25 IEP Goals for Supporting ADHD Through Organization Skills | TeachTastic

Updated: Apr 23


In today's world, organizing oneself is crucial for success. It doesn't matter if you are a student in school or an adult in the workforce. However, you will likely struggle if you can't keep your belongings and papers in order. This is especially true for students with ADHD. Fortunately, there are some things teachers can do to help these students develop basic organizational skills.

One of the best ways special education teachers can help a student with ADHD develop organizational skills is to give them specific and achievable goals. For instance, if a student has trouble keeping track of what homework is due on what day, have them make a list of all their assignments and post it in a visible place. You can also help them break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help them stay on track and avoid feeling overwhelmed.


It's also important to provide students with ADHD with plenty of structure and routine. They need to know what is expected of them and what will happen each day in order to feel comfortable and stay on track. This might mean setting a specific time each day for homework or having a regular routine for checking in with each teacher.


In addition to these strategies, it's also important to praise students when they do well. ADHD can be frustrating and challenging, so it's important to build up their self-esteem. When a student with ADHD accomplishes a goal, big or small, make sure to commend them for their efforts. This will help them feel good about themselves and encourage them to keep trying.


IEP Goals for Organization and Planning

The following are some general ideas for iep goals for organization that can be adapted to meet the individual needs of each student.


5 IEP Goals to Improve Organization Skills

  1. The student will develop a routine for completing homework assignments, including specific times to start and finish work

  2. The student will establish a system for keeping track of school materials and belongings

  3. The student will create a plan for packing and preparing for trips and vacations

  4. The student will create and follow a plan to organize personal materials

  5. The student will learn how to set priorities and make decisions about what is most important

  6. The student will develop a routine for checking and responding to email, text messages, and social media notifications

Closely Tied Iep Goals for Self-monitoring

Self-monitoring means the student's ability to monitor their own performance and compare that performance to the required or anticipated standards.


5 IEP Goals for Self-monitoring

These iep goals are often needed to support students with self-monitoring deficits and difficulties with executive functioning skills.

  1. The student will be able to identify when they need to use a specific skill to complete a task (e.g., planning, organizing, problem-solving).

  2. The student will be able to select the appropriate skill for the task at hand.

  3. The student will be able to use a given skill as needed to complete the task.

  4. The student will be able to monitor their own progress in using a given skill.

  5. The student will be able to adjust their behavior as needed based on their progress monitoring.

Impulse Control and Emotional Control Executive Function Goals

Inhibition can be used to stop a particular behavior in the appropriate way at the right time. The ability to stop and think before acting is an important skill for children with emotional control issues. Children who struggle with impulse control may have difficulty following through with tasks or behaving in socially appropriate ways.


Organizational performance goals include the following areas for students who suffer from inhibition or a negative attitude towards emotions.

  • monitoring emotions

  • identifying and describing emotions

  • labeling emotions

  • expressing emotions in an appropriate way

  • regulating emotions

These goals help students to understand, identify, and manage their feelings. This can be important in academic as well as social settings. For example, a student with good emotion control may be less likely to get frustrated and act out when working on a difficult task and may be more likely to have positive relationships with classmates.


Emotional control means that the mind can influence the emotional response and bring rational thought into effect. Impulse control must be mastered before emotional control can be exerted. It is a process that starts with the ability to delay gratification, to stop and think before taking an action.


Self-regulation is the ability to keep oneself in check regarding thoughts, feelings, and actions. It is a skill that is necessary for success in life. For example, a child who can regulate their emotions and impulses will be less likely to have discipline problems at school or get into fights with others.


All of these skills are important for success in life, but they are especially crucial for children with behavioral issues. When designing IEP goals, it is important to target the specific skills that a child needs to work on. Inhibition, emotional control, and other executive function skills can be difficult to master, but with practice and guidance, most children can improve their skills in these areas.


5 Executive Functioning Iep Goals for Impulse Control

These iep goals are often needed to support students with impulse control issues.

  1. The student will be able to identify the impulse control strategies that work best for them.

  2. The student will be able to stay on task when given a specific assignment.

  3. The student will be able to resist tempting distractions.

  4. The student will be able to complete tasks in a timely manner.

  5. The student will be able to cooperate with adult requests and instructions.

5 Executive Functioning Iep Goals for Emotional Control

These iep goals are often needed to support students with emotional control concerns

  1. The student will be able to identify and verbalize their emotions.

  2. The student will be able to calm themselves down when they are upset.

  3. The student will be able to regulate their emotions in social situations.

  4. The student will be able to tolerate frustration without becoming overwhelmed or angry.

  5. The student will be able to problem-solve when faced with a difficult situation.

Additional Executive Functioning Iep Goals for Adhd Students

Some of the best iep goals for young people with ADHD relate to improving focus, organization, and time management. For students who have trouble with focus, setting goals may include the following:

  • The student will be able to complete a task in a specific amount of time.

  • The student will be able to work on one task for a specific amount of time without being interrupted.

For students who have difficulty organizing their tasks or schoolwork, some goals might include:

  • The student will be able to create and follow a schedule.

  • The student will be able to keep track of belongings and assignments.

Lastly, for students who have trouble managing their time, some goal examples would be:

  • The student will learn how to estimate how long a task will take.

Also helpful in this area, students can be taught to identify and label flexible and stuck behaviors. For example, a student with ADHD may struggle to stay on task during a test. They may exhibit flexible behavior by working for a short period of time and then taking a break. On the other hand, a student with ADHD may struggle to focus on any task for an extended period of time. This student may exhibit stuck behavior by working for a longer period of time but never taking a break.


Once students become aware of their own flexible and stuck behaviors, they can begin to implement strategies to help them overcome these challenges. For example, a student with ADHD who exhibits flexible behavior may use a timer to help them stay on task during a test. A student with ADHD who exhibits stuck behavior may use a break timer to remind them to take a break after a certain amount of time has passed.


Support Area for Executive Functioning Skills

3 visual supports to increase organization skills

There are many different ways to help a student improve their organization skills. One approach is to provide supports that will help them see what they need to do and when they need to do it. Three visual supports that can be helpful in this regard are calendars, checklists, and flow charts.


Calendars can help students keep track of what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis or over an extended period of time. For example, a student might use a calendar to track upcoming tests, assignments, and due dates.


Checklists can help students keep track of the individual steps involved in completing a task. For example, a student might use a checklist when packing for a trip to make sure they have everything they need.


Flow charts can help students see the logical sequence of steps involved in completing a task. For example, a student might use a flow chart to map out the steps they need to take to finish their homework.


All of these visual supports can be created using various tools, including paper and pencil, electronic devices such as computers and tablets, or specialized software programs. It is important to work with the student to find the best approach for them. For example, some students prefer to use paper and pencil, while others prefer electronic tools. Some students also do better with highly graphical representations such as flow charts, while others prefer more text-based representations such as checklists.


Another approach for helping students improve their organization skills is through are graphic organizers as part of their everyday learning strategies.

It is also important to remember that these supports should not be used in isolation. Instead, they should be used in combination with other strategies that are designed to help the student improve their organization skills.

One way to help students improve their organization skills is to break down the complex task into individual tasks that can be assigned and tracked. This can help ensure that the student is making progress on the task and can see their progress. It can also help reduce the sense of overwhelming associated with complex tasks and allow for greater levels of task success.


Similarly, a student might use a flow chart to map out the steps they need to take to finish their homework, and they might also use a checklist for visual reminders to make sure they have all of the materials they need and accurately identify individual tasks.


Ultimately, it is important to practice executive functioning skills, find what works best for the individual student, and provide as much support as possible to help them improve their organizational skills. Direct instruction, teacher observation, and fading of adult support are key components to teaching organization skills to students with ADHD.


Thanks for reading! I hope this article has been helpful in giving you some ideas about how to help your students with ADHD develop basic organizational skills.


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