Writing Behavior Goals

Behavior goals allow the IEP team to address and monitor targeted areas of behavioral need for the student; this may be a decrease in problem behavior, increase in general positive behavior, or use of a replacement behavior. Well-written goals allow the school team to accurately measure progress over time and to determine next-step goals for the student. Without explicit, measurable goals, our evaluation of "progress" may be inaccurate.

Throughout the PENT website, behavior change may be referred to as modifying behavior or changing behavior; it is important for the practitioner to understand that these terms include both the increase of desired behavior (e.g., general positive behavior or the use of replacement behavior) as well as the decrease in challenging behavior. Best practice states that a challenging behavior should not be targeted for decrease without also targeting desired behaviors to increase.

The PENT website provides comprehensive information on identifying areas of behavioral need to target with behavior goals, specific aspects of how to write legally defensible, measurable behavior goals, and general best practice information.

Goal Writing Resources

Desired Outcomes of Behavior Goals

Considerations for Selecting Behavior Goals

Types of Behavior Goals

Goal Components