Developing Daily Living Skills IEP Goals: Your Guide with Examples


Daily living skills are essential for students to manage personal and practical tasks independently. This guide is designed to assist educators in creating effective IEP goals for daily living skills, aiming to enhance students’ abilities to perform everyday activities effectively and independently.

Understanding Daily Living Skills

Daily living skills encompass a broad range of practical abilities needed for everyday life, including personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, money management, and the use of public transportation. For students with special needs, mastering these skills is crucial for achieving independence and improving quality of life.

The Significance of Daily Living Skills Goals in IEPs

Incorporating goals focused on daily living skills into a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is vital for promoting self-sufficiency. These goals help students build the necessary competencies to perform day-to-day tasks, which are critical for their personal development and future independence.

Creating SMART Daily Living Skills IEP Goals

  • Specific: Define the specific daily living skills the student needs to develop, such as dressing themselves, preparing a simple meal, or managing a budget.
  • Measurable: Establish clear metrics to assess improvements, such as the level of assistance required, the time taken to complete tasks, or the accuracy of task completion.
  • Achievable: Set realistic goals that consider the student’s current abilities and potential for development.
  • Relevant: Ensure the goals are aligned with the student’s personal needs and future life scenarios.
  • Time-bound: Specify deadlines for progress reviews and goal achievement.

Daily Living Skills IEP Goals and Compliance

Effective daily living skills 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 personalized and actionable.

  • Alignment with PLAAFP: Goals should be based on the student’s current ability to perform daily living tasks as documented in their evaluations.
  • Compliance with Legal Standards: Confirm that the goals meet IDEA requirements, supporting the student’s right to an appropriate education.
  • Measurable Outcomes: Develop goals with observable and quantifiable criteria to facilitate effective monitoring of 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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Daily Living Skills IEP Goals Samples

Disclaimer: These sample goals should be customized to fit the individual needs of each student.

  • Personal Hygiene: By (date), the student will independently perform morning hygiene routines, including brushing teeth and combing hair, five days a week with 90% accuracy, improving from a baseline of 50%.
  • Meal Preparation: By (date), the student will prepare a simple meal using safe cooking techniques twice a week, increasing current ability from not participating to achieving this independently.
  • Money Management: By (date), the student will manage a personal budget for weekly expenses, making purchases and recording expenses accurately in 80% of opportunities.

Additional Examples of Daily Living Skills IEP Goals:

  • Laundry Skills: By (date), the student will independently sort, wash, and fold their laundry, completing the task weekly with 95% accuracy, improving from initial supervised sessions.
  • Shopping Skills: By (date), the student will create a shopping list, locate items in a store, and check out purchases, doing so in 4 out of 5 shopping trips independently.
  • Nutrition Management: By (date), the student will plan and prepare balanced meals using guidelines for healthy eating, applying these skills in daily meal preparation with minimal supervision.

Strategies for Teaching Daily Living Skills

  • Task Analysis: Break down each skill into smaller, manageable steps and teach each step individually until mastery is achieved.
  • Modeling and Role-Playing: Demonstrate tasks in real-life settings and use role-playing to practice skills in a controlled environment.
  • Visual Aids: Use charts, checklists, and visual schedules to remind students of the steps involved in each task and to promote independence.

More on Daily Living Skills IEP Goals

By focusing on daily living skills in IEPs, educators can equip students with the essential abilities needed for personal independence and societal integration. These skills not only foster self-reliance but also enhance students’ confidence and potential for future success.

Explore Ori Learning’s resources to find comprehensive strategies and materials that support the implementation of effective daily living skills IEP goals. Our curriculum is designed to provide educators with effective tools to enhance instruction and support the development of crucial 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.