Goals for IEP that difficult child could care less about...


New Member
Goals are good, they're important...right?! I'm looking at some goals on difficult child's IEP and one has to do with increasing the number of back and forth commentary between difficult child and others. Another is to work on certain behaviors. The problem with this is....difficult child does not care that others have a problem with his issues, like making lots of noises (could be vocal tics), being a sloppy eater, flappiness, etc. Although I would like it if he didn't make inappropriate noises, was a neat eater and didn't flap....we have just kind of accepted some of this stuff as out of our control (and his). When difficult child is doing well, he can be polite and conversational and his noises and flapping are reduced...not because he is consciously trying, but because all the 'right' ways to act are inside him and when he's in a good place emotionally it naturally comes out. Most of the time, though, he's got issues/behaviors...do you think it best to set goals and actively teach them? He is very resistant to being taught about what he does wrong/inappropriate and the 'right' way to do things-he abhors social stories and will rarely participate in activities or conversations about ways to 'improve' him. I really feel like having student and teachers model the behaviors and expose him to his peers as much as possible is the right way to go...but how to translate that to goals on an IEP. Also, what do you think of a teacher purposely making strange noises and then asking a student if they thought that was weird and when the student responded yes, the teacher says 'it's kind of weird when you make noises too'....


Active Member
You can have rewards added in to motivate him- it might be under the guise of a behavior contract but I'd try to get it in as another goal, if you can. If it's under a behavior contract, then you get the punishments for not trying and that can back-fire.


What kind of educational setting is he in -- mainstream, self-contained, therapeutic?

What does the latest research say about interventions for kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified? That should be your guide for writing the goals for your difficult child. It might take bringing in an expert in the field to educate the Special Education folks at your school.

If your difficult child does better when his anxiety is reduced, then maybe the goals should focus on ways he can work on self-soothing so his socially inappropriate behaviors don't surface as often.

I personally don't like the idea of the teacher making strange noises and then asking another student if he thinks it's weird because I think that's disrespectful to your difficult child. Your difficult child really can't help his behaviors; they are a part of his Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), and he does need to be taught, not ridiculed.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I really don't like the fact that the teacher did this. I cannot think of a reason it would be acceptable.

I like the idea of finding an advocate that knows what might be appropriate goals.


Well-Known Member
Goals should be something that the person can actively work on achieving. If they are something not within their control, its not a good goal. That would be like trying to write goal about trying to stop their hair from growing for x number of weeks. Unrealistic.

I would search the web for IEP goals for kids with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. Im sure there are websites dedicated to this.


Roll With It
A teacher who mocked a student that way should be either fired or given counseling so that THEY could learn not to mock people's disabilities.

These truly are part of difficult child's disabilities. He isn't CHOOSING to do them the way a student chooses to rip up a textbook or blow a spitball. They are what his disability does when he is anxious/upset.

Disrespect and mocking have NO place in the classroom or the teacher-student relationship.

They need supports to reduce his anxiety and self-soothe and goals to work on what he actually CAN control. These goals will just end up with difficult child failing and teachers angry because "he isn't trying", when in fact he CANNOT meet the goals and probably CANNOT even figure out HOW to meet the goals.

I would refuse to participate in anything that is about changing what I cannot change. Just like I would get angry and not participate in anything that set goals for changing how tall I am or for teaching me how to change my skin color. I just CAN'T change these.

difficult child just CAN'T change his behaviors and I hope that goals can be set for things he can change instead of these.


New Member
The supposed purpose for making the noises and then telling him his noises are weird too was to check if he would notice other people making strange noises and then to make him aware that he makes the same type of noises. I talked to some school staff about this today and they looked at me like I was crazy. I told them I thought I understood the concept of making him aware, but that the delivery lacked and was disrespectful. Again, not on anybody's radar, except mine. I'm very sensitive about this type of stuff because of a bad history in school for difficult child.