Here you will find Executive Functioning IEP Goals, executive functioning IEP goals for ADHD, and some IEP Organizational Goals. This is one of the oldest articles on the site and is updated frequently.

Since this post has evolved so much, I have broken down executive functioning into its subsets of skills. Back when I started this site over a decade ago, executive function skills were just starting to get attention and buzz. Now parents and teachers are both better informed and looking for more detailed information.

A colorful stack of envelopes, illustrating executive functioning goals.
Is the desk messy because of carelessness? Or because they lack executive functioning skills?

If your child or student struggles in this area, and you’re looking for executive functioning goals, then keep reading.

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Executive Functioning IEP Goals

Remember when we were in elementary school, and there was always that one kid who was constantly messy? His papers were always getting lost; the desk was a mess, and the backpack was a mess. Sounds like he needed some IEP goals for organization.

Now, as an adult, I feel terrible for not understanding that those kids really struggled with organization IEP goals and no one cared. They just got yelled at all the time.

A boy is sitting on the floor writing in a notebook, working on his executive functioning skills.

As an advocate, I see a lot of EF goals and accommodations, but not a lot of teaching skills to the child.

Executive Functioning Goals

Executive function disorder is a “thing,” but it’s not in the DSM. If your IEP student lacks the ability to do any of the following, you should ask that they be evaluated for Executive Function Dysfunction.

  • Manage time
  • Pay attention
  • Switch focus, switch tasks
  • 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 about being able to line things up sequentially in your mind.

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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.

If you told your teen that you would go to the beach for 3 days and pack a suitcase, could they do it? Do they have problems planning out and doing homework and turning it in on time?

A little girl with her hands on her head in front of a pile of books, focusing on executive functioning goals.

Schools have a tendency to overlook these skills and focus on academics. And as parents, we tend to be enablers in order to survive.

We set the alarms; we wake them, we drive them, and nag them to complete assignments. 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 IEP transition age. If your child is faring well academically but the lacks IEP goals for executive functioning, getting a 13th or 14th year of school to work on them will be more difficult.

A person working on a computer with a cell phone and pens, focusing on executive functioning goals.

IEP Goals for Executive Functioning

I have organized the IEP Executive Functioning goals by their target area. Adding parameters can take any goal from a general phrase to a measurable one. 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 does it take to get this done?

Iep goal formula executive functioning worksheet.

Keep in mind that some kids need accommodations, and some need direct instruction to learn these skills. And many kids need both!

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, and 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 are 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.

Organization Executive Function 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 schoolwork
  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 the 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 the 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.)

Planning Goals for an IEP

  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.

Self-Monitoring, Self Correction, Self-Improvement IEP Goals

  1. The 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 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 a 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.
  11. The 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 a self-graded rubric.

Printable List of Executive Function IEP Goals

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

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Executive Function PDF

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

For more information on Executive Functioning or to become an executive functioning coach, please visit: Sean G. McCormick, M Ed.​ Founder and Executive Director of EF Specialists 

That is the first 40 Executive Functioning IEP Goals. Here are dozens more.

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