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June 28, 2023 Meeting Minutes - Take Care of Yourself & A Fresh Look at Executive Functioning Goals

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

PALS Meeting Minutes

June 28, 2023 9:30 a.m.

Virtual Meeting using Zoom

Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.

Keeping the Faith, Being Patient, and Hanging in There

Sometimes the dedication of parents and caregivers can leave them burnt out. It is important to remember to take care of yourself at the same level you do the children you care for. It doesn't matter what need your child may have, it is easy to become overwhelm. Taking a break and asking for help will benefit you and your child. Here are some ways to help yourself:

1. Get Support: Whether it is from your family, community, professional therapy, or parent/caregiver support groups. Take advantage of the PALS Resource and Calendar Pages. You can find organizations that offer support group meet-ups.

2. Find Time to Do Things You Love: Finding ways to recharge, relax, and experience pleasure in your life is essential. The more balanced, relaxed, and recharged you are, the more patient, caring, and proactive you can be as your child’s protector, nurturer, and advocate. Start with making a list of “Fun Things I Would Do If I Had Time.” You might include activities like going for a bike ride, going to dinner with a friend or partner, painting or journaling, watching a movie, getting a massage, taking a walk outdoors, going to the gym, or take an academic or creative course.

3. Meditate: Let's keep it real; for some meditation can seem daunting and it doesn't have to be. Mediation can take on many forms. Sure traditional mediation is all about quieting your mind, sitting with yourself. Maybe that works for you and maybe it doesn't. In reality, meditation can be what you need it to be. You can take the traditional approach or you can make mediation fit you. Some people mediate by reading a book or listening to music, others by zoning out in front of the television, some find calm in doing puzzles, taking a hike, or playing an instrument. Find what works best for you and make the time to do it.

4. Take Advantage of Respite Care: We know this can be a challenge to find, don't let a wait list be a barrier, hang in there and actually take advantage of respite care. Respite care helps you reconnect with yourself and recharge to help your loved one. Here are a list of area providers. Please do your due diligence and find the best provider for you and your loved one.




Gentiva Health Services (home health care)

Day and Overnight Respite Program-Watson Institute

Child’s Way- Children’s Home of Pittsburgh

Continuum Pediatric Nursing- Pittsburgh

Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh

PRN Health Service Inc.

Pediatric Services of America (Nursing Home Care)

Extended Family Care of Pittsburgh

Maxim Healthcare Services (Home Care Services and/or In-Home Nurses)

UPMC Private Duty Nursing (part of the UPMC Respite Services)

Ventilator Assisted Program

Passavant Memorial Homes

The Woodlands Foundation

Focusing on Executive Functioning Goals

Executive Functioning encompasses a variety of cognitive processes that permit

individuals to make decisions, organize thoughts, prioritize tasks, manage time and

problem solve. We have discussed Executive Functioning Goals in the past; today we talked about what EF goals look like and shared ideas on goals, modifications, and specially designed instruction. Below find information provided by A Day In Our Shoes with Lisa Lightner.

The following PDF provides different areas of executive functioning, what may be seen in the classroom and strategies to assist the student in Elementary, Middle, and High School. These can be helpful in identifying challenges in executive functions and when thinking about SDIs for your child's IEP.

Download PDF • 770KB

The following are goal setting ideas to get you thinking.

Self-Awareness/Self Advocacy goals for an IEP

  1. Given a specific routine for monitoring task success, such as Goal-Plan-Do-Check, the student will accurately identify tasks that are easy/difficult for them.

  2. Given a difficult task, the student will indicate that it is difficult.

  3. The student will explain why some tasks are easy/difficult for them, and help develop management strategies.

  4. If tasks are difficult, the Student will request help.

  5. When they are more capable than the other child, the Student will offer help to others.

  6. If a student has negative behaviors, debriefing sessions are held at an appropriate time and place and the student is able to identify his triggers and possible strategies.

  7. Given training in a self-regulatory routine and visual cues and fading adult supports, the student will accurately predict how effectively they will accomplish a task. For example, they will accurately predict: whether or not they will be able to complete a task, how many (of something) they can finish, their grade on tests, how many problems they will be able to complete in a specific time period; etc.

Organization IEP Goals

  1. Given support and visual cues, the student will create a system for organizing personal items in his locker/desk/notebook

  2. To tell an organized story, a student will place photographs in order and then narrate the sequence of events. Given visual cues and fading adult supports, the student will select and use a system to organize his assignments and other schoolwork

  3. Given a complex task, the student will organize the task on paper, including the materials needed, the steps to accomplish the task, and a time frame

  4. Using learned strategies and given fading adult support, the student will prepare an organized outline before proceeding with writing projects.

  5. The student will improve organization skills for classroom work and homework through specific, repetitive instruction, and use of (list SDIs or supports) and measured by a frequency or %.

  6. Given a specific work-checking routine, the student will identify errors in his work without teacher assistance. The student’s rating of his performance on a 10-point scale will be within one point of the teacher’s rating.

  7. Given support and visual cues, the student will create a system for organizing personal items in their locker/desk/notebook/homework agenda in X out of X observable opportunities.

  8. The student will self-edit their work to correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar on all typical classroom assignments in all settings to eliminate all errors from his work.

  9. The student will use visual cues (graphic organizer or drawing) attached to the desk 3 out of 5 times to place supplies/materials in their appropriate location as evidenced by teacher/staff observations.

  10. The student will organize personal materials in a binder daily with 90% accuracy as measured by daily binder checks.

  11. The student will bring assignments/homework to and from school with 90% accuracy as measured by daily binder checks.

  12. The student will maintain personal materials in the desk in an orderly, easily accessible manner as measured by independently locating needed materials 8 of 10 times.

  13. The student will use colored highlighters to identify subject-specific homework (e.g., red=math, yellow=science, etc.)

Problem-Solving Goals for an IEP

  1. Given training in and visual reminders of, self-regulatory scripts student will manage unexpected events and violations of routine without disrupting classroom activities

  2. The student will use a structured recipe or routine for generating new ideas or brainstorming to respond successfully to open-ended assignments

  3. When faced with changes and/or transitions in activities or environments, the student will initiate the new activity after {decreasing number of supports}

  4. Given concrete training, visual supports and fading adult cuing, the student will appropriately label flexible and stuck behaviors in themself.

  5. Given training and practice with the concept of compromise, and in the presence of visual supports, the student will accept and generate compromise solutions to conflicts when working cooperatively with others.

Personal Goal Setting, Self Correction, Self-Improvement IEP Goals

  1. The Student will participate with teachers and therapists in setting instructional and therapy goals

  2. Given explicit instruction, visual reminders, and fading adult support, the student will successfully distinguish target goals (doing well in school, making a friend, learning to read, graduating from school) from interfering goals (playing video games instead of doing homework)

  3. The student will self-initiate editing activities to correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar on all typical classroom assignments in all settings.

Time Management IEP Goals

  1. Given a routine, the student will indicate what steps or items are needed and the order of the events.

  2. The student will learn (after helping to develop) a self-regulatory plan for carrying out any multiple-step task (completing homework, writing an essay, doing a project) and given practice, visual cues, and fading adult supports, will apply the plan independently to new situations.

  3. When given a selection of 3 activities for therapy or instructional session, the student will indicate their order, create a plan on paper, and stick to the plan.

  4. Given a task or assignment, the student will identify and gather what items are needed to complete said task.

  5. Given a task that they correctly identifies as difficult for them, the student will create a plan for accomplishing the task.

  6. The student will independently write daily assignments and homework in a daily planner with 90% accuracy as measured by daily planner checks.

  7. The student will briefly write out steps prior to beginning a project or complex task with 80% accuracy as measured by teacher observation.

  8. The student will create a graphic organizer with relevant content information prior to beginning a project or complex task 4 out of 5 times as evidenced by teacher observations and data.

  9. The student will use a visual timer to signal a one-minute alert before an impending transition to the next subject/class with 70% accuracy as evidenced by teacher observations/charting.

  10. The student will use a weekly calendar to write upcoming due dates/tests with 90% accuracy as evidenced by weekly teacher checks.

  11. The Student will utilize a checklist of requirements prior to turning in a project or complex task with 80% accuracy as evidenced by teacher feedback or a self-graded rubric.


Next Meeting: July 26, 2023 9:30 a.m. Virtual Meeting using Zoom.

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