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How do I Set and Achieve Goals for Aakash

When I started with homeschooling for Aakash, I was pondering on the goal setting for him. Setting goal that will meet his educational needs and take him to the next level was one aspect of it. But another aspect was that I was owning his full day i.e all of his waking hours which could be minimum of 16 hours. It presented lot of opportunities to do many things but there was also an overwhelming fear of whether I could do anything at all.

Also as I was going to be the teacher at home, I wanted some independent view of the goals that could be taken for him. Also needed a reviewer to verify the progress we were making. One of the therapists who earlier worked with Aakash came to our rescue.  She agreed to help me set the goals and to review the progress we (myself and Aakash) were making occasionally as well.

This support helped me make my first step in homeschooling with confidence. The reviews she did was very helpful. I had taken videos of our activities which helped in the review process and setting the next set of goals.

After a point of time I started to setup the goals by myself. This article is a summary of my experience in this area.

Areas for setting goals

Aakash was not very much into arts, crafts or sports. Play sort of activity was also not a big attraction for him. Considering his interest areas and limitations like above, I started of the goals in these areas:
(i)                  ADL(Activities for Daily Living)
(ii)                Sensory needs management
(iii)               Communications
(iv)              Speech
(v)                Socialisation and
(vi)              Academics

Approach for setting the goals
But the above are very the growth areas to focus. But for setting up of a specific, workable goal, I take his
a. interest
b. strength
c. things he need to know and
d. logical steps to accomplish something,
into consideration.

Let me explain this with an example.

1.       Aakash’s one of the interest was to drink milk as soon as he got up in the morning
2.       His strength is visuals
3.       So considering his interest/need at that time (drinking milk first thing in the morning), his strength at that time (picture communication), developed my first logical goal as “exchange picture for getting milk”.

Once he learnt to exchange picture, the next goal was to say “Milk”. When I worked with his goal, at a point time of time he said “Mi” sound along with giving me the picture.

Once he was able to say Milk properly I took the next goal where he will be able to verbalise “Give Milk”. Now I am working on making him say,”Can you give me milk”?

How do I achieve the goals?

Simple approach I follow to achieve the goals are

1.       Jot down the goals in a paper
2.       Break the goals in to smaller steps(wherever possible)
3.       Prepare materials/visuals myself to achieve goals.       Buy books/download related YouTube videos/buy educational CDs if available/apps related to goals.

I do these basic preparation to any of the goals I have taken.

How to jot down the goals in the paper

This is the sheet I use to list down the goals. This goal sheet keeps me reminding of the goals I have taken.

Break the goals into smaller steps
This is nothing but steps involved in achieving the goals. Please visit some of my specific articles like Brushing through links below to break the goals into simple tasks.

Prepare materials/visuals
Now I started to use readymade books and online resources. When I started homeschooling, I prepared customized materials. I will explain how I customize the material in separate posting. But below link (on my experience of teaching colours to my son) should give you an idea in terms of the materials and visuals I prepare for teaching a concept

Hope this article gave you an idea of the goal setting process and ways to accomplish them. However setting goals in each and every area like ADL, sensory management are separate subjects by themselves. I will write separate articles about my experience on them.

Please click the following link for a comprehensive documentation of my journey with Aakash:

Here is the link to the playlist of Activities done with Aakash, in YouTube: