IEP Vision Statement Examples

The DOE states that the intent of the IEP Vision Statement is:
  1. to reflect the thinking of the entire IEP Team (including the parent and the student),
  2. to look forward to future goals of the student,
  3. to represent high expectations and dreams for the student, and
  4. to be reflective of federal requirements for transition aged youth. The character of the IEP Vision Statement will change based on the age of the student.

From DOE, Program Quality Assurance Services, Compliance and Monitoring, Question and Answer Guide, Fall 2002 PQA Area Meetings of Administrators of Special Education, Question #22. 

Some questions that Wrightslaw suggests you ask when creating your child's IEP vision statement include:
  • What are your future plans and long-term goals for your child?
  • What do you want your child to be able to do when he/she leaves the public school system?
  • What thoughts do the other IEP Team members have regarding your child? You might be surprised what they come up with.
  • What steps do you need to take to help your child meet these goals?

The vision statement is a visual picture that describes your child in the future.

(From Wrightslaw's article: Long-Term Planning & Your Child's IEP

A vision statement describes the student's and the family's hopes for the future.

This is the only place that long-term goals for your child are stated. The IEP Team works with the student and family to develop a vision tailored to the student's preferences and interests. This vision provides a common foundation for dialogue for the student, family, and educators. It helps the IEP Team focus on the whole child and his or her strengths and needs in the long term. (In Massachusetts, the vision is for 5 years into the future.)

The following vision statements are from: Nebraska Department of Education, Student and Family Vision

Elementary students:
  • John's family wants to see him get his temper under control so that he can participate in more general education classes next year. They would also like to see him develop neighborhood friendships.
  • Robert's family would like to see him become toilet-trained through the collaboration of home and school.
  • Jane and her family would like to see her improve in reading.
High School students:
  • John hopes to be competitively employed in a retail or office setting after high school, doing a job such as cashiering or data entry. Although he plans to live with his family for a while after graduation, he anticipates eventually getting his own apartment, perhaps with a roommate. He is not interested, at this time, in pursuing any post-secondary education.
  • Although Ray appears interested in future employment in the custodial area, his parents are not interested in having him pursue any further job training or job assistance at this time. Ray will continue to live with his family and has no plans for post-secondary education or training.
  • Mary plans to attend the community college to study child development. She will continue her job at the YMCA daycare center. She wants to live in an apartment with support and is on a waiting list to do so.
Below are samples from the vision statements from some of our members.
Preschool:
4-year-old preschooler with motor coordination, sensory integration, symbolic language, visual perception, fine motor, and social skills delays:
"The Team would like to see [this child] demonstrate growth in all areas so that he is able to access his skills and apply them to his learning environment at the same rate as his peers."
Elementary School:
Grade K, PDD/Autism:
He will function as a typical child, able to deal independently with novel situations, control his impulsivity and body, be flexible in his routines, interact appropriately with peers, and have a couple of best friends that he sees regularly in and outside of school. Although he may be a very active child and continue to have self-regulation issues, he will be able to show more self-control as needed. He will use his charismatic personality and spirit to develop leadership skills and become a strong contributor to his community.
Grade K, NLD:
We hope that by the fourth grade, with minimum modifications to the school's fourth-grade curriculum (and without the use of an aide), [our child] will be able to transition smoothly and develop the appropriate emotional and social skills for a fourth grader, with decreased anxiety. We further hope that he is able to develop lasting, successful friendships and relationships throughout his years at elementary school given that misinterpreting social cues and having a low frustration tolerance have been issues. It is also our hope that he will have learned respect for himself and others no matter what their misgivings.

We would also anticipate that [our child] will maintain his love for all areas of athletics which we believe will be an area of success for him and his self-esteem. It is our desire that he will continue to enjoy athletics and learn that playing a sport or any game with or without a team is not about winning but about learning to work at doing your best as a team player and developing lasting friendships from achieving common goals together.

Academically, we anticipate that [our child] will achieve in all subject areas at or above a fourth-grade level with little or no academic support as he has developed his own compensatory skills to adapt to his disabilities. We might even have discovered areas of giftedness at this point for him. It is our goal that if he does need to access academic or emotional and social support, he is able to advocate for himself without compromising his self-esteem.
Grade 1, LD:
The Team envisions [this child] as a well-adjusted student who is socially accepted by his peers and who reaches his potential academically. They want him to feel valued and to keep his love of learning. They see him as becoming a strong reader who is able to organize his ideas and express in writing all that he comprehends.
Grade 1, DD:
We see [our child] as a capable, compassionate, loving young man with potential for success. We would like to see him guided in school with the belief that he will succeed. We'd like to continue to see him supported with caring and positive reinforcement. We'd like to see [our child] given the gifts of time and patience to develop academically and physically. We'd like to see him become a successful and enthusiastic learner and develop the attitude that learning is an adventure. We'd like to see him develop physical strength and gross motor skills within range of his peers. We would like to see [our child] strengthen his fine motor skills and handwriting, as well as develop age-appropriate social skills.

Over the course of his elementary school years, we see [our child] improving his present levels of performance to reach challenging goals, to have a positive self-image and confidence, and to be aware of his value as a responsible member of the community.
Grade 2, PDD/Autism:
The Team's vision for [this child] is that he will continue to be placed in a typical inclusive environment with supports throughout the next five years. He will be a joyful 13-year-old with many interests and a couple of friends that he plays with regularly. Academically, he will be considered a good student.

[This child] will be more independent in the classroom and during unstructured times such as recess and lunch. He will be able to develop more peer relationships without adult facilitation. Also, he will be able to develop a better understanding of nonverbal communicators and expand his social language abilities in all settings. He will continue to be involved in team sports.

[This child] will develop at least one area of interest that he is passionate and skilled at (e.g., music or writing) and that will bring him self-esteem
Grade 4, MR:
We would like [our child] to be able to communicate reliably with all types of people in a variety of situations. We want him to have opportunities to socialize at school, at home, and in the community. Our hope is that his interest in solitary leisure activities will broaden beyond television and computers.

We see him able to use his math skills to cook, to buy things at the store, and to figure out quantities as related to his everyday activities. We want him to have a vocabulary encompassing common familiar words so he can recognize them in books, magazines, and recipes.

We see him completely independent in self-care skills such as toileting, dressing, and hygiene in the future. We hope to see him independently taking walks outside, riding a bus, and being aware of safety issues in the process. We would like to take him to places without his wandering off as soon as we turn our backs.

We see him healthy and safe in all areas of his life.

Grade 4, LD:
The mother envisions [her child] becoming a well-adjusted student who is socially accepted by his peers and who reaches his potential academically. He is very interested in all sports. He would like to be a vet or a police officer. His mother sees him transitioning successfully from elementary to middle school. In three years, she expects that he will transition successfully from middle school to high school on a college-bound track.
Grade 4, LD, ADD:
Our vision for [our child] is for him to achieve his potential academically. We want to see him become an independent learner. His attentional issues will be addressed in order for him to produce what he is capable of doing. We hope to see an increase in self-confidence along with independence. [Our child] has many interests for his future career. He had expressed an interest in becoming a music teacher, principal, judge, engineer, or architect.
Grade 5, Autism/PDD:
[This child's] parents would like to see him become more independent both in the area of academics and classroom supports. They would like to see him request what he needs appropriately. They would like to see him develop appropriate social skills with both adults and peers, succeed in the areas of strength, and increase his success in his areas of difficulty. His parents would also like to see him internalize grade importance and independent success in school and at home. They would like [this child] to become independent and integrated with his same-aged peers in traditional class and social activities.
Grade 5, NLD:
The Team envisions [this child's] self flourishing in school and at home. They envisions [this child] as a well-adjusted student who is socially accepted by her peers and will reach her potential with academic success. They can see [this child] working more independently and with a strong sense of socially acceptable skills. She will become a strong writer who is able to organize her ideas and express in writing all the she can comprehend. In three years, Team expects that [this child] will transition successfully from middle school to high school on a college-bound track.
Middle School:
Grade 6, NLD:
As parents, we envision [our son] as a successful student in both academics and extracurricular activities. He should have a lot of acquaintances and be well liked but will only have a couple of very close friends. He has a lot of general interests. Although we are not sure what career path he will follow in the future, we are sure he will do well and have the choice to pursue a college degree in the culinary arts or another area of interest.
Grade 7, NLD:
[This student] will develop the skills, through direct instruction and sufficient guided practice, to be an independent, motivated, and competent learner and a good friend.  She will retain her enthusiasm for life, people and animals.  Her sense of her abilities will grow through the acquisition of demonstrable knowledge and skills.  These skills will allow her to fulfill her dream of going to college and finding meaningful work in society.
Grade 8, LD:
We expect that [this student] will be reading and writing at grade level. In high school next year, we envision him getting the remediation and support necessary in order for him to achieve academic success. We would like to see him challenge himself intellectually by taking one or two honors-level classes per year in his designated area of interest. We hope this identified gap in reading and writing will not prevent him from pursuing a curriculum that is rich in content and intellectually stimulating. In his junior and senior years, we expect that [this student] will want to pursue one or two of the numerous Advanced Placement level classes offered at the high school.

[This student] will participate in the sports of his choosing. We would like to see him become involved with the music program or theater arts at the high school level. We would like to see him pursue his interests at the college level. We do not want community college to be his only option due to lack of support and progress regarding reading and writing issues.

He has a keen interest in making money. He was thinking that he might like to go into sports management. We would like him to pursue his dreams at a competitive college.
Grade 8, MR:
[This student]'s mother wants him to be safe. She would like him to be with peers with similar issues. She envisions him as a functional adult, able to care for himself.
High School:
Grade 9, AH/HD, LD:

We envision [our son] becoming a well-adjusted student who is socially accepted by his peers and who reaches his potential academically. He is very interested in technology. He excels in math and is interested in an engineering or science career. We expect that he will transition successfully from middle school to high school on a college level track.

Grade 9, LD, ADHD:
[This student] expresses an interest in pursuing post-secondary education on graduating from high school, with a possible interest in medicine. His parents envision him enrolling in the college preparatory course at the high school and being supported as needed, in the areas of reading, written language, receptive and expressive language, study and organizational skills, and self-advocacy skills.
Grade 9, LD:
[Name] envisions that [this student] will be able to organize her ideas and to strengthen her writing to the level of what she is capable of articulating verbally. She sees [the student] working independently by junior year and being able to pursue one or two advance placement classes that are offered at the high school.

[The student] will participate in high school softball or basketball and be an active member of the winter musicals. She will also continue her participation in chorus. Since [this student] was young she has aspired to work in the medical field either as a veterinarian or doctor. She envisions herself attending a competitive four-year college majoring in science.

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