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  #1  
Old 04-24-2012, 08:12 PM
waterfall waterfall is offline
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K-3 Sped Resource Teacher
IEP goals for student with meltdowns

We are identifying (assuming we decide she qualifies at the meeting) a 4th grade student for EBD. I have never worked with her and don't know her very well at all, aside from seeing some of her very public meltdowns. She's incredibly smart and does well in school despite being out of the classroom a lot of the time due to behavior, so she's never needed my classes. The IEP will allow her to have access to the school psych for counseling. I've worked with the classroom teacher some on behavior plans. I've never written an IEP for EBD- I had one student in that category when I first started, but she had a Tri that year, didn't qualify, and was exited.

The student's main problem is meltdowns. She used to be violent towards others but has done a lot better with that this year. Now it's mostly just crying/screaming/refusing to go back to work. She's also run away from the building before and luckily people saw it and were able to chase her down.

What do goals typically look like for these students? I only have my one previous student's goals to go off of and I know she had one to get back on task within 3 minutes of a "mildly upsetting incident". I'm not sure how to define "mildly upsetting" or if that was a good goal or not- I have NO training or experience in this area.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2012, 08:59 PM
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Special-t Special-t is offline
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SPED 9-12
Instead of describing the "mildly upsetting incident" describe the tasks required and the behavior.

Student will be able to sit appropriately on an individual & group basis (e.g., circle time, table activities) & attend to nonpreferred activities (e.g., table top tasks, fine motor games, etc.) for up to 20 minutes with a low incident of distractive/disruptive behaviors (no more than 1 time/4-5 minutes) in 4/5 opportunities with 80% accuracy.

Given 1-2 prompts to decrease inappropriate behaviors, student will be able to sit appropriately & attend for 12-15 min. in 4/5 opportunities ....

Student will use socially appropriate behavior of telling the teacher if something is bothering him rather than yelling, running (describe the meltdown) 85% of the time in ...
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  #3  
Old 04-25-2012, 07:55 AM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Kindergarten Teacher
Given 1-2 prompts, student will begin activities within 5 minutes.

Definitely describe what you want the student to do instead of what you don't want them to do.
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  #4  
Old 04-25-2012, 10:08 AM
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teachersk teachersk is offline
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Special Education Teacher
Do you have a behavior specialist or program coordinator who completes Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA)? I would recommend determining what the function of the behaviors are before coming up with goals and intervention plans.

Sounds like the function is avoidance, but maybe there are other factors. Is it when an adult gives a demand? Is it when the work is too hard? These are all important pieces of information that could help you come up with IEP goals and coping strategies for her to be successful.

Things like, "I need a break," or "This is way too hard!" or "I need some help with this," could be helpful functional communication training type goals that could be focused on (depending on her needs/the function of the behaviors).

Also, you mention "getting back on task after an upsetting incident," as a possible goal - though I would tend to say err on the side of being proactive versus reactive. Is there a way you could have a goal that says, "Upon precursor behaviors..." (starting to get agitated, etc. before the actual 'incident' occurs) "student will be able to ___." That might be helpful for teaching her the appropriate coping skills to AVOID these types of meltdowns and return to task.

I'd also think of ways you could introduce positive behavior supports such as, "When I follow the rules [define them for her] for X minutes, I get ___." Some sort of token economy or reward system is typically very beneficial for kids with EBD classifications.

The only things they cannot learn are the things we do not teach them! She just needs a little support on how to deal with her feelings, rages, anger, etc. and a way to cope her behaviors appropriately.

I'd also recommend having some visual supports (even though she doesn't have an autism or ID classification, these can be JUST as helpful for kids with EBD). Things like,

"When I keep my hands to myself, I get a good note home."
"When I don't keep my hands to myself, I get a sad face on my note."

and

"When I do my work in school, I get recess!"
"When I don't do my work in school, I don't get recess. "

Some people say "only state the positive rules" - but I feel that kids with EBD need to see the consequences because they're (often) unable to rationalize and they're very impulsive (not thinking about consequences before engaging in behaviors).
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2012, 02:29 PM
EdEd EdEd is offline
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Some great language in the recommendations here. I'd also encourage you to get baseline data before establishing specific criteria for goals. So, I might not say 4/5 times, because it's possible that the student is fine 19/20 times, but that last time is of what's concern. On the other hand, 4/5 might be perfect because the problem behavior could be happening 4/5 times now.

Also, anytime you label a behavior (e.g., "mildly upsetting," "nonpreferred," "sit appropriately," "use socially appropriate behavior") I would give behavior descriptions with examples and non-examples. Behavioral descriptions need to be things that can be physically seen. So, with "mildly upsetting," using the antecedents/triggers from an FBA that are known to precede problem behaviors would be described. With "sitting appropriately," you might say, "Hands on table, buttocks fully on seat, torso oriented toward teacher," and so on. Examples and non-examples are used to highlight common instances when the behavior would be considered observed or not observed.

Also, I really like the idea of creating goals that lead to more proactive approaches such as suggested by teachersk. I still wouldn't leave out goals for conversion with more extreme behavior, but including goals for proaction will help everyone focus on that more.

One final thought to continue - and this gets back to baseline data collection - is to accurately identify the exact dimensions of the behavior that are problematic, and create goals with each relevant dimension. Dimensions of behavior are frequency/rate, duration, latency, & intensity. The reason for making sure to cover your bases with dimensions are that sometimes one dimension is less problematic than another. Take tantrums - it's quite possible that the child has 1 tantrum per week, but that it is extremely severe when it happens (intensity) and lasts a long time (duration). You may be fine with a very mild avoidant behavior occuring once per week (frequency), but have a problem that it's so intense and long. So, in that case, you very well might not have a goal that says "4/5 times," but rather a goal that talks about length of tantrum/avoidant incident. Severity/intensity is sometimes a bit harder to measure, but is generally measured by teacher rating of each incident, with extremely specific descriptions of what each rating would involve.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2012, 04:39 PM
waterfall waterfall is offline
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K-3 Sped Resource Teacher
Thanks for the ideas! No "behavior specialist" available. Last year the sped department decided school psychs would no longer provide direct services to students, meaning if they qualified for EBD we essentially could do nothing for them unless they needed academic help. I know that's a heavy label to put on a kid and we were just hesitant to do that knowing it wouldn't actually get any services or anything for the kid. Accommodations and behavior plans were already being implemented without the IEP. This year we got a new psych who has been great about actually working with the students, so people have been more vigilent about getting these kids identified.
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  #7  
Old 04-25-2012, 04:51 PM
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mopar mopar is offline
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Our special education teachers provide minutes for these students in addition to our social workers. I worked with one of my students twice a week for 15 minutes to work on teaching coping strategies and monitor her behavior plan in addition to her weekly 30 minutes with the social worker.
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