One of my all-time favorite autistic bloggers has posted more wise words, this time on the nature of reasonable v. unreasonable IEP goals for kids on the spectrum. The whole thing is definitely worth a read, as she points out that much of what is expected from autistic children couldn't be managed by autistic adults. What is needed are not arbitrary, neurotypical goal posts, but rather goals in service of actual accomplishment.
What makes a goal unreasonable? Here are some patterns that I identified:
- Unreasonable goals prioritize “normalization” or compliance over objectives that benefit the student (like having a means of communication).
- Unreasonable goals don’t recognize autistic body language and socialization preferences as valid.
- Unreasonable goals don’t acknowledge as a valid and accommodate the student’s areas of disability.
- Unreasonable goals demand more from a young student than the average autistic adult is capable of.