Below is a story called “My Older Brother Daryl”. For me, this story illustrates what can happen when a student’s IEP doesn’t include goals with productive outcomes. As parents we need to always look at the IEP with life after graduation in mind. Because, the question isn’t if your child will graduate (she will - the district will push her through.) What will she do after she graduates? A high school diploma is the penultimate goal of education. A productive and fulfilling life is the ultimate goal of education. Get your child on the right track by including goals with productive outcomes.
Resource Link: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/regs/b/d/300.320
My Older Brother Daryl He's 18 years old, Trainable Mentally Retarded. Been in school 12 years. Never has been served in any other setting than elementary school. He has had a number of years of "individualized instruction. He has learned to do a lot of things! Daryl can now do lots of things he couldn't do before! He can put 100 pegs in a board in less than ten minutes while in his seat with 95% accuracy. But he cannot put quarters in a vending machine. He can do a 12 piece Big Bird puzzle with 100% accuracy and color the Easter Bunny and stay in the lines! He prefers music, but was never taught how to use a radio or cassette player. He can fold primary paper in halves and even quarters. But he can't fold his clothes. He can sort blocks by color; up to 10 different colors! But he can't sort clothes for washing. He can roll Play Dough and make wonderful clay snakes! But he can't roll bread dough and cut out biscuits. He can string beads in alternating colors and match them to a pattern on DLM card! But he can't lace his shoes. He can sing the ABC's and tell me names of all the letters of the alphabet when presented on a card in upper case with 80% accuracy. But, he can't tell the men's’ room from the ladies’ room when we go to McDonald's. He can be told it's cloudy and rainy and take a black felt cloud and put it on the day of the week on an enlarged calendar (with assistance). But he still goes out in the rain without a raincoat or hat. He can identify 100 different Peabody Picture Cards by pointing with 100% accuracy! But he can't order a hamburger by gesturing. He can walk a balance beam frontwards, sideways, and backwards! But he can't walk up the steps or bleachers unassisted in the gym to go to a basketball game. He can count to 100 by rote memory! But, he doesn't know how many dollars to pay the waitress for a $2.59 McDonald's coupon special. He can put the cube in the box, beside the box, behind the box. But he can't find the trash bin in a McDonald's and empty his trash in it. He can sit in a circle with appropriate behavior and sing songs and play "Duck, Duck, Goose." But nobody else in his neighborhood his age seems to want to do that. I guess he's just not ready yet.