You guys probably know by now that my brother has Down syndrome. We've been LIVE on Facebook almost everyday that he's been here. My mom is taking a vacation (Woohoo! We're excited for her!) which means that Robert and his dog are me and my daughters. His visit has just solidified the way I build IEPs even more than before. I've been an IEP advocate for 20 years after becoming a certified teacher. I always tell my brother that it's his fault that I have such high standards for special education outcomes. He's not the best reader and he's no math whiz, but he has the skills he needs to lead a productive life, mostly independent, with support from my mom. It's because I see what skills he needs as an adult and what skills his friends use in their lives that I am so harsh on getting ridiculous goals out of your child's IEP. If you can't think of two reasons that your child needs to learn a skill for their future - Ditch that skill out of the IEP and replace it with something meaningful. Common sense is truly missing when it comes to IEP goals in many of the IEPs that I see. My brother has bought us ice cream, paid for his coffee and never touched a penny, nickel, dime or quarter. He came to my house with 3, $20 bills in his wallet and knows the mechanics of completing a transaction. Done deal. He also knows if his cash runs out that he has money in the bank to use his debit card. Parents, I encourage you, to question your child's IEP goals! If you read those goals and think that maybe your child needs those skills or maybe not, it's time to look harder. Your child's IEP needs to be based in common sense on what your child is going to need for the future. Not what your child needs to exhaust themselves over to learn like everyone else. Let's individualize your child's IEP to build on strengths, address weaknesses when needed and most of all, let's get real life academic, behavior, social, and technology goals in your child's IEP! With Hope & Determination, Catherine Ready for help changing your child's IEP? 100% online IEP advocacy help for Special Needs Parents in ALL 50 states HERE.