Developing SMART Goals for Children with Special Needs” Topic of Session Presented by The Unicorn Children’s Foundation (October 13, 2006)
October 13, 2006, Boca Raton, FL - Parents of children with learning and communication disorders, and the professionals that teach them, were treated to an informative session recently conducted by The Unicorn Children’s Foundation. Entitled“Developing SMART Goals for Children with Special Needs,” the presentation kicked off “Educator’s Week” and was held at the Boca Raton branch of Barnes & Noble. Sharon Alexander, M.H.Sc., Program Director at The Unicorn Children’s Foundation and child development specialist, was the program’s presenter. Amongst the topics discussed, Alexander addressed the challenges that children with special needs present in the classroom, and provided helpful advice regarding establishing appropriate goals and methods to monitor a child’s progress. “Goals provide us with a road map of where we hope to get to – not only in the classroom, but also at home,” said Alexander. “After all, parents and teachers should be working together to assess a child’s personal progress and a checklist is not only an easy method for everyone to understand, it’s easy to use.” Alexander explained that while establishing goals are very important, it is equally important to be able to monitor progress on those goals. She continued, “Let’s say one of the goals we’ve established for “Brian” is to ‘be more independent.’ Now, how will we determine that Brian has achieved that goal? With data from a check list, it will be easy to see whether or not progress is being made in that area. Did Brian demonstrate independence today? How many times? If the goal is to increase his independence, than that number should show an increase by the end of a given period. The assessment vehicle does not have to be complicated.” Alexander is developing a check list that will be available for download on UCF’s website very shortly. Parents and professionals interested in further information may want to register for UCF’s two-day symposium for parents and professionals to take place November 4-5, 2006 at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Presenters are Wrightslaw, the nation’s preeminent organization on special education law and advocacy, who will address, amongst other important topics, recent changes to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act), the federal legislation that assures all children with disabilities receive the appropriate education and related services to meet their needs. The Unicorn Children’s Foundation (UCF), headquartered in Boca Raton, is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to education, awareness and research on behalf of children with learning and communication disorders, such as attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and autism. For more information or to register for the November symposium, contact UCF: 561-620-9377.