Reformatting IEP Goals

Hi everyone! 

A recent hot topic within the field has been the push to restructure and reformat IEP goals pertaining to fluency. As it stands, goals are often along the lines of — “Student will produce speech with 90% fluency by (date).” 

The push comes from a desire to care for the emotional well being of students and PWS rather than exclusively focusing on minimizing their stuttering — instead focusing on eliminating negative secondary behaviors and helping them to accept their stutter rather than experiencing feelings of shame, embarrassment, or a desire to withdraw from social speaking situations. 

As a PWS who has or has not been through the therapy setting as a child, how would you prefer to see goals structured in this setting? What are things school-based SLPs can do to better care for their students who stutter, and how can the legislature better support that? 

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Comments

Reformatting IEP Goals — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Nick,

    Thanks for asking questions and welcome to the ISAD Conference!

    Your question about reformatting IEP goals is important. As an SLP, PWS, and a PWS who has received many forms of treatment, my perspective is that we all can create thoughtful and individualize goals (some call these client centered, and I like the word “thoughtful.”). Thoughtful-individualized goals keep the PWS (or child who stutters) in mind first and their needs and wants. If a client wants to work on easier speech, it is our job to ethically do that. If a client wants to work on emotions, attitudes, fears, negative thoughts and anything related to the Affective and Cognitive components of stuttering, that is also our job to counsel them.

    Another part of writing goals is making them attainable and functional. This again plays into the word “thoughtful.” Making goals that can be performed in the client’s life and that are possible! A goal like ” A client will report negative thoughts with 90% acc.” does not tell you anything. Sure it is getting away from the physical behavior of stuttering (if that client wants that), but it is not telling anything about how the goal is measured or where. So a more thoughtful goal might be, “The client will discuss 2 negative thoughts about their communication and two positive thoughts about communication during 3 therapy sessions.” This is measurable (2 thoughts over 3 sessions) where the goal will be attained. The next goal might be, “The client will share 3 thoughts about their communication (positive and/or negative) with their parents for 3 weeks.” Now you are taking this goal of sharing thoughts from the therapy room to the home environment.

    The above are just examples. What examples can you think of for thoughtful-individualized goals?

    Keep asking questions!
    With compassion and kindness,
    Scott

    • Hi Dr. Palasik,

      Thank you so much for your response! I have long been stuck in the mindset that goals related to emotions or mindset are too abstract to become quantifiable, but the example you provided is so eye-opening. It will also be interesting to get client feedback on what exactly they would like to work on, especially in tangent with working on decreasing shame and negative emotions towards stuttering. In particular, I am intrigued by your goal of sharing with parents — the possibilities there seem endless! “Student will disclose themself to be a PWS to three strangers at recess, as confirmed by teacher or supervisor reports,” or “student will voluntarily pseudostutter while participating in a classroom activity, as measured and confirmed by teacher reports.”

      I so appreciate your time in responding! All the best to you.

      Nicki

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