Importance of goals
Parents strive for holistic development of their children. There are many parameters associated for holistic development. Setting goals eases the process, gives a definite direction and measures progress.
How to set the right goals
- Goals should be short term and long term. Short term goals help to achieve specific targets in short time. Long term goal gives an overview. To quote an example, the goal may be reading which a multi step process. Crossing each individual step is the short term goal and reading is the long term goal.
- Goals should be age appropriate and achievable.
- It is better not to keep too many targets at a time.
- One must look at setting realistic time frames to achieve goals
- Goals should be measurable as much as possible.
Goals are based broadly around these areas (one may need to cover all or some as required).
- Social skills(play/behaviour/speech/communication and language as applicable)
- Activities of daily living
- General awareness and thinking skills
- Motor skills(fine/gross)
- Other skills (like sports, art/craft, music)
How to achieve goals
Once the goals are set parent/child forms a program, works on it and achieves the laid goals. Always one must look at starting to work on goals with an emphasis on building a strong foundation. Address the basics first should be the priority. Then one moves to the next step and keeps moving to the next level. Achievement of goals has to be through teamwork (therapists/doctors/family/teachers/peers/ self/any other form of support). It should be tried to align goals with each other where areas of development being addressed should be best matching with each other – it becomes easier to achieve similar type of goals. e.g, if the Occupational therapist wants the child sitting on a ball and the speech language pathologist wants the child to be face to face it is an ideal combination to incorporate both goals during the individual sessions. The SLP should have the child sit on the ball and the OT should present the vocabulary the SLP is working on while working on sitting balance on the ball. Parents sometimes need to be vocal and insist on LTGs and STGs with time frames, percentage of anticipated accuracy, kind and percentage of prompts/cues used from professionals.
Let us have a look at a sample goal sheet
|1||Gross body parts function|
|2||Categories of fruits/vegetables|
|3||1 step command|
|2||Communication book for conversation|
|2||Greet everyone appropriately|
|1||Recognition of capital letters|
|2||Recognition of numbers 1 to 10|
|3||Learn 3 community helpers|
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