The Checklist for Writing Individualized Goals is for us, the “the professionals,” the partners and parents. It is designed to ensure we understand our role in the goal writing process. We are collaborators and facilitators. We provide goal writing support and manage the process and paperwork.
This checklist is designed to remind us that our job is to make sure that the goals included in a person’s plan center on their perspective and desires, as they are the ones who will be working towards them and, thus, it is imperative that the goals are meaningful to the person. There are so many ways to ensure we do this… including ways for those who are non-verbal (e.g., those that use presymbolic means to communicate).
It’s a simple checklist, but for many professionals it will require a significant cognitive reframe and considerable effort to re-learn how to write individualized objectives – objectives that hold the individual at the center of the process and affirm all of their identities rather than objectives that address their “deficits” based on our judgements and biases.
Professionals are not experts. They are facilitators. Professionals can help individuals identify meaningful objectives and can also provide critical support necessary to achieve the skills and abilities reflected in those objectives. We can provide support that scaffolds development of the person’s true self. Our role is vital, but it should never involve dictating what should be important to the person based on our perception of neuronormative standards.
We know better, we must do better. Level UP!