When working with a child who is nonverbal, it is very important to develop goals toward their communication. Using an iPad or communication device to speak (AAC), requires a systematic process. When families make goals, they achieve results faster!
SMART goals are very popular in the business world. This goal setting framework has helped me frame my business goals in realistic and achievable ways. This framework will help you focus on your goals for your child, give you a method of accountability, and help you meet the goals!
SMART is an acronym for:
S = Specific – Make your goal detailed and specific. This could include who, what, where, how, and when.
M = Measurable – Make your goal measurable. This includes details about measurements and tracking details.
A = Attainable – Make your goal attainable. You and your child should be able to be successful with the goal.
R = Relevant – Make your goal relevant. The goal should be meaningful to you and your child.
T = Time Bound – Make a time limit for your goal.
When you go through these five steps, you will really know your goal and understand how you are going to meet it. This thoughtful method of goal setting is very powerful!
Here are the steps:
Write your goal:
Specific: Make your goal specific (who is involved, where will it happen, what will happen, when does this need to happen, how will it happen)
Measurable: How will you measure your goal?
Achievable: Can you reach this goal in a reasonable amount of time?
Relevant: Is the goal relevant to you and your child?
Time Bound: Does your goal have a time limit?
Sam will use his AAC device to say “hi” his teacher every morning when he enters the classroom for an entire week. This will be accomplished in a month.
Specific: Yes. Who – Sam and his teacher. Where – In the classroom. What – Say “hi” with his AAC device. When – Each morning.
Measurable: Yes. Every day for a week.
Achievable: Yes. He can activate the device and has said “hi” a few times.
Relevant: Yes. It will increase his AAC use and social language.
Time Bound: Yes: It will be accomplished in a month.
Find out more about how to help your child communicate with an iPad or communication device with my book, Talking With Tech: Solutions for Children and Adults Who Are Nonverbal.