IEP Goal Examples: Functional Routines

My goal is always to help other teachers with things that I struggled with. In my experience, it was hard to ask for help and I wanted people to believe that I had it all together. Being an educator is hard, and after my experiences, I learned that asking for help is necessary in avoiding burnout and there are so many people willing to help. I hope that these IEP example posts are helpful, useful, and realistic for everyone.
Functional routines are life skills and are the routines we engage in on a day to day, or almost day to day basis. Functional skills are important to teach our learners in order to increase their independent living. These skills differ between ages and grades and the goals and next steps for our learners will always be individualized. You may have a learner who would benefit from having a goal in one or more functional routines. In that case, I have found it to be beneficial to have no more than # functional routine goals in place. This allows us to track data and backwards chain the teaching steps with fidelity which then increased opportunities for modeling, teaching, generalizing and gaining independence.
In this post, I will share goals that can be written for our early learners all the way up to some higher independent living skills. My past IEP goal posts have focused more on our early learners, but this list of examples was hard to shorten. These routines and skills will help our learners towards an independent life. Two of my go to assessments for these life skills are the AFLS (assessment of functional living skills) and the functional routine teaching plans and task analyses from STAR (strategies for teaching based on autism research).
  1. _____ will identify personal information that are in 5 different fonts with 90% independence across 2 consecutive days.
    1. Identify name
    2. Identify address
    3. Identify parent and siblings names
  2. _____ will follow a 3 step manual of instructions for a simple appliance with 90% independence across 3 consecutive days.
  3. _____ will using a calendar for a visual to expressively label the date when asked between 3 different adults with 90% accuracy across 4 consecutive data points.
  4. _____ will follow 2 step directions involving crossing space of a classroom with 90% independence across 3 consecutive days. 
  5. ______ will engage in the handwashing routine with 90% independence across 2 consecutive days. 
  6. _______ will perform the dressing routine including at least 3 pieces of clothing with 90% independence across 4 data points.
  7. _____ will locate the public restroom in 5 different buildings within their community with 90% independence across 2 consecutive days with at least 2 different adults.
  8. _____ will identify the appropriate piece of clothing for the weather shown in a picture with 90% independent across 2 consecutive data points when choices are presented in a field of 5.
  9. _____ will engage in the tooth brushing routine (get out toothbrush, get out toothpaste, put toothpaste on the toothbrush, brush the back bottom teeth, back top teeth, front bottom teeth, and front top teeth, rinse mouth, put away toothbrush and toothpaste with 90% independence across 2 consecutive days.



  1. Hi Heather!
    Thank you so much for this post! I love your sequencing strips! Did you make them or get them from somewhere? I love to use them with my students to increase independence!


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