Developing Asking for Help IEP Goals: Your Guide with Examples


Asking for help is a crucial skill that fosters independence and self-advocacy among students with special needs. This guide is designed to assist educators in creating effective IEP goals aimed at enhancing students’ abilities to recognize when they need assistance and to seek it appropriately.

Understanding the Importance of Asking for Help

Asking for help involves recognizing when one is unable to complete a task alone and effectively communicating the need for assistance. This skill is essential not only for academic success but also for personal development and independence. For students with special needs, learning to ask for help is part of developing self-advocacy skills, which are crucial for navigating both educational environments and everyday life.

The Significance of Asking for Help Goals in IEPs

Incorporating goals focused on asking for help into a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) empowers them to take control of their learning and personal needs. These goals promote confidence, reduce frustration, and facilitate better learning outcomes by ensuring students can access the resources they need when challenges arise.

Creating SMART Asking for Help IEP Goals

  • Specific: Clearly define what scenarios the student should recognize as needing help, such as during challenging classroom tasks, in social situations, or when dealing with emotional distress.
  • Measurable: Establish criteria to measure the student’s progress in asking for help, such as the frequency of appropriate requests or the decrease in instances where help was needed but not sought.
  • Achievable: Set realistic goals that consider the student’s communication skills and their ability to understand when and whom to ask for help.
  • Relevant: Ensure the goals relate to the student’s daily activities and learning objectives.
  • Time-bound: Specify a timeframe for achieving these goals.

Asking for Help IEP Goals and Compliance

Effective asking for help IEP goals should align with the student’s Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) and comply with educational standards under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This ensures that the goals are tailored to the student’s unique needs and contribute to their overall educational success.

  • Alignment with PLAAFP: Goals should be based on the student’s current ability to recognize and articulate needs.
  • Compliance with Legal Standards: Ensure that the goals meet IDEA requirements, supporting the student’s educational rights.
  • Measurable Outcomes: Each goal should have clear, observable criteria for evaluating progress.
Elevate Your Team’s Approach to IEP Meetings

Our Transition Planning Rubric is designed to support district leaders and educators in guiding their teams towards excellence in transition planning.

It provides comprehensive criteria that cover the breadth of transition planning, from gauging student engagement to evaluating post-secondary goals and services.

Why Use This Rubric?

  • Tailored Feedback: Utilize a structured scoring system to evaluate and enhance individual transition plans.
  • Fillable Format: Conveniently fill out the rubric digitally or print it for hands-on collaboration.
  • Action-Oriented Guidance: Benefit from a clearly defined path towards creating robust and legally compliant IEPs.

Expand your team’s capabilities and improve the success of IEP meetings.

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Asking for Help IEP Goals Samples

Disclaimer: These sample goals are illustrative. It’s important that each goal is customized to fit the individual needs of the student.

  • Academic Assistance: By (date), the student will ask for help from a teacher or peer in academic settings when they do not understand a task or cannot proceed, in 4 out of 5 opportunities, as observed by educators.
  • Social Assistance: By (date), the student will seek assistance when they cannot resolve a social conflict or feel overwhelmed in social settings, doing so in 3 out of 4 observed instances.
  • Emotional Self-Advocacy: By (date), the student will identify feelings of distress and communicate their need for support to a designated adult in 90% of occurrences.

Additional Examples of Asking for Help IEP Goals:

  • Procedural Understanding: By (date), the student will demonstrate the ability to ask for clarification on school procedures (such as lunch routines or library use) in 5 out of 5 instances when uncertain, as tracked by teacher observations.
  • Physical Needs: By (date), the student will request assistance with physical tasks (such as organizing their workspace or retrieving materials from high shelves) in 4 out of 5 opportunities when needed.
  • Homework Tasks: By (date), the student will independently decide to use a “homework helpline” or similar resource when stuck on homework assignments, making at least 3 calls per semester as documented by helpline logs.

Strategies for Teaching How to Ask for Help

  • Role-Playing: Use role-playing scenarios to practice different situations where asking for help is necessary, helping students understand how to approach teachers, peers, or family members.
  • Visual Aids: Provide visual aids that list steps or cues for asking for help to remind students of when and how to ask for assistance.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Encourage and reinforce instances where the student successfully asks for help, highlighting the positive outcomes of their actions.

More on Asking for Help IEP Goals

Developing robust asking for help goals within an IEP can significantly empower students, enhancing their ability to advocate for themselves and effectively navigate their learning environments. By fostering these skills, educators contribute to building students’ independence and resilience.

Leverage Ori Learning’s innovative strategies and resources to implement and track the progress of asking for help IEP goals, ensuring students can confidently manage their learning and interactions. Explore our educational solutions to see how we can support the development of these essential life skills.

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Jon Izak

Jon Izak is the founder and CEO of Ori Learning.

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Jon Izak
Jon Izak is the founder and CEO of Ori Learning.