard or clicking the mouse. He will move my hand over to the mouse when he wants a different program or game. He had a communication device (say it sam) but it broke the 3rd week of school but he really didn't seem to be able to manipulate it while we had it. We've used picture cards, a Go-Talk, and visual schedule with him. Academically, he can match and sort by color and sometimes shapes. He works simple puzzles, listens to short stories, can make vertical marks on paper independently. We hand-over-hand trace numbers, letters, and his name but he doesn't attempt any of this independently. In the past, we've used functional living skills and the goals were based on fine motor, gross motor, and necessary to living skills. Recently we changed to a new form due to STAAR testing in Texas. I think that's why we have to choose goals that are more similiar to academics rather than functional living. I have things like tracing but realistically is he going to write his name independently ever? I'm all for using things like that but our VI thinks that is a waste of time for him. What do you think? Thanks again for your help!
like "attend" to the reading of a simple story-then have three simple picture cards representing beginning, middle, end to demonstrate sequencing skills. He wouldn't have to necessarily manipulate all 3--maybe you could ask him what came first or last...what happens next kinds of questions.
Maybe read a simple story and have sample characters on cards where he picks who was in it and who was not. Or put his name on a flashcard with one or two similar words near and see if he can pick it out [like have Steve, Stamp and Slick all on cards and he chooses his name.]
For math, it sounds like activities with the shapes, colors and puzzles would work.
For writing, see if he can make the marks on purpose. Have vertical, horizonal, crosses [plusses and x's] and right-left slant lines to trace, copy or otherwise imitate. If he can't do it on paper, can he use a marker board, smart board, shaving cream?
Message me so that I can email you. I can send you a couple of sample IEPs for kids at that range. If it makes you feel any better, he is quite a bit higher than most of my kids and they all address academics - even the two that score at 0-2 months on the developmental assessments. And, not only do they address academics, they benefit from those lessons even if they will never develop conventional academic skills. They learn tons of communication, social, motor, and self-help skills through our academic lessons.
Thank you so much for your responses! Lottalove, you're on the right track and gave some great ideas. I'm definitely going to try it with him and see what he can understand and if he can make choices. SDT, I wish I had gotten a special ed degree instead of just elementary education. It would have given me so much more info and help in my current job. If you come up with more, please pass them along Thanks so much!!
I have a similar non verbal child I am trying to write goals for. He is 7 but probably at a scattered 3 year old cognitive level. He is able to use an Ipad with a PECS type software to communicate simple sentences such as wanting, seeing, etc. Knows his numbers 1-10, 10 colors, 10 shapes, identifies all 26 letters of the alphabet and can type his first and last name with prompting.
Do you think you can send me some sample goals? What I read earlier sounds very interesting and could be helpful.