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S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps

Disabilities do not define the future of our nation’s children. We are here to make sure everyone has the resources and skills to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is ambitious and attainable.

 

No matter what type of disability a child struggles with, it is important to understand that IEP goals drive everything. Goals directly determine what special services are needed, offered, and funded.  Poorly constructed goals can result in a lack of progress. Well-developed IEP goals must be specific to the child which are challenging, attainable, and measurable. When goals are properly developed, the benefits to all stakeholders are immeasurable. When goals are fragmented, everyone loses.

 

Constructing effective IEP goals can be daunting for all involved.  Our proprietary process meets all federal regulations and is proven effective at driving progress for students. S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps offers an abundance of resources to help parents, educators, administrators and advocates understand the significance of well-developed goals and guide them through the process in a simplified, 7-step process.

JOIN TODAY!

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps

Disabilities do not define the future of our nation’s children. We are here to make sure everyone has the resources and skills to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that is ambitious and attainable.

 

No matter what type of disability a child struggles with, it is important to understand that IEP goals drive everything. Goals directly determine what special services are needed, offered, and funded.  Poorly constructed goals can result in a lack of progress. Well-developed IEP goals must be specific to the child which are challenging, attainable, and measurable. When goals are properly developed, the benefits to all stakeholders are immeasurable. When goals are fragmented, everyone loses.

 

Constructing effective IEP goals can be daunting for all involved.  Our proprietary process meets all federal regulations and is proven effective at driving progress for students. S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps offers an abundance of resources to help parents, educators, administrators and advocates understand the significance of well-developed goals and guide them through the process in a simplified, 7-step process.

JOIN TODAY!

Parents

Advocates

Educators, Therapists & Counselors

Administrators

Like all parents, you want your child to have every advantage. As the parent of a child with a disability, you probably feel frustrated that your child has additional obstacles to overcome. Please know that you are not alone, and you are not powerless. There are things you can do to ensure your child obtains the help needed to achieve success.

Your love for children drives you to fight for the best possible outcomes for them. When it comes to advocating for your clients, everyone wants the same result, but finding a way to get there can be challenging. We have developed the tools to help you navigate success for the children and families you serve.

You want each of your students to reach their full potential and do all you can to make it happen. You have a lot on your plate and writing IEP goals can be a laborious and time intensive process.  You may not have been adequately trained on goal writing strategies. Now, there is a process that helps you be more time efficient and enables you to guide students to better overall achievement.

You expect a lot from your staff. Retaining teachers who continue to give their all is key to your school’s success and the success of your students. The special education laws can be confusing, and the resources for implementing appropriate goals, sparse. Not doing it well means poor student progress, disgruntled parents, teacher burnout, and possible legal complications. Our tools for creating effective IEP Goals can result in improved progress for students and increased parent satisfaction.  This in turn, will yield reduced anxiety for school staff and fewer instances of Due Process.

Parents

Like all parents, you want your child to have every advantage. As the parent of a child with a disability, you probably feel frustrated that your child has additional obstacles to overcome. Please know that you are not alone, and you are not powerless. There are things you can do to ensure your child obtains the help needed to achieve success.

Advocates

Your love for children drives you to fight for the best possible outcomes for them. When it comes to advocating for your clients, everyone wants the same result, but finding a way to get there can be challenging. We have developed the tools to help you navigate success for the children and families you serve.

Educators, Therapists, & Counselors

You want each of your students to reach their full potential and do all you can to make it happen. You have a lot on your plate and writing IEP goals can be a laborious and time intensive process.  You may not have been adequately trained on goal writing strategies. Now, there is a process that helps you be more time efficient and enables you to guide students to better overall achievement.

Administrators

You expect a lot from your staff. Retaining teachers who continue to give their all is key to your school’s success and the success of your students. The special education laws can be confusing, and the resources for implementing appropriate goals, sparse. Not doing it well means poor student progress, disgruntled parents, teacher burnout, and possible legal complications. Our tools for creating effective IEP Goals can result in improved progress for students and increased parent satisfaction.  This in turn, will yield reduced anxiety for school staff and fewer instances of Due Process.

Featured

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. STEPS™ GUIDE TO CREATING Smarter IEP GOALS: 7 Step Prompting System for Developing Compliant Goals (Volume 1)

 

The Individualized Education Program process is familiar to any educator in special education, but the details of the system may not have been fully explored. IEPs allow for disabled students to receive a quality education and individualized learning. It is imperative for educators to follow the mandates outlined for IEPs.

The S.M.A.R.T.E.R. STEPS™ GUIDE TO CREATING SMARTER IEP GOALS serves as a way to check the legal compliance of IEP goals and train educators to work toward this compliance. It outlines the thirteen federal mandates related to IEP goals and presents information and research in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Included appendices help test readers on their new knowledge with a quiz, worksheet, reflection page, and additional resources.

Authors Kelly Ott, MEd, MHS, CCC-SLP, and Lara Wakefield, PhD, CCC-SLP, focus on how important it is not only for educators to have this information but for administrators as well. Too much time and energy is lost in miscommunications between the two different groups. When you add in concerned parents, the focus may shift away from the students and lead to personality clashes. With a solid foundation for IEPs and a thorough understanding of the mandates, these conflicts can be avoided.

J.D. Special Educator

5.0 out of 5 stars

June 30, 2017

Format: Paperback | Verified Purchase

This book was extremely helpful for me. As a special education teacher, I did not receive much training in how to write legally compliant IEP goals. I wasn't aware of the legal requirements and tended to just do "what I've always done." This book is helping me before mindful in my goal writing. I have noticed that the students with SMARTER goals are having better outcomes. The parents are move involved with this SMARTER system because it makes more sense to them as we walk through the acronym in IEP meetings. Another bonus for me is that my special education administrator approved this book for my professional development plan for the school year! It has everything built in to the book for your PDP: Plan template, Reflection guides, Quiz to demonstrate mastery, and the PDP Tracking form for my supervisor! These authors have clearly thought of everything you need to make a PDP EASY. Best part: I get PDP credit while I'm in IEP meetings creating SMARTER goals. It's a win-win for the students, parents, and me.

Mom 2 the Bean & Bear

5.0 out of 5 stars

May 21, 2017

Format: Paperback | Verified Purchase

Simple framework for writing strong goals. Only challenge now is to convince school districts that legally compliant goals are in their best interest! The book is a quick read, but putting the strategy into practice takes time and practice. But do practice! It is worth it!

Jessica S.

5.0 out of 5 stars

March 1, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase

Fabulous book to add to my tool box as a special education advocate! I recommend this book highly to parents and professionals who want to make sure the goals they set for they're their students make a big impact on their educational experience.

JB

5.0 out of 5 stars

April 24, 2017

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

For parents and professionals needing to learn or update their familiarity and expertise with the IEP process, this book is right on target.

Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars

March 13, 2018

Format: Paperback

Amazing book that I will continue to use and reference time and time again. Has all of the info you need to write compliant IEP that bring about student success and positive family involvement

Memberships

The Smarter Steps Membership gives you tools and ongoing support to make your life easier. We have hand-crafted each webinar, product, and service based on 50 years of combined experience in the field of education and rehabilitation. We have worked with families and school staff to address the multiple needs of IEP teams.

Our mission is to increase optimal outcomes for children with special needs and reduce stressful parent-school disputes. We know that one of the best ways to empower parents and school staff is through training, continuing education, and consultation.

Further, we know that “one and done” webinars are not the most successful in creating change or staying current. That’s why we provide continuous training and open communication with our members so we can customize and adapt tools for each person’s needs. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives to make the world a better place for children with special needs. At SMARTER Steps, your goals are our goals.

Consultation And Training

Consultations and trainings include:
• Certification Training for individuals and groups
• Professional Development Plans
• Group/Individual Seminars
• Individual Consultation

Who we are

Kelly Ott and Lara Wakefield met in 1992 as graduate students at the University of Missouri, Columbia, in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program. It was a time before email and smartphones, when medical charts were still hand written.  IEP documentation was required in carbon copy, triplicate form. Over the years, they gained experience in a variety of settings, having worn many different hats as both professionals and caregivers.

Testimonial

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Dr. Lara Wakefield is the brightest person I have ever run across in this field. She truly is devoted and highly knowledgeable. We were blind sided by a medical diagnosis and Lara was a life saver in getting my kid the resources she needed and deserved. She was 110% more effective than the school faculty. I don’t mean that disrespectful in any means, I love our educators, Lara was just better informed. - Christina L. Robinson

Subscribe to view our FREE Webinar

"How to Save Time and Develop Legally Compliant IEP Goals"

“How to Save Time and Develop Legally Compliant IEP Goals” is the overview webinar of the SMARTER Steps system.  Learn this easy 7-step prompting system to gain a solid foundation on how to develop goals for optimal outcomes for children with IEPs. This webinar is for everyone: parents, advocates, school staff, administrators, college students, and university instructors.  This webinar is 1 hour and 30 minutes in length and was recorded on 5-21-18. This is an example of our SMARTER series recorded webinars available through our membership program.

You'll be redirected to our FREE webinar upon sign-up!

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98 Corporate Lake Dr
Columbia, Missouri 65203

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