Alternative Goals for “Communicating Wants and Needs” for Nonverbal Students

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I have high school ID students who are non verbal. I inherited several IEP where I am supporting the goal that states student will communicate their wants and needs. Of course the teacher has indicated No Progression the progress report. This is such a broad goal. I’ve tried gaining joint attention, sabotaging and they just ignore and start self-stimulating. Teachers are looking to the SLP to fix this…wow. I do believe in providing how-to steps. Please help!

If Student is Not Making Progress…

  • IEP needs to be held to either revise goal or revise services to meet the goal.
  • In this case, the goal is not appropriate and is too vague to measure progress on.
  • You need to revise the goal during an IEP meeting, but this can be a limited revision meeting that you hold with the parents by phone.

Alternative Goals:

  • Child will maintain gaze at a joint object/activity for at least 10 seconds
  • Child will independently come within # feet of the therapist to indicate he wants something from her
  • Child will point at or look at an object when giving two choices and asked which one he wants
  • Child will look where directed when prompted with “look at this”
  • Child will indicate a desire for something by reaching for it
  • Child will tolerate hand-over-hand assistance to activate a switch to request something
  • Child will activate a single switch/button to request something with one verbal prompt as needed
  • Child will choose from two objects and activate the corresponding switch/button to request
  • Child will respond to greetings by looking at the person who greeted him
  • Child will shake his head “no” to protest