Sample IEP Goals for Students with Autism

Instructor: Lori Sturdivant

Lori has a specialist's degree in Instructional Leadership/Mild Moderate and currently serves as the Lead Teacher for The University of Southern Mississippi's Autism Project.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to write annual individualized education program (IEP) goals for students with autism. You'll also find an IEP goal-writing checklist to assist in writing specific goals.

Autism and the IEP

Autism is a disorder with a wide-ranging spectrum, and it affects students who have been diagnosed with it differently. Issues range from social anxiety to the inability to make eye contact or speak. The goals you choose to write will be very specific to each of your students in need of an Individualized Educational Program (IEP), a written document that outlines what special education services a disabled child will receive.


Keep in mind that each IEP goal needs to include the following components:

  • Condition
  • Time frame
  • Accuracy
  • Method of measurement
  • Desired behavior
  • Behavior being replaced. It is not always necessary to include this; this component usually appears when dealing with behaviors that have adverse consequences.

Sample Scenario and Goals: Example 1

Johnny does not like to take turns during social play time. He will often refuse to give up the object needed by the other person. He frequently becomes frustrated while waiting for his turn to come around again during a game.

The following goal would be used for students on the less severe end of the autism spectrum.

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