Executive Functioning | Measurable IEP Goals | Accommodations | Strategies

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Executive Functioning IEP Goals

Executive function is an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, multi-tasking, initiation, and monitoring of actions. Executive functioning describes a set of mental processes that helps people to connect past experience with present action.

Wikipedia

If your child or student struggles in any of these areas, and you are looking for executive functioning IEP goals, IEP goals for focus and attention, independent functioning IEP goals, and organization/study skills IEP goals then keep reading. You’re in the right place!

IEP goals executive functioning

Welcome to Everything Executive Functioning! This should have everything you need for your child’s Executive Functioning issues and their IEP. In here you will find Executive Functioning IEP Goals, IEP accommodations, apps that address Executive Functioning deficits and strategies for including EF in your IEP.

Remember when we were in elementary school, and there was always that “one kid” who was just constantly messy? His papers were always getting lost, the desk was a mess, the backpack was a mess-the whole bit. Now, as an adult, I feel terrible for not understanding that those kids really struggled with Executive Functioning issues and no one cared. They just got yelled at all the time.

This is another giant post redo. Previously, this was 4-5 separate posts, so now it is one giant, helpful resource for Executive Functioning, focus and attention, and organizational IEP Goals.

What is Executive Functioning Disorder?

If a child lacks the ability to do any of the following, you should ask that they are evaluated for Executive Function Disorder.

  • Manage time
  • Pay attention
  • Switch focus
  • Plan and organize
  • Remember details
  • Avoid saying or doing the wrong thing
  • Do things based on your past experiences
  • frequent comorbidity with autism, ADHD, anxiety, and dyslexia; but can exist without those conditions.

More importantly, what does it look like? It’s the ability to set an alarm clock, be able to get up with that alarm and plan your morning accordingly to be on time. It’s not just about being late, it’s about having anxiety so severe that the person is ready to go three hours ahead of time, sitting around waiting and worrying about being late.

It’s about being able to line things up sequentially in your mind. It’s about looking at a phone number in a phone book and being able to memorize it long enough to dial it (working memory). It can be about impulse control and knowing what is appropriate to say in public. It’s about reading group dynamics and social cues. It’s about being able to cook eggs, bacon, and toast all at the same time.

Independent Functioning Goals

College-level algebra is useless if you can’t make change at the Wawa.”

If you told your teen that you were going to go to the beach for 3 days, and to go pack a suitcase, can they do it? Do they have problems planning out and doing homework, and turning it in on time? Do others dislike them because they don’t know when to stop, as far as jokes and things like that? Is their behavior irritating to others?

Schools have a tendency to overlook these skills and focus on academics. And as parents, we are enablers in order to survive. We set the alarms, we wake them, we drive them, we hold their hands in public and interrupt them when we know they’re going to say something inappropriate. But we can’t be there forever, they need executive functioning skills to be independent.

You should assess your child’s EF skills throughout their academic career, but it becomes particularly important at age 14. Then you must get those goals listed on the IEP. If the goals aren’t on the IEP, and your child is faring well academically, it will be more difficult to get a 13th or 14th year of school to work on them. Get them on the IEP now. As typical people, we take these skills for granted. But when they are absent, you notice. Ask for an eval or an IEE and find a qualified evaluator in your area. These are essential survival skills for independence.

Executive Function Questions for Parents

  • What tasks does your child need help with at home?
  • Does your child lose things?
  • How often do you need to explain how to do a task?
  • Does your child have trouble concentrating?
  • Can your child plan ahead for activities?
  • Does your child get upset with change?
  • Does your child often interrupt others?
  • Do you spend an extraordinary amount of time helping them with homework?

Executive Function Questions for Teachers

  • Does the student get distracted easily?
  • Does the student have an organized backpack or locker?
  • Can the child fix their own mistakes?
  • Is the child aware of the consequences of their words or actions?
  • Does the student demonstrate incomplete or careless work?
  • Can the student develop plans and strategies?

Executive Functioning IEP Goals

I have organized the IEP Executive Functioning goals by the area that they target. Any goal can be taken from a general phrase to measurable by adding parameters. To do this, you need to know the baselines. In other words–how often is this student doing this skill now? How many times per day or week? How many teacher check-ins or verbal prompts is it taking to get this done? Know what the numbers are now, and choose a reasonable, measurable number for them to achieve. You can’t monitor progress on an IEP without baselines.

IEP goal formula for special education

First, I found these two executive functioning IEP goals online and the suggested monitoring process was the various parts of the WISC. I know that education is becoming very data-driven. But I do have concerns about a student being able to do the skills for a test, but not being able to apply it across all environments. Still, here are the goal suggestions.

Please note that I have a separate post just for Working Memory IEP Goals.

Executive Function goals for IEP-WISC

  1. The student will develop the ability to attend to individual tasks and will improve processing speed through the use of timers and cuing utilized with the entire class in the general classroom.
  2. The student will successfully complete 12 or more weeks of a proven cognitive enhancement program that addresses deficits in processing speed, short-term working memory, attention to detail, monitoring, sequencing and organization skills, with instruction, for at least 1 hour per day every weekday, to alleviate effects of executive functioning disorder deficits.

Self-Awareness/Self Advocacy goals for an IEP

  1. Given a specific routine for monitoring task success, such as Goal-Plan-Do-Check, the student will accurately identify tasks that are easy/difficult for him.
  2. Given a difficult task, the student will indicate that it is difficult.
  3. The student will explain why some tasks are easy/difficult for him, help develop management strategies.
  4. If tasks are difficult, the Student will request help.
  5. When he is more capable than the other child, the Student will offer help to others.
  6. If a student has negative behaviors, debriefing sessions held at an appropriate time and place and the student is able to identify his triggers and possible strategies.
  7. Given training in a self-regulatory routine and visual cues and fading adult supports, the student will accurately predict how effectively he will accomplish a task. For example, he will accurately predict: whether or not he will be able to complete a task, how many (of something) he can finish, his grade on tests, how many problems he will be able to complete in a specific time period; etc.
  8. You can find more Self Advocacy IEP Goals in this separate post.

Organization IEP Goals

  1. Given support and visual cues, the student will create a system for organizing personal items in his locker/desk/notebook
  2. To tell an organized story, a student will place photographs in order and then narrate the sequence of events. Given visual cues and fading adult supports, the student will select and use a system to organize his assignments and other school work
  3. Given a complex task, the student name will organize the task on paper, including the materials needed, the steps to accomplish the task, and a time frame
  4. Using learned strategies and given fading adult support, the student will prepare an organized outline before proceeding with writing projects.
  5. The student will improve organization skills for classroom work and homework through specific, repetitive instruction, and use of (list SDIs or supports) and measured by a frequency or %.
  6. Given a specific work checking routine, the student will identify errors in his work without teacher assistance. The student’s rating of his performance on a 10-point scale will be within one point of the teacher’s rating.
  7. Given support and visual cues, the student will create a system for organizing personal items in his/her locker/desk/notebook/homework agenda in X out of X observable opportunities.
  8. The student will self-edit his work to correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar on all typical classroom assignments in all settings to eliminate all errors from his work.
  9. The student will use visual cues (graphic organizer or drawing) attached to desk 3 out of 5 times to place supplies/materials in their appropriate location as evidenced by teacher/staff observations.
  10. The student will organize personal materials in a binder daily with 90% accuracy as measured by daily binder checks.
  11. The student will bring assignments/homework to and from school with 90% accuracy as measured by daily binder checks.
  12. The student will maintain personal materials in desk in an orderly, easily accessible manner as measured by independently locating needed materials 8 of 10 times.
  13. The student will use colored highlighters to identify subject-specific homework (e.g., red=math, yellow=science, etc.)

Problem Solving goals for an IEP-Executive Function:

  1. Given training in and visual reminders of, self-regulatory scripts student will manage unexpected events and violations of routine without disrupting classroom activities
  2. The student will use a structured recipe or routine for generating new ideas or brainstorming to respond successfully to open-ended assignments
  3. When faced with changes and/or transitions in activities or environments, the student will initiate the new activity after {decreasing number of supports}
  4. Given concrete training, visual supports and fading adult cuing, the student will appropriately label flexible and stuck behaviors in himself
  5. Given training and practice with the concept of compromise, and in the presence of visual supports, the student will accept and generate compromise solutions to conflicts when working cooperatively with others.

Personal Goal Setting, Self Correction, Self-Improvement IEP Goals

  1. Student will participate with teachers and therapists in setting instructional and therapy goals
  2. Given explicit instruction, visual reminders, and fading adult support, the student will successfully distinguish target goals (doing well in school, making a friend, learning to read, graduating from school) from interfering goals (playing video games instead of doing homework)
  3. Having failed to achieve a predicted grade on a test, the student will create a plan for improving performance for the next test.
  4. The student will self-initiate editing activities to correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar on all typical classroom assignments in all settings.

Time Management and Planning IEP Goals

  1. Given a routine, the student will indicate what steps or items are needed and the order of the events.
  2. The student will learn (after helping to develop) a self-regulatory plan for carrying out any multiple step task (completing homework, writing an essay, doing a project) and given practice, visual cues, and fading adult supports, will apply the plan independently to new situations.
  3. When given a selection of 3 activities for therapy or instructional session, the student will indicate their order, create a plan on paper, and stick to the plan.
  4. Given a task or assignment, the student will identify and gather what items are needed to complete said task.
  5. Given a task that he correctly identifies as difficult for him, the student will create a plan for accomplishing the task.
  6. The student will independently write daily assignments and homework in daily planner with 90% accuracy as measured by daily planner checks.
  7. The student will briefly write out steps prior to beginning a project or complex task with 80% accuracy as measured by teacher observation.
  8. The student will create a graphic organizer with relevant content information prior to beginning a project or complex task 4 out of 5 times as evidenced by teacher observations and data.
  9. The student will use a visual timer to signal a one-minute alert before an impending transition to the next subject/class with 70% accuracy as evidenced by teacher observations/charting.
  10. The student will use a weekly calendar to write upcoming due dates/tests with 90% accuracy as evidenced by weekly teacher checks.

Student will utilize a checklist of requirements prior to turning in a project or complex task with 80% accuracy as evidenced by teacher feedback or self-graded rubric.

Executive Functioning in the Classroom

Here is a bulleted list of some executive functioning skills and deficits that may manifest in the classroom. When EF deficits are ignored, it can affect everything from grades to daily living to group work contributions, which will affect peer relationships.

Executive Functioning IEP Accommodations

  • making plans
  • keeping track of time
  • keeping track of more than one thing at once
  • meaningfully including past knowledge in discussions
  • engaging in group dynamics
  • evaluating ideas
  • reflecting on our work
  • changing our minds and making mid-course and corrections while thinking, reading and writing
  • finishing work on time
  • asking for help
  • waiting to speak until we’re called on
  • seeking more information when we need it.
  • making plans
  • keeping track of time
  • keeping track of more than one thing at once
  • meaningfully including past knowledge in discussions
  • engaging in group dynamics
  • evaluating ideas
  • reflecting on our work
  • changing our minds and making mid-course and corrections while thinking, reading and writing
  • finishing work on time
  • asking for help
  • waiting to speak until we’re called on
  • seeking more information when we need it
  • difficulty planning a project
  • trouble comprehending how much time a project will take to complete
  • struggles to tell a story (verbally or in writing); has trouble communicating details in an organized, sequential manner
  • difficulty with the mental strategies involved in memorization and retrieving information from memory
  • trouble initiating activities or tasks, or generating ideas independently
  • difficulty retaining information while doing something with it; e.g., remembering a phone number while dialing.
  • If the Parent is helping with homework, always indicate on the homework how long the assignment took to complete, and how much parental assistance was needed. Otherwise, teachers only see a completed assignment!

Executive Function Accommodations

  • Visual organizers for a step-by-step approach-i.e. use of a whiteboard with color markers
  • Tools like iPads, watches with timers, and laptops.
  • Use and prepare visual schedules, review several times a day.
  • Notification method (public or secret) to alert to changes and transitions
  • Ask for large print, written directions with oral instructions whenever possible.
  • When shifts in schedules and activities, plan for transitions.
  • Create “to-do” lists/checklists with estimated times.
  • Break long assignments into chunks and assign time frames for completing each chunk.
  • Simple instructions, step by step, with visuals.
  • graphic organizers
  • color code (paper color or ink color) as warranted
  • Devices such as a hand-held for reminders on projects, assignments, meetings such as iTouch, Blackberry, iPhone, etc.
  • Large, easy-to-read, erasable color-coded calendar for projects, long-term assignments, meetings, events, activities, chores, etc.
  • student agenda with time each day to review and self-evaluate
  • Use a “date stamp” for materials received on dates and also due on dates
  • Keep an organized workspace; allow classtime at end of each segment for this to occur.
  • Hang a whiteboard/magnetic to create visual for a student with a simple list for weekly assignments/projects-use magnets to hang papers due
  • Minimize clutter.
  • Ask for extra textbooks for home use-keep in work areas.
  • Have separate work areas with complete sets of supplies for different activities/subjects.
  • Schedule a weekly time to clean and organize the workspace.
  • Modify tests- can be overwhelming and stressful-need extra time and quiet space-break-down(chunk) into parts to do at a time
  • Also, modify assignments and projects-chunk-use highlighters to emphasize important parts-visual organizers to create timelines
  • A “homework system” that the student finds most helpful-i.e. assignment book and checked at home and then at school by staff in the morning with all homework
  • Use of computers or technology as much as possible for visual and ease of completing work
  • Teachers providing as much information with visuals on the whiteboard and with copies of notes for students
  • Reading-ebooks, kindle, iPad, and use of any visual and auditory form of books for comprehension
  • Vocabulary-iPad,iTouch, iPhone, or other handhelds for apps that have vocabulary practice.

Printable List of Executive Function IEP Goals and Accommodations

Here you go, by popular demand. I have taken the IEP goals and accommodations from this post and created a pdf for you.

executive-functioning-iep-goals-accommodations

Everything Executive Functioning Handbook

I found this online from Jericho Public Schools and thought I’d share it here. Great resource!

everything-executive-functioning-handbook

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