Qualifying for Habilitation through DDD means creating appropriate goals that fit the scope of the service. These goals should focus on improving independent living skills for your loved one with Developmental Disabilities. Working towards these goals and witnessing them being accomplished is incredibly rewarding to our families and providers alike. An important part of this success is setting goals that are SMART.
Specific – Set a goal that is specific. Instead of saying, “Improve responsibility,” create a goal like, “Choose and perform one household chore each day,” or “Choose appropriate clothes for school and set them out the night before.” Think about what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, and why you want to set that goal.
Measurable – Create a goal you can measure and see the progress on. A measurable goal focuses on the amount, frequency, or timeline of something. A goal like “communicate better” isn’t measurable, but a goal such as, “Start a conversation with a family member asking a relevant question (What show are you watching? How was your day?) twice a day, four days a week, with only 2 verbal prompts,” is certainly measurable.
Attainable – It is always great to be ambitious and have big dreams. When setting habilitation goals, remember to forego comparisons and look at the individual—where he is currently at and past patterns of growth. Then create goals that stretch while still being attainable. Once those goals are achieved, then you can create goals in increasing difficulty. Be realistic when setting these goals. Habilitation is a journey, and these goals are important to keep you moving forward.
Relevant – Make sure these goals make sense for everyone involved. A key to developing relevant goals is considering the “why’ behind the goals. Just to get more hours should never be the motivation. Relevant Habilitation goals are developed with independent living skills as the focus. How will these goals help your loved one become more independent? There is plenty of opportunity for growth for all the right reasons leading the way!
Timely – Consider the timeline when creating goals. The ISP year is the general standard. But is your goal something specific that you would like accomplished before the end of a school year or before a specific milestone? Setting realistic timelines can help measure progress and keep you focused on development rather than the automatic default of next year’s ISP meeting.
Habilitation goals are important and we are so excited you are working every day towards achieving the goals you have set. As always, if you have questions or need additional support, please contact your Area Manager.

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