Personal Safety and Community Participation

Originally, I had this giant article with a list of over 300 independent living skills. Many of you, teachers and parents, said it was too overwhelming. So, I’m breaking it down. This way, teachers and parents can use it as a guide for what their child needs to be independent in this area.

Or, how to know what supports they may need as an adult. Of course no IEP can have 40 or 50 goals, and certainly not that many transition IEP goals. But, I think most of us would agree that if you are going to live independently, you need these skills.

fire hydrant

To make any of these skills into an IEP goal, put that skill in the IEP goal formula.

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IEP goal formula for special education

You can always add some of the other skills as objectives supporting the goal.

Community Participation IEP Goals

  1. Knows how to get emergency information by telephone.
  2. Knows whom to contact if injured or sick.
  3. Knows where nearest supermarket or shopping district is located.
  4. Knows how to access emergency food and shelter.
  5. Knows how to access crisis line.
  6. Knows where nearest Laundromat is located.
  7. Knows where their personal bank is located.
  8. Can use the internet to obtain information. 
  9. Knows the location of nearest post office and how to use it.
  10. Knows whom to contact if utilities disconnected, or heat goes out.
  11. Knows where and how to register for selective service.
  12. Knows where the nearest state employment office is located.
  13. Can obtain a copy of birth certificate and a duplicate social security card.
  14. Has awareness of “specialized” resources: mental health counseling, consumer counseling, clinics, student aid offices, tenant groups, animal control, public recreation, etc.
  15. Knows who elected representatives are and how to contact them.
  16. Has obtained a library card.
  17. Can respond to introductions and answer simple questions.
  18. Can identify one friend.
  19. Can make “small talk” (face to face), or respond appropriately (not ignoring when acknowledged)
  20. Communicates with at least one person weekly.
  21. Can make introductions, including approaching others to introduce self.
  22. Is aware of boundary issues.
  23. Is not harmful to others.
  24. Can ask for help.
  25. Can explain feelings.
  26. Understands what oversharing is and how to refrain
  27. Can identify relationships that may be hurtful or dangerous.
  28. Can identify personal strengths and needs (with assistance if necessary).
  29. Accepts invitations from others to be involved in social activities.
  30. Make arrangements with peers for social activities.
  31. Knows where to get help if unable to resolve interpersonal conflicts alone.
  32. Has some ability to resolve conflicts with others.
  33. Refrains from physical violence as a means of solving interpersonal conflict.
  34. Has practiced how to say “no” to a peer who is trying to persuade him/her to do something wrong.
  35. Can develop a realistic plan with appropriate steps identified to achieve goals.
  36. Can carry out plans with some assistance provided.
  37. Can describe the “best possible” outcome if the goal is achieved and the “worst possible” outcome if the goal is not achieved.
  38. Can describe the relationship between actions and consequences.
  39. Has “good” table manners (can use knife, fork, spoons, napkin appropriately so as not to be ostracized)
  40. Avoids hurtful or dangerous relationships.
  41. Labels and expresses anger or other strong feelings appropriately, “talks out” problems.
  42. Has demonstrated the ability to say “no” to peers.
  43. Can develop and carry out a personal plan for goal achievement without supervision.
  44. Can anticipate, with limited input from others, what consequences might be associated with different choices.
  45. Knows when and how to thank others
  46. Can close a relationship or say “goodbye” in a healthy manner.
  47. Has the phone number of someone to call if arrested or victimized.
  48. Understands generally what actions are against the law and what the consequences are.
  49. Knows personal rights if arrested.
  50. Knows what the function of a lawyer is and how to contact one
  51. Knows legal age for buying alcohol and tobacco products.
  52. Understands the meaning of “legal age” in legal terms (what you can do, what you cannot do).
  53. Knows how to read a contract.
  54. Has understanding of POA or guardianship process. 
  55. Knows how and where to register to vote.
  56. Knows where and when to vote
  57. Knows the responsibility to register for selective service
  58. Aware of the availability of free legal services.
  59. Understands the consequences of signing a contract or a lease.
  60. Show good citizenship and an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of a citizen.
  61. Is registered to vote.
  62. Knows where to go to vote.
  63. Knows the difference between “felony”, “misdemeanor”, and “violation”.

I realize that some of these, like the ones about small talk and making friends, may seem ableist to put on a list like this–to force neurotypical interactions.

However, I want to stress, that not all of these are a goal for every student. And, if your child is living independently, this will be an expectation of them when they are out in the community. So while this may not be something they can or should do, it needs to be discussed and compensated for.

There are too many stories of autistic adults acting “weird” and getting themselves arrested or worse, because of it. Our kids are not weird of course, but they do need to be aware of societal expectations–good, bad or otherwise.

  1. Buying, possessing, selling, and smoking marijuana and other drugs
  2. Buying and drinking beer and alcohol underage
  3. Trespassing
  4. Shoplifting
  5. Burglary
  6. Possession of stolen property
  7. Traffic violations

Daily Living Skills-Safety

  1. Knows functions of police, ambulance, and fire department.
  2. Can reach each by calling the appropriate number. 
  3. Is trained to evacuate the residence in case of fire.
  4. Knows proper way of disposing of smoking materials, if smokes. 
  5. Knows how to lock and unlock doors and windows.
  6. Knows how to check smoke alarm and how to replace the battery.
  7. Understands basic fire prevention (No smoking in bed, using a gas stove to heat, excessive use of extension cords, frayed electrical cords, etc.).
  8. Knows how to use a fire extinguisher.
  9. Knows that improperly used appliances can cause fires.
  10. Can recognize the smell of a gas leak.
  11. Knows what to do, and whom to call if she/he smells a gas leak.
  12. Knows the different methods for putting out different kinds of fires.
  13. Knows how to properly store cleaning materials.
  14. Can usually determine when professional medical help is needed.
  15. Has completed First Aid training.
  16. Has completed CPR training.

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