25 Special Education Quotes About Inclusion

25 Special Education Quotes About Inclusion

Below you will find 25 special education quotes about inclusion to help inspire you.

Special education is a unique field that aims to provide support and education to children and adults with disabilities. The goal of special education is to help individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential and achieve success in their academic and personal lives. 

Special Education Quotes about Inclusion

Many notable individuals have shared their thoughts and ideas about special education throughout history. 

Special Education Quotes

Here are some of the most famous special education quotes that continue to inspire and motivate educators, parents, and students alike.

  1. “Every student can learn, just not on the same day or in the same way.” — George Evans
  1. “Inclusion is not a strategy to help people fit into the systems and structures which exist in our societies; it is about transforming those systems and structures to make it better for everyone.” — Diane Richler
  1. “Special education is not a place. It’s a service.” — Loretta Claiborne
  1. “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” — Peter Drucker
  1.  “Inclusive education is not a privilege. It is a fundamental human right.” — Ban Ki-moon
  1. “The highest result of education is tolerance.” — Helen Keller
Special Education Quotes
  1. “We need to give every individual the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstance.” — Cory Booker
  1. “Inclusive education seeks to address the learning needs of all children, with a specific focus on those who are vulnerable to marginalization and exclusion. The goal is to promote opportunities for all children to participate and be treated equally.” — Andie Fong Toy
  1. “No child left behind requires states and school districts to ensure that all students are learning and are reaching their highest potential. Special education students should not be left out of this accountability.” — Dianne Feinstein 
  1. “It shouldn’t matter how slowly a child learns. What matters is that we encourage them to never stop trying.” ― Robert John Meehan
  1. “When inclusive education is fully embraced, we abandon the idea that children have to become ‘normal’ in order to contribute to the world. We begin to look beyond typical ways of becoming valued members of the community, and in doing so, begin to realize the achievable goal of providing all children with an authentic sense of belonging.” ― Norman Kunc
  1. “For those with learning disabilities, today’s tools for differentiation no longer hold the stigma they used to nor highlight disabilities, but provide opportunities to find success in the classroom.” ― Sharon LePage Plante

Additional Special Education Quotes You Will Love

  1. “When you judge someone based on a diagnosis, you miss out on their abilities, beauty, and uniqueness.” ― Sevenly.org
  1. “Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same. Fairness means everyone gets what they need.” ― Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid
  1. “All of the children of silence must be taught to sing their own song.” ― Thomas Gallaudet
  1. “The secret in education lies in respecting the student.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  1.  “If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”  ― Ignacio Estrada
  1. “The gap between the abilities and capacities of children related to their learning, adjustment and development found at the time of their birth, may further be widened by the nature of the environmental difference encountered by them in their nourishment and education.” ― S. K. Mangal
  1. “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” ― Maya Angelou
  1. “When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become wiser, more inclusive, and better as an organization.” — Pat Wadors
  1. “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” ― Malala Yousafzai
  1. “Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” ― John W. Gardner
  1. “The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to use its own powers rather than to fill it with the accumulation of others.” ― Tyron Edwards
  1. “Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parents with high expectations.” ― Bob Beauprez
  1. “Great education is a combination of a supporting environment, dedicated teachers and students who take joy in learning.” ― Hermann J Steinherr


These famous special education quotes provide inspiration and guidance for those involved in the field of special education. 

They remind us of the importance of individualized learning, inclusion, understanding individual differences, effective communication, and recognizing the potential of every individual. 

By embracing these ideas and concepts, we can continue to work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive society for all individuals, regardless of their abilities.

Additional Resources you will Love

The Mega Bundle of Functional Life Skills Resources for Teens and Adults

Executive Functioning Challenges with Task Initiation: Resources to Help Teach Life Skills

Vocational Goals: A Step-by-Step Guide

Life Skill Goals for Teaching Independence

Benefits of Life Skills to Help Improve your Quality of Life

Benefits of Life Skills to Help Improve your Quality of Life

In this post you will learn about the benefits of life skills and how they can improve your quality of life.

Life skills are a cornerstone in today’s fast-paced world. They enable us to manage and accomplish complex tasks in many settings and navigate our personal and professional lives effectively. Since they impact every aspect of our lives, it’s best to develop them to ensure a happy and productive life.

In this article, we’ll tell you what life skills are, how they impact everyday life, and how to develop them. So, read on to learn more!

Understanding Life Skills

The term ‘Life Skills’ refers to the skills you need to make the most out of life. Any skill that is useful in your life can be considered a life skill.

Life skills can be functional abilities individuals use to navigate their daily lives. These skills can refer to passive skills, such as self-awareness, emotional regulation, empathy, and resilience, and active skills, such as goal-setting, communication, organization, and time management.

Why Is It Important to Develop Life Skills?

It should be your mission to hone your life skills, as they’ll help you overcome any challenge you face in your everyday life. Let’s explain the impact they have on three main fields to give you a better picture of what we’re talking about.

Personal Development

Developing your skills will help you become more self-aware, resilient, and a better communicator and decision-maker.

For example, developing self-discipline, focus, open-mindedness, and self-attribution will help you become more self-aware. This allows you to make informed decisions, take actions that align with your values, and understand their impact on yourself and others.

Similarly, developing your empathy, communication, and listening skills will enable you to communicate more effectively, maintain healthy relationships, express yourself more confidently, and set proper boundaries with others.

Finally, skills such as patience, anger, stress, and money management help you become more adaptable and flexible to challenges. This way, you’ll remain motivated and continue striving for what you want, ensuring your success and happiness.

Benefits of life skills

Professional Development

Some key professional skills, including critical thinking, teamwork, organizing, planning, and communication, will help you thrive professionally. 

For example, hard work, perseverance, excellent communication skills, and punctuality make you a desirable employee to many employers. By developing them, you’ll have better chances of landing a job you’re interested in.

Again, by developing your empathy, leadership, and management skills, you can become an outstanding leader to your co-workers and successfully carry out any managerial duties, whether you’re an employee or a business owner.

Finally, professional lives revolve around teamwork and collaboration. Most of the time, you’ll be working alongside many individuals to carry out everyday tasks. Having great teamwork, collaboration, and communication skills will help smooth out any potential frustrations and ensure a hassle-free work experience.

Social Development

Having healthy social relationships with others directly affects your mental health. You can potentially jeopardize your standing with others if you skimp out on important social skills, such as empathy, listening, compromising, and caring.

Developing these skills will help you understand yourself better and ensure deeper and more meaningful relationships with your family, friends, and partners. These skills also extend to your standing in society since you’ll be able to find your purpose and contribute to your community further.

You can get your Free Life Skills Checklist to Help Autistic Teens Transition into Adulthood

You can get your free life skills checklist to help autistic teens transition into adulthood and help improve their quality of life. Just CLICK HERE to get your free life skills checklist, or click on the image below.

life skills checklist

How Can I Develop Life Skills?

There are countless ways to develop life skills. Initially, you need to learn what skills you want to improve and acquire. This will allow you to plan accordingly and set realistic goals. It’s best to break down your tasks to improve a skill into smaller, more manageable steps to not get overwhelmed.

Read and Watch

One way to go about learning life skills is by reading or watching videos about them. You can check articles, books, websites, and blogs. They contain a great deal of information about a large selection of skills. Nowadays, it’s easy to learn something as difficult as playing an instrument by following online courses!

Attend Workshops and Communicate

However, you’re not limited to teaching yourself. Some life skills, such as anger and stress management, are best improved through workshops and group gatherings that help you learn more about yourself and express yourself better. 

Practice and Seek Feedback

Another piece of advice: the best way to develop life skills is to practice them regularly. Stepping out of your comfort zone, although terrifying at first, will help you build self-confidence and overcome your fears. You should also seek feedback as much as possible from knowledgeable others or relevant people to monitor your progress.

Be Patient

Developing your life skills is a lengthy process, so be patient! Don’t expect to become great at something you struggle with after reading a single article or book – it takes months, if not years, of practice!


Life skills play an important role in enabling us to navigate the challenges we face in everyday life, whether in a professional, social, or academic context. It should be your mission to improve your life skills to lead a happy and fulfilling life!

Our Best Functional Life Skills cover the most critical skills everyone should have, so check it out!

Similarly, our Social Skills for Teens guide covers many skills necessary to improve your relationships with others!

Vocational Goals: A Step-by-Step Guide

Vocational Goals: A Step-by-Step Guide

Choosing what you want to be when you grow up is confusing as you transition into adulthood, but it could be really challenging for autistic individuals.

Conceptualizing how different life skills are adjusted to new environments and applications often may not come naturally for autistic individuals. It’s could also be difficult for them to translate skills, interests, and aspirations into conceivable goals and professions.

That’s where vocational goals come in. As a special education professional, understanding the nuances of vocational goal setting and the communication around it is crucial for your success in that area.

Oftentimes, the family or caregivers of autistic teens and young adults may not be able to help or even visualize their family members entering the workforce. This can hinder their ability to support them through this transition without a game plan.

What Are Vocational Goals?

Vocational goals are goals created to help people achieve employability in careers that are consistent with their abilities, interests, limitations, and aspirations.

Vocational goals could include skills needed to find a job, maintain a job, or perform specific tasks required for the job. This could include anything from interviewing skills to following a bus schedule or practicing routine tasks. Like any other IEP goal, vocational goals must be age appropriate and measurable.

While this is a general term that can benefit everyone, it’s integral for the success of people with mental health conditions, such as autism and ADHD.

Why Are Vocational Goals Important for People on the Spectrum?

The reality of autism poses some unique challenges in setting vocational goals.

Most young adults often have inaccurate expectations of what work entails. However, young adults on the spectrum may sometimes be very competent in tasks related to the job itself and instead struggle with social interactions or expectations within the work environment.

Some simple examples of that are maintaining the appropriate tone of voice or volume, receiving instructions, and managing negative stimuli.

Vocational Goals Examples for Allistic vs. Autistic People

First I just want to clarify Allistic simply means a non autistic person.

There’s nothing inherently allistic or autistic about any given life skill. However, how tasks and goals are phrased and evaluated is often where most autistic individuals struggle.

While unclear instructions are generally problematic for most workers, their effect is almost negligible on an allistic individual compared to how that may affect someone on the spectrum.

They may also not address granular life skills that don’t come naturally to autistic individuals. So how you choose to create these goals can make or break your students’ chances.

Here are some examples where you can see how a vocational goal can be made differently:

Allistic-Appropriate GoalAutistic Appropriate Goal
Manage stress from long commutesTransfer from one bus to another safely and calmly
Be an effective member of the teamDiscriminate between personal and general information.
Have constructive and healthy relationships with your coworkersIdentify the core differences between familial and work relationships.

Step-by-Step Guide for Setting Vocational Goals for Autistic Students

Setting vocational goals relies almost entirely on the age as well as the level of the individual you’re working with.

These steps will give you an overview of how to approach vocational goals for autism, but they’re far from comprehensive.

1. Identify Strengths, Weaknesses, and Limitations

The first and perhaps the most tricky step is to assess where your student is right now vs. where they need to be by the time they graduate.

This is tricky because there’s a lot more to an autistic individual’s strengths and weaknesses than what meets the eye.

For example, a child who is gifted with art may not necessarily thrive in a creative job because the motivation to create art has become external rather than a means of self-expression. 

So when you examine a student’s strengths, you have to put into consideration the limitations of these strengths to achieve longevity. 

The same goes for weaknesses. Just because they’re currently not comfortable dealing with strangers, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be excellent when dealing with customers after receiving adequate support and a clear-cut process for dealing with them.

You can learn more about vocational assessments here at A Day in Our Shoes.

2. Discuss Values, Interests, and Future Goals

This step depends on whether your student is at the appropriate age and level to discuss abstract concepts such as values, compatibility, and aspirations. If not, then you’ll need to work your way there first.

Either way, you’ll need to consult with their family to choose the direction and priorities of your plan. Is post-graduation financial support a problem? Do they have a family business that can help them transition gradually to a completely new environment?

3. Create SMART Goals

It’s hard to go wrong with SMART goals because they break down an objective into its most comprehensible format. If you can’t seem to fulfill these criteria, then this objective may be counterproductive for your student.

  • Specific: As mentioned above, make sure that the goal and all the exercises surrounding it have as little room as possible for the need for personal interpretation and keep it narrow to avoid overwhelming them.
  • Measurable: Make your goal as quantifiable as possible. Create a small checklist of all the requirements for a given task to be considered a success. 
  • Attainable: Make sure each goal is a gradual progression from where your student’s life skills are at now. 
  • Relevant: Hone in on the most crucial skills before refining the details. For example, the ability to receive criticism is of secondary importance when your student isn’t yet able to receive instructions.
  • Time-bound: Finally, set the frequency with which you’ll be practicing and assessing this life skill so that you’ll build on your progress without pressuring your student beyond their capacity.

vocational goals

Vocational Goal Topics

  1. Career exploration: Assist the student in exploring various career options and identifying areas of interest and strength. This may include informational interviews, job shadowing, and career assessments.
  2. Job readiness skills: Help the student develop job readiness skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, and organizational skills.
  3. Vocational training: Provide the student with vocational training to develop specific skills required in a particular occupation or industry, such as welding, nursing, or graphic design.
  4. Internships and work-based learning: Facilitate opportunities for the student to participate in internships, work-based learning experiences, or apprenticeships to develop practical skills and gain work experience.
  5. Job placement: Assist the student in finding and securing employment in a specific industry or occupation.
  6. Accommodations and supports: Identify and provide accommodations and supports to the student that will enable them to be successful in the workplace, such as assistive technology, job coaching, or specialized training.
  7. Career advancement: Support the student in developing a career plan that includes goals for career advancement, such as earning promotions, additional certifications or degrees, or transitioning to a different career.
  8. Self-advocacy: Help the student develop self-advocacy skills that will enable them to communicate effectively with employers and colleagues, request accommodations or modifications as needed, and navigate workplace challenges.

These are just a few examples of vocational goal topics that could be included in an IEP. The specific goals and objectives will depend on the student’s individual needs, strengths, interests, and career aspirations.

job tasks: vocational goals

Vocational Goals Examples with Job Tasks

It is important to note that job tasks for special education students should be individualized to the student’s strengths, interests, and abilities, and should be based on the goals outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). However, here are some examples of job tasks that may be appropriate for special education students:

  1. Sorting and organizing materials: This may include sorting files, paperwork, or other materials in an office setting, or organizing inventory in a retail or warehouse setting.
  2. Cleaning and maintenance: This may include cleaning tables and surfaces, sweeping or mopping floors, or performing basic maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs or restocking supplies.
  3. Assisting customers or clients: This may include greeting customers, answering basic questions, or providing basic customer service in a retail or service setting.
  4. Food preparation and service: This may include preparing simple meals or snacks, serving food to customers or clients, or cleaning up after meals.
  5. Data entry or basic computer tasks: This may include entering data into a computer system, typing up documents or reports, or performing other basic computer tasks.
  6. Packaging and assembly: This may include packaging products or components, assembling products or parts, or performing quality control checks on products.
  7. Landscaping or groundskeeping: This may include planting and maintaining gardens, mowing lawns, or performing other basic landscaping tasks.
  8. Basic office tasks: This may include answering phones, filing paperwork, or performing other basic tasks in an office setting.
  9. Personal information: This could include the ability to share personal information appropriately such as writing down name, address, phone number, emergency contact, etc.

Again, it is important to individualize job tasks for each special education student based on their needs and goals. These are just some examples of tasks that may be appropriate for some students.

Now I want to break these goals ideas down even farther so you can see the specific skill areas you can work towards.

Sorting and Organizing Materials

  1. Sort sizes of things
  2. Sort colors of things
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Hang Clothing
  5. Match items
  6. Sort files/paperwork
  7. Read labels and put things back where they belong
  8. knows how to put away dishes
  9. organize food items in a pantry/cupboard
sorting and organizing: vocational goals

Cleaning and Maintenance

  1. Wipe down the counter/table
  2. throwing away/sorting trash/recyclables
  3. Using a hammer or screwdriver for simple fixes
  4. Wash dishes
  5. wash and dry clothing
  6. Put away cleaning supples
  7. vaccumm
  8. mop or sweep the floor
  9. Clean up a spill on the floor
  10. Organizing and re-stocking the supply closet or pantry
cleaning tasks: vocational goals

Assisting Customers or Clients

  1. Answers the phone and can hold a conversation on the phone
  2. Can assist someone with using keyboard/typing to answer questions
  3. can redirect someone on the phone
  4. Can greet someone in person or on the phone
  5. Can answer specific questions about a specific topic (job task)
  6. Can answer specific questions about an item of interest or non interest

Food Preparation and Service

  1. Fold napkins
  2. Put away silverware
  3. Put dishes away
  4. Cut up fruits and vegetables
  5. Cut up meat
  6. prepare a simple meal
  7. prepare a simple snack
  8. Understands food safety
  9. can use a microwave
  10. can use a toaster
  11. can use an oven
  12. Can get a glass of water
  13. can make a grocery list
  14. can make a grocery budget
  15. can put the foods away in refrigerator, freezer, or pantry

Data Entry or Basic Computer Tasks

  1. Navigate computer browser
  2. Understand how to use the internet
  3. enter data into the computer program
  4. use a computer mouse
  5. type on a keyboard
  6. write a word document
  7. use a google sheets or excel document
  8. Can type on personal information on a questionnaire

Packaging and Assembly

  1. assemble a package of things
  2. can follow directions of what to put together
  3. can look at a picture and put those items together
  4. can read instructions and follow the directions

Landscaping or Groundskeeping

  1. can mow the grass
  2. dig up flowers
  3. water flowers
  4. water grass
  5. plant flowers
  6. plant a garden
  7. pull weeds

Basic Office Tasks

  1. Use a computer mouse
  2. Type on the keyboard
  3. Write out a list of items
  4. Make a copy using the copier
  5. staple items together
  6. sort/organize papers
  7. sign papers
  8. write a check
  9. fill out a receipt

Personal Information

  1. Writes and types name
  2. writes and types address
  3. writes and types phone number
  4. knows who to contact in an emergency
  5. knows their own allergies and medications they are taking for safety
  6. can state their emergency contact name and phone number

Soft Skills that can be Important for a Variety of Job Tasks

  1. Communication: The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with colleagues, customers, and supervisors is critical.
  2. Teamwork: Collaboration and the ability to work effectively with others is important in almost every workplace.
  3. Problem-solving: The ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems is essential in many job roles.
  4. Adaptability: Being able to adjust to changing circumstances and learn new skills and procedures is important in today’s fast-paced work environments.
  5. Leadership: The ability to motivate, guide, and inspire others is valued in many organizations.
  6. Time management: Being able to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines, and manage time effectively is important in many job roles.
  7. Attention to detail: Being detail-oriented and able to spot errors or inconsistencies is important in jobs where accuracy is critical.
  8. Emotional intelligence: Understanding and managing one’s own emotions, as well as recognizing and responding appropriately to the emotions of others, is important in any workplace.
  9. Positive attitude: Maintaining a positive outlook and being enthusiastic and motivated can help one succeed in any job.
  10. Conflict resolution: The ability to resolve conflicts or disagreements in a professional and constructive manner is important for maintaining positive relationships with colleagues and clients.

These are just a few examples of soft skills that are important for success in many different job roles. The specific skills required may vary depending on the industry, the job, and the organization.

vocational goals: filling out resume

Additional Specific Vocational Goals Examples

  1. Identify personal strengths
  2. Be able to answer a verbal question interview
  3. Be able to be on time
  4. Identify time on a daily schedule
  5. Identifies job schedule
  6. can ask for letters of reference
  7. can write a resume
  8. can identify reasonable places to work
  9. can identify preferences/interests
  10. can fill out a job application

These are just a few additional specific vocational goal examples for you to add to your toolbox.

Final Thoughts

As you gain more experience with setting vocational goals, you’ll get better at catering to the specific needs of each individual.

You should also set your expectations as well as those of your students and their families. Make sure to always include the student’s input and needs first. Work with the student and the family together to come up with a plan to help them transition into adulthood.

Additional Life Skills Resources you Will Enjoy

The Mega Bundle of Functional Life Skills Resources for Teens and Adults

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Examples and Templates to Save You Time

Life Skill Goals for Teaching Independence

The Best Functional Life Skills Resources for Autistic Individuals

Everything You Need to Know About Visual Schedules for Autistic Individuals

Everything You Need to Know About Visual Schedules for Autistic Individuals

In this post you will learn about how to create effective visual schedules for autistic individuals.

Routines are particularly useful for autistic individuals, whether they’re children or adults. They provide a sense of stability and a sense of well-being because you know what to expect on any given day.

Autistic individuals tend to do well with repetition, so establishing a clear routine can lead to many positive changes in the individual’s life. These can include fostering better relationships with caregivers and helping them engage in activities.

And for some, a visual schedule presents the easiest path to creating an effective routine.

What Are Visual Schedules?

Visual schedules are a representation of a person’s day using a sequence of visual tools, such as objects, photographs, drawings, texts, or even multimedia content. They can help autistic individuals know what to expect in a day, new environment, or when learning new life skills.

Studies have shown visual schedules can lower behavioral distress in autistic children even when they are in an unfamiliar situation, such as a dentist’s appointment.

Other potential benefits of using visual schedules can include the following:

  • Better Perception: autistic individuals may have a stronger visual perception, which allows them to understand information better when presented in a visual format.
  • Order: A visual schedule creates a pattern the individual can follow and understand, even in a new setting.
  • Increased Independence: When the person is highly familiarized with their schedule, they can follow their routine unassisted.
  • Meeting Individual Needs: Visual schedules can be tailored to fit the needs of every individual. Parents and caregivers can use this tool for various purposes;
  • Easier Caregiving: Having a visual schedule also offers the caregiver freedom to allow others to supervise their autistic child and extend the child’s support network.
  • Decreased Stress: Both the autistic person and the caregiver can enjoy lower amounts of stress thanks to the additional clarity visual schedules can provide.

5 Tips on How to Create an Effective Schedule

Visual schedules are a versatile tool. They can be used at home or in a classroom to establish a daily routine for a child or otherwise help an autistic person develop new skills.

Here are five useful tips on how to create an effective visual schedule:

1. Identify the Goal 

For a successful visual schedule, you should assign a clear goal and use it to build the content and different stages.

It’s best to use multiple schedules when trying to support the different needs of the person. For example, instead of providing them with a complex board that combines both home and school activities, separate the two into distinct boards.

This way, the person has a better view of what to expect based on their surroundings or specific context.

2. Choose the Right Style

Use what you know regarding the autistic person’s preference to build a more effective visual schedule.

For example, if you’re building a schedule for a child who loves penguins, adding drawings or photos of penguins can help them follow the routine and encourage them to use the schedule.

You can use a wide variety of visual tools when creating the schedule, but it’s not always necessary. Some individuals only need a simple text list, which they find less distracting.

The style of the visual schedules must always be calibrated to the specific needs, preferences, and interests of the person relying on it.

3. Create Small Steps

The purpose of visual schedules is to remove uncertainty. They should provide all the information a person needs to complete a task.

Even if you assist your child in the beginning, through task analysis you can help them become more independent and complete any new activity.

It helps to break an activity down by taking yourself out of the picture. Think of it as a recipe, where you are laying out each step so everyone reading it can replicate it without your help.

4. Create a Monitoring System

Both you and the autistic individual will need a way to mark the completion of the different steps of the task or routine.

It can be something as simple as adding a sticker next to a completed task or underlining it with an erasable pencil. 

Keeping track of their progress provides both a sense of accomplishment to the autistic individual and helps you monitor their activity.

5. Plan for Change

Visual schedules can reduce the stress of unforeseen events even as they happen. You can establish a specific cue that signals a change in schedule, such as a card or a photograph.

When the cue is in place, it gives the autistic individual enough time to adjust to the change in schedule. You can also plan for specific schedule changes you know are likely to happen by swapping between two activities.

Teach Them How to Use Schedules

Once the schedule is complete, it’s time to introduce the person to it. Initially, they may need more assistance to understand this method through verbal or physical guidance.

But, you can gradually reduce the amount of assistance offered when the person becomes more comfortable with the tool. Eventually, they should be able to follow the schedule with little or no support from you.

How to Include Visual Schedules in a Routine

Adding a new learning tool can feel daunting when an autistic individual isn’t comfortable with new situations.

However, there are many ways to introduce visual schedules into a person’s life and make the most out of them.

Here are some tips that can help:

Include Them in the Process

Build the visual schedule with your child or the person it’s designed for. While the contents should be decided beforehand, you can add pictures, drawings, or other visual elements together.

Keep It in Plain Sight

The visual schedule should be easily accessible at all times. You can make several copies of it and place them in areas where the person is most active.

You can also opt for a digital schedule that is accessible through the person’s phone or tablet.

Involve Other Caregivers

You can encourage other people to add items to the schedule or create their versions.

For instance, a child’s teacher can create a separate visual schedule of a school day and keep it in the classroom. The child has easy access to their school routine and knows what to expect during it.

Start Small and Build Up

If the person has difficulty adopting new tools, it may help to start creating a schedule for simpler tasks.

This will give both yourself and the autistic person time to adjust to this new tool. Then, you can gradually add new items to the schedule or create separate ones for new goals.

Visual Schedules for Autistic Individuals: Free Resources

To create effective visual schedules, you can use these free resources as inspiration:

  • ABA Educational Resources – provides simple printable schedules for daily planning, chores, setting up a rewards system, and more;
  • A Day in Our Shoes – includes several colorful visual schedules and printable routine cards designed for children, but adults can also benefit from them;
  • Geneva Centre for Autism – offers simple visual schedules and other resources that can be printed or used as inspiration for personalized charts;
  • Habitica – an iOS and Android app that relies on gamification to increase productivity. It can also be used as an engaging visual schedule for people with ASD;
  • Kids ToDo List – a task tracker for iPhone and Android devices designed for children. It uses over 100 types of cards and also supports voice notes. The app also allows users to upload their photos to create new cards.

Final Thoughts

Visual schedules can provide both autistic individuals and their caregivers with an effective way to manage new challenges, reduce daily stress, and increase engagement.

The number one rule when creating these schedules is to put the needs of the autistic person first. Everything from the content to the format, colors, and types of visual aids must appeal to the person who’ll benefit most from it.

Provided they’re tailored to the unique needs of the person, visual schedules can be a reliable daily support.

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Examples and Templates to Save You Time

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Examples and Templates to Save You Time

In this post you will learn about independent functioning IEP goals and how you can write them to save you time.

Independent living is one of the major outcomes of an IEP. So, preparing for it should ideally start from earlier education levels and working on these skills throughout their education.

That said, independent functioning IEP goals might look different for different students, depending on the student’s abilities, age, and what their caretakers are focused on. 

Working with the school district and the student’s guardians should help you choose what independent functioning skills to add to your IEP goals. So here are some examples with various goals to help you and save you time.

Templates for IEP Goals

If your school district doesn’t specify a template for IEP goals, it could get a bit challenging to find one that’s both versatile and all-encompassing. Here are a couple I found helpful that include most parameters you should include in your goal development:

  • By (insert date), given (number & type of) prompts, (the student) will (accomplish goal), in (number/percentage of) trials over (number of) consecutive (days, weeks, or months) as measured by (testing methodology).
  • Given (accommodations, prompts), (the student) will (accomplish goal) in (conditions, setting), (to what extent) by (a certain date) as evaluated by (evaluation methodology).

Examples of Independent Functioning IEP Goals

The skills needed to live and function independently are widely varied and include many subcategories. For the sake of being thorough, I’ve divided them into goal clusters that should cover most bases and give you ideas to add more goals as you see fit.

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Nutrition Goals

  1. Hold and use a utensil correctly.
  2. Put an appropriate bite of food on the utensil and eat it.
  3. Chew the food adequately with the mouth closed.
  4. Try new flavor combinations.
  5. Wait for the food to cool and take small bites.
  6. Identify different food courses and savory/sweet foods that go in each one.
  7. Clear the table at home and put used plates and utensils in the sink.
  8. Wash hands before and after eating.
  9. Pack away leftover food before refrigerating.
  10. Pass around food and utensils at large gatherings.

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Hygiene and Grooming Goals

  1. Correctly identify body parts (by pointing at them).
  2. Identify tools for personal hygiene (hairbrush, toothbrush, soap, tap, bath, washcloth)
  3. Wash the face every morning.
  4. Brush teeth after every meal.
  5. Swish water or mouthwash without swallowing.
  6. Floss teeth (with regular floss or floss pick).
  7. Differentiate between hygiene products and household cleaning products.
  8. Use the bathtub to clean the body.
  9. Brush and style hair (curl, straighten, or use styling products)
  10. Apply deodorant thoroughly (roll-on or stick)
  11. Ask to use the restroom when needed and reply yes/no when asked.
  12. Follow a restroom use routine.
  13. Identify the correct restroom stall.
  14. Close the stall door.
  15. Adjust clothing before and after restroom use.
  16. Use toilet paper correctly.
  17. Flush the toilet correctly.
  18. Wash hands after using the toilet.

For more personal hygiene strategies, click here.

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Dressing Goals

  1. Identify the correct orientation of clothing (front, back, inside, and out).
  2. Learn how to put on underwear (boxers, briefs, bras, and undershirts).
  3. Learn how to put different tops on and off (T-shirts, shirts, and jackets).
  4. Learn how different bottoms go on and off (jeans, pants, and sweatpants).
  5. Learn how different shoes are fastened (velcro, tie, and slip-on).
  6. Identify season-appropriate clothing and how to tell the weather outside.
  7. Identify the correct personal clothing and shoe size when shopping. 
  8. Learn about accessories.
  9. Loop belts through pants and buckle them.
  10. Choose handbags or purses.
  11. Pick out jewelry (earrings, rings, bracelets, and necklaces).
  12. Learn how to take off accessories and store them after wear.
  13. Dress oneself fully.
  14. Learn about dressing for an occasion (work, dinner, a casual get-together, etc.).
  15. Choose an outfit independently.
  16. Change into the correct outfit when it’s time to go out.

For more dressing strategies, click here.

independent functioning IEP goals

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Safety Goals

  1. Identify edible and inedible items around the house.
  2. Identify choking hazards in edible foods.
  3. Identify hazardous items around the house (sharp knives, hot iron, etc.).
  4. Participate in fire, earthquake, and lockdown drills.
  5. Follow directions from authority figures during drills.
  6. Dial 911 during personal emergencies only.
  7. Identify community workers and what they respond to. 
  8. Learn how to describe an emergency to a responder.
  9. Locate the fire extinguisher and learn how to operate it.
  10. Locate the first aid kit and learn how to use every item.
  11. Operate a cell phone.
  12. Locate or dial emergency contact numbers on the cell phone.
  13. Learn about boundaries with strangers.
  14. Learn to search for a trusted figure in uncomfortable situations.
  15. Learn when to answer the door when home alone and when not to. 
  16. Learn how to avoid or clear dangerous materials like cleaning chemical spills or broken glass.
  17. Learn what to place inside a microwave oven and what not to.
  18. Learn about expiry dates and how to dispose of spoiled food.
  19. Learn what to do when you finish cooking (turn off the stove and open a window).
  20. Learn what to do before leaving the house (close windows, blow out candles, and lock doors)

For kitchen safety resources, click here.

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Communication Goals

  1. Identify name, address, and social security number on written documents.
  2. Write name and address when needed.
  3. Identify different types of written documents, like bills, letters, etc.
  4. Use a computer for written tasks.
  5. Use a web browser to access the internet.
  6. Learn about internet safety and how to communicate with strangers on the internet.
  7. Operate a cell phone for phone calls.
  8. Use the features on a smartphone like texting and accessing the internet.
  9. Use the internet to shop for items.
  10. Use the internet to pay bills.

Independent Functioning IEP Goals: Miscellaneous Goals

  1. Identify different furniture for various uses around the house.
  2. Call a professional when something breaks around the house (a plumber for water leaks, an electrician for broken light fixtures, etc.).
  3. Care for houseplants.
  4. Care for a pet.
  5. Keep the house in order (cleaning, tidying up, and doing laundry).
  6. Operate small appliances in the kitchen (blender, hand mixer, microwave oven, etc.).
  7. Read labels to know what’s inside a container.
  8. Read price tags and labels to identify item prices.
  9. Use cash or a debit card to pay for purchased items.

Are You Looking for Additional Help and Strategies for Functional Life Skills?

Check out my new Functional Life Skills Toolkit. It includes step-by-step resources for task analysis and goal development for autistic children, teens, and young adults.

Other Functional Life Skills Resources for You

The Mega Bundle of Functional Life Skills Resources for Teens and Adults

The Best Functional Life Skills Resources for Individuals with Autism

Breaking Barriers: Life Skill Goals for Teaching Independence

Executive Functioning Challenges with Task Initiation: Resources to Help Teach Life Skills