What are some Dressing IEP goals for Adaptive Skills?

adaptive iep goals dressing

Teaching independence to preschoolers with DRESSING IEP goals

Teaching preschoolers to dress themselves is one of the first adaptive IEP goals that you might consider! Dressing is one of the first chance for littles to express their own personality and preferences. Also, if they can dress themselves, it’s less for YOU to do as the parent or teacher! Gives them autonomy and independent living skills!

So here are some ideas to teach adaptive skills with dressing IEP goals to preschool or special education students.

The dressing IEP goals and programs listed here contain lots of materials you might find helpful when teaching adaptive dressing skills to your child or student. Whether you are a parent, a special education teacher, an Occupational Therapist, or a BCBA working on the ABLLS-R® assessment, I hope this helps!

  • IEP goal written with SMART framework. Objectives broken down for you! If you want editable programs, check out these.
  • Data collection set up with paper data PLUS Google™ Sheets data which will even graph the results for you.
  • Task analysis for each skill all prepared for you.
  • Teacher and student reference cards. Teacher can use these to help randomize all the goals they may be working on with a student, and students can use them for visual prompts and help.
  • Visuals reinforcement and other prompts like token boards, coloring pages, practice activities, and completion certificates.

Dressing Pants

When teaching pants skills, I’ve found that starting with up and down is the place! I like to use backward chaining when working on dressing skills, so leaving the very last step in a task analysis (or sequence) is a great place to start. For example, after changing a diaper, pull the pants up ALMOST all the way, and then help your student just pull up the last little bit. They’ll begin to feel accomplished, plus, it’s hard for them to walk off if their pants are around their hips!

Sample IEP goal: When given a verbal or environmental cue to “pull pants up/down,” STUDENT will complete the routine without assistance improving dressing skills from BASELINE to both on and off in 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities across three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

pants iep goal

Dressing Shoes and Sock plus Shoe Tying

Shoes and socks iep goal

While we don’t expect 3-year-olds to tie their shoes (just yet!), there are lots of fine motor skills and life skills that can be practiced with shoes and socks. They love to go outside! So lots of opportunities to practice are built into your day. Use these natural opportunities and build in a little extra time for them to learns these important adaptive skills.

Sample IEP goal: When given a verbal or environmental cue to “take shoes on/off,” STUDENT will complete entire shoe routine (tying laces not required) without assistance improving dressing skills from BASELINE to both on and off in 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities on three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

Dress Shirt

It’s important to start with EASY shirts like large and loose pullover shirts, but don’t forget those button shirts! Initially, you want to just teach putting them on. Buttoning is a fine motor skill you can work on separately. Good idea: choose favorite character shirts for motivation and start with those loose and easy-to-put-on shirts!

Sample IEP goal: When given a verbal or environmental cue to “put on/remove shirt,” STUDENT will complete the routine without assistance improving dressing skills from BASELINE to both on and off in 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities across three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

shirt iep goal

Dressing Zipping and Buttoning

zip button IEP goals

Really important fine motor skills because they assist in your student gaining that important independence in their daily living! Learning to zip and button their own clothing will give them a sense of growth and accomplishment. Consult your OT if you need ideas on practice activities! I like to use pushing tokens into slits in boxes or envelopes for buttoning, for example.

Sample IEP goal: When given a verbal or environmental cue to button or unbutton, STUDENT will complete on clothing without assistance improving dressing skills from BASELINE to buttoning and unbuttoning on own clothing in 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities across three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

Dressing Coat

Let’s go to recess! Great natural opportunities, again, to practice those fine motor and adaptive skills. Students, especially littles, LOVE to go outside, so give yourself a few extra minutes to allow them time to practice putting on and taking off their coat. They’ll be motivated!

Sample IEP goal: When given a verbal or environmental cue to “put on/take off coat,” STUDENT will complete the routine without assistance improving dressing skills from BASELINE to both on and off in 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities across three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

coat iep goal

You might also like these programs (more added soon!):

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