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 the 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. You’re in the right place!

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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.

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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 a child lacks the ability to do any of the following, you should ask that they are 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 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 memorizing 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.

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?

Do others dislike them because they don’t know when to stop, regarding jokes and things like that? Is their behavior irritating to others?

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, we hold their hands in public, and we 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 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.

Get executive function goals on the IEP now.

Most neurotypical people take these skills for granted. But when they are absent, you notice. Ask for an evaluation or an IEE and find a qualified evaluator in your area. These are essential executive function skills for independence.

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?

Know the numbers now, and choose a reasonable, measurable number for them to achieve. You can’t monitor progress on an IEP without baselines.

Iep goal formula executive functioning worksheet.

Besides the executive functioning goals listed here, several other lists on this site are subsets of EF skills.

Additionally, if you want to dive deeper into the world of learning about executive functions, use the search bar on the right-hand side. There are dozens of articles about it.

Executive Function Goals for IEP-WISC

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.

However, I have concerns about a student being able to do the skills for a test but not being able to apply them across all environments. Still, here are the goal suggestions.

  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, 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.

IEP Organizational Goals

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

  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.)

Problem-Solving 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.

Personal Goal Setting, 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.

Executive Function PDF

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

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