How to Continue to Work on IEP Goals During this Social Distancing Break
There are so many unknowns right now in the world. And maybe you are concerned about maintaining progress on your child's IEP goals during this break. The last thing you want is for your child to regress without regular therapies. Maybe your child's teacher has given you activities to work on these skills. Maybe you are working on these via technology. Maybe you are unsure of where to begin.
First let me tell you this. You are an amazing parent. Providing your child with a safe and secure home during this stressful time is your top priority. Let me repeat that. Your top priority to so create a safe and secure home. We know that this is true based on all of the educational literature and research. We as educators, have studied Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
Next, if you would like to look for opportunities to work on your child's IEP goals during everyday routines...please keep reading. I want to introduce you to the embedded skills matrix. This sounds fancy, but it is just a chart that looks at your everyday activities and allows you to find ways to embed your child's goal. The embedded skills matrix is used by special education teachers to provide authentic practice of IEP goals throughout the school day. This same matrix can be used in the home. In fact, many early intervention providers create these for families to work on IFSP outcomes.
In this chart above, you will see that the daily "home" activities are listed down the left column. I am not suggesting that this is your schedule but more of a routine. Your routine may look different than mine. Stick to a stricter routine if that is important to your child. You may want to create a visual schedule if you feel that it would help your child.
Across the top row, you will list the IEP goals that are the top priority. It is okay if these are not word for word from the IEP. If you are having trouble prioritizing which goals are the most important, reach out to your child's teacher. If the teacher is not available, I would be happy to help you!
In the body of the matrix or chart, you will write how you can work on each goal. For example, this child's goal is to maintain attention to a task for 3 minutes. During outdoor time, you can roll and ball back and forth for several minutes. Encourage your child to stay with the activity.
I think you will be surprised at how often you already are working on your child's IEP goals throughout the day. You will be even more surprised to see how easily these goals can be worked into (embedded) into the routines that you are already doing. This is great! This is called generalizing the skill. This means that your child can do this skill a variety of different ways in a variety of different settings.
Ready to create your own?
You can hand write your own matrix or you can use this google doc link: HERE.
You will need to go to "File" and select "Make a copy." This will allow you to type in the boxes. You can change any of the routine events to fit your families schedule.
I hope this helps! And as always, if you need assistance please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org