Start with a Vision
The purpose of any child’s education–including the sometimes intensive and expensive education in our children’s IEPs–is to prepare them for adulthood. The point of investing time and money into your child’s first 21 years of education is working, learning and living independently for the next sixty.
Think of the IEP as your roadmap, and the Vision Statement is your destination. How can you create a roadmap if you don’t know where you’re going?
If you don’t create a vision for your child, someone else will.
What do you want your child’s future to look like? Do you want her to be able to communicate her wants and needs? Handle his personal care needs independently? Read? Make friends? Leverage her strengths and interests to work? Put these in a vision statement (about a paragraph long) and include it in every IEP. All the goals should be consistent with the ultimate vision.
- Here is a worksheet to develop a sample vision statement.
- Here are some examples of vision statements:
- “Our vision for J is that he is given every opportunity to shine in this world, and to develop to his fullest potential. We hope that he always continues to lead with his warrior spirit, overcoming things that we thought he could never do. We pray that the people who will guide and teach J over his years and beyond will always treat him with dignity, respect and love. Lastly, we envision a seizure free future that will help minimize developmental barriers from his path of learning so J is able to reach his fullest potential.
- “To become a happy, productive adult prepared for further education, employment and independent living, we feel G needs to focus especially on three things: (1) Learning to be fluent reader, (2) Being able to communicate with back and forth conversation and (3) Making friends and building healthy relationships. To do these things, he needs to be in a safe learning environment with teachers who can teach to his complex learning style, such that he makes actual progress vis a vis appropriately challenging goals, in a community of like- and typically-developing peers.”