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What are "Good" IEP Goals and Objectives?

Under the IDEA, a child's IEP must contain a statement of measurable annual goals, designed to meet the child's unique needs that result from their disability to enable them to be involved in and make progress in the general curriculum, and meet each of the child's other educational needs that result from the child's disability.  

Goals are based on the child's present levels

A child's IEP describes their present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. The present levels should describe the child's unique needs that result from their disability.


The present levels section of the IEP includes information as to the child's preacademic/academic functional skills, communication development, motor development, social/emotional/behavioral development, vocational skills, adaptive/daily living skills, and health. 

There should be a direct relationship between the annual goals and objectives and the needs identified in the statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.  

Measurable IEP goals are the goal

Measurable IEP goals allow parents and teachers to know how much progress the child has made since the performance was last measured. With IEP measurable goals, you will know when your child reaches their goal.

IEP goals and objectives

Short-term IEP goal objectives are steps that measure the child’s progress toward the annual goals in the IEP. When written correctly, short-term objectives provide your child's teachers with a roadmap and a clear mechanism to evaluate your child’s progress.

Functional IEP goals

There are various types of IEP goals to meet the various unique needs of students. 

Academic IEP goals

Social emotional

IEP goals

Behavioral IEP goals

If you have questions or concerns about your child's IEP goals, consider hiring a special education attorney or advocate for help.

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