Want to know the best self-regulation and executive function Occupational Therapy (OT) goals for Individualized Education Programs (IEP)? These tested and approved self-regulation and executive function goals should be addressed by OT in the school setting.
Occupational Therapy is an underutilized mental health service that can and should be provided to middle and high school teenagers to help them learn self-regulation skills to cope with anxiety, frustration, and depression.
Executive function skills are the best indicators of academic success, more so than intelligence and socioeconomic status. As a mental health Occupational Therapist, I am giving you a compilation of the best self-regulation and executive function OT IEP goals.
You will learn self-regulation and executive function skills, how to write COAST goals, and how to customize OT IEP goals. You will feel inspired to add these OT goals to your middle and high school students’ IEP.
This Post Is All About Self-Regulation and Executive Function OT IEP Goals.
Self-regulation is the ability to monitor and manage your energy states, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in acceptable ways.
Alertness is the state of active attention by high sensory awareness, such as being watchful and prompt to meet danger or an emergency or being quick to perceive and act.
Students must pay attention in their academic classes and balance their emotional responses in social interactions with adults and peers.
Executive function is the higher-level cognitive process that controls the lower-level process for goal-directed behavior.
Executive function skills are associated with the frontal lobe and fully develop in early adulthood.
Even though these functions are 99% heritable, the brain is plastic; therefore, executive functioning skills can be strengthened.
The critical thing to remember when setting Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals is that they are measurable and relevant to the student; therefore, the COAST method is an ideal formula for writing OT goals.
The client, or the individual receiving services from the skilled therapist, in the school setting, is the student. T
he state I reside in requires the student’s legal name to be utilized, so you could need parent permission to use their preferred name.
Every OT goal should be individualized to the student based on their:
Occupations are the meaningful activities humans engage in that add productivity and value to their lives.
In the school setting, the primary occupation of focus is education and what is impeding their access to it.
However, other occupations can be addressed in the school setting.
I like to add what skills the students need to obtain to participate in the specific occupation, as you will see in the examples below.
The next two can be conjoined depending on the student and the skills being addressed. The assist level is how much help the students require, and it varies from:
When writing goals with verbal prompting, it’s best to set a number so it’s easier to quantify and prove progress.
Occupational Therapy is all about independence, so RARELY should add physical assistance to the goal, and instead, the accuracy percentage should decrease. However, some students require more support and do need physical help, so I’d recommend keeping it simple with these numbers:
This one is optional to add to the student’s IEP goal, especially if an assist level has been identified. The sky is the limit with this section, which plays a massive role in the individualization component.
The setting can vary from:
Who is present can include:
Intervention ideas can include
Since IEP meetings must be held annually, the OT goal should be written for the skill to be achieved within one year.
You can then write objectives three months out.
For example, if I were writing a goal in January 2023, I would set the deadline as January 2024, and the objectives would be:
It helps to have a deadline for the goal so you can adjust treatment accordingly so the student can achieve their goal.
The “4 out of 5 opportunities” provides a specific number for the student to show mastery of the skill(s). Myself and my COTA get one data point per month for a grand total of two data points.
Now for my favorite part – writing the goals!
These are just general outlines for idea generation so you can customize them to your individual students.
Here are some examples of self-regulation and executive functioning goals I have made for my OT students.
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