In This Section

CAR Autism Roadmap
autism [at] (autism[at]chop[dot]edu)
CAR Autism Roadmap
Roberts Center for Pediatric Research
5th Floor
2716 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Related Articles

Items to Consider When Drafting IEP Goals and Cutomizing Supports for Preschool Students


When writing Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, it is important to consider your child's unique qualities and strengths in order to build a framework on which you can provide him or her with the best opportunities for learning. It is also a good idea to think about what you and your family want for your child now, in one, two, or five years from now, or even as an adult. Don't be afraid to dream!

Prior to the IEP meeting, list what you and your child really enjoy doing, such as playing with water or sand, watching TV, or going for walks. Identify how you can use these routines to help your child develop and grow. Also, consider the special needs your chilld has. Think about what your chilld might need to reach is or her full potential: for example, adaptive equpment, feeding or self-help skills, or learning to sit or walk.

Each goal the IEP team writes should be individualized for your child and should be designed to be accomplished in a one year period. The goals you set today will be the foundation for the ones you will set in the future. For example, your child must be able to identify letters before he or she can write them, read them, and spell words with them.

The other members of your IEP team can help you know what is developmentally appropriate for your child in terms of academic, social, behavioral, self-help, and motor skills. The ideas below are provided to help guide you in determining what might be areas of need for your preschool child.


  • Identifying letters
  • Counting
  • Sorting
  • Naming animals
  • Naming body parts


  • Cooperative play
  • Imaginative play
  • Recognizing and labeling feelings
  • Following rules
  • Flexibility (for example, change in schedules)
  • Waiting
  • Winning/losing
  • Reducing need for prompts
  • Completing non-preferred tasks
  • Using relaxation techniques
  • Asking for a break


  • Dressing
  • Hygiene
  • Using utensils (spoon, fork, knife)
  • Predicting daily routine

Motor Skills

  • Balance
  • Strength
  • Coordination
  • Use of scissors
  • Grip and use of writing utensils/paintbrush
The Center for Autism Research and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia do not endorse or recommend any specific person or organization or form of treatment. The information included within the CAR Autism Roadmap™ and CAR Resource Directory™ should not be considered medical advice and should serve only as a guide to resources publicly and privately available. Choosing a treatment, course of action, and/or a resource is a personal decision, which should take into account each individual's and family's particular circumstances.