The process is the same for any goal – academic or behavioral. You need to clearly define the target behavior. (Note: the behavior should be described in nonjudgmental terms.) The team needs to gather baseline data on the child's behavior for the Present Levels before they can develop specific measurable goals.
You make behavior goals measurable by describing the factors surrounding the behavior. These factors include:
- Precipitating events
- Environmental factors
- Results of the behavior
- Other observable patterns
Many IEP goals developed to address behavior are not measurable. For example, "to listen attentively" and "to use time constructively" are not measurable. You cannot observe if a child is "listening attentively" or "using time constructively."
You can revise these goals to make them measurable.
You can get baseline information for the present levels by observing the amount of time the child is on and off task. After you observe how often the child is "paying attention" during a specified time period, the team can develop goals to improve in this area. A time-management goal can be revised to "increase the # of minutes (or other unit of time) that the child is on task."
The IEP team must specify the criteria that will be used to measure progress on behavior goals. This involves identifying how well and over what period of time your child must perform a behavior before the goal is met.