I can finally see for myself why the conventional wisdom says to set specific goals. As a global thinker, I find it very difficult to reduce a desired outcome into a dry statement. And it definitely doesn't give me motivation to accomplish the goal. Rather the reverse, in fact.
But now I'm looking back at some of the goals the school proposed for Aidan last year. I wrote them in an IEP worksheet. They look artificial. Yes, they do. However, I can see at a glance whether (1) they were met (2) they were unmet or partially met or (3) they were/are irrelevant. And so in the long term goal-setting, clumsy as it is when talking about the delicate development process of a child, can serve as a sort of testimony to progress.
Keeping that in mind, I think I have motivation to pay more attention to therapy goals than I usually do.
One of the things I want to do next week is to figure out a new plan for Aidan. Here is his last years' PLAAFP (awkward official acronym for Present Level of Academic and Functional Performance -- my mind always wants to read it as "Platypus").
I put a draft of the outcomes of Aidan's 2008 IEP over here. And an update of his PLAAFP is in Word 2007 form.
Something new I would like to try to do is to refer to these goals every 6-12 weeks during the year. I already have the grey folders set in my school folder system for review/catch-up. I think I will start a list of things like that to slip into each grey folder to remind me, since otherwise I am bound to forget!
(Aidan made this symbol out of his HWT letter forms and said it was "a Nissan". If you look at the logo below you can see why! He tried to write an N on the line form, but I succeeded in redirecting him. I love his analogical intelligence. This is only one example.)