Functional, Prioritized Outcomes
of Family and Professional Views of Outcomes
portion of the IFSP meeting should include a discussion
of the family's and professional's views about important
family/child outcomes that would be possible in the
next 6 months.
The family should be provided an opportunity to share
the wishes or goals they have for their child/family
in this upcoming 6 month period. They should be encouraged
to elaborate on
they have tried themselves already and
what specifically they are hoping people on the
team could do to help achieve that outcome.
person designated as a "recorder" should
be noting these family-identified wishes/goals on
the professionals at the meeting should engage each
other in a conversational discussion highlighting
what they believe to be important for the child/family.
This might include a quick review of recommended targets
by the MDT (not recommended services),
child care provider, grandparents, physician, nurse,
social worker, etc. Professionals will need to provide
justification/rationale for these suggestions, especially
if they differ from those proposed by family members.
recorder should be noting these professional-identified
wishes on paper.
of Family- and Professional-Identified Outcomes
recorder can now outline/summarize all the nominated
wishes/goals. Family and professionals should rank
order the outcomes in order of priority. This can
be done individually on paper and shared or collectively
as a group process. Factors to consider when prioritizing
Importance to family members
Likelihood of family and team acting on the outcome
within the next 6 months.
Probability that attention to the outcome will result
in change in the next 6 months
the IEP for older children in the public schools,
the IFSP is not an education-only document and should
aim to address outcomes targeted at family as well
as child needs. Not all families will have or want
family concerns or outcomes listed on the IFSP. However,
when family concerns related to care and raising of
the child with special needs have been identified
and discussed (listed on page 2), every effort should
be made to identify possible resources to address
them and list outcomes desired to resolve the concern.
team should agree which, if not all, listed outcomes
will be a priority and the focus of the IFSP for the
next 6 months. Left-over outcomes on the list can
be incorporated into other outcomes or simply listed
as topics requiring ongoing discussion/evaluation
during the next 6 months. For example:
will determine need to pursue communication systems,
electric wheel chairs, safety helmets, speech therapy
and home-health care in the year ahead."
should be worded as observable behaviors or products
the team wishes to see or have in place in 6 months.
It is not helpful to write outcomes as "improvements"
or "increases" in specific behaviors. Outcomes
should not be a description or listing of services
to be provided. Futhermore, the outcomes for the
IFSP, unlike the IEP should be worded to reflect the
family's understanding of the the outcome. Federal
law does not specify how to phrase the wording of
the IFSP outcomes other than to say they should reflect
the family's words and wants. This requires that families,
services coordinators, and others involved in the
IFSP process engage in conversations about realistic
and useful outcomes for the family.
or all prioritized outcomes may require rewording
to satisfy the intentions of all present. Whenever
possible, vocabulary and phrasing used by the family
should be used to write the outcome on the IFSP form.
will be able to sit without much support for play
and feeding activities."
improve overall muscle tone."
will be able to safely travel with Romeo in the
Coordinator will explore options for financial
assistance for travel chairs.
take a look at some comments/suggestions parents and
team members have made for possible outcomes. After
each is an example of how that goal can be made more
specific and possibly more helpful.
Coordinator: Family will be empowered.
Specific Outcome: Family will be able to identify
needed community resources in addition to those offered
by the treatment team.
Family is open to receiving services.
Specific Outcome: Family will pursue/secure additional
respite care available through the local church and
We want what is best for Thomas.
Specific Outcome: Family will work with Thomas on
developing communication skills by learning about
appropriate communication milestones and methods to
encourage his communication.
Therapist: Jose will improve large motor skills.
Specific Outcome: Jose will successfully crawl, pull
himself to sitting position, and reach for objects.
Sasha will learn age appropriate social skills.
Specific Outcome: Sasha will have daily opportunities
to play and interact with other childrenn.
Pathologist: Johann will learn language skills.
Specific Outcome: Johann will use gestures and simple
words to identify needs and wants.
here for other specific and general examples of
outcomes; note the wording as well as the type of
behavior/event that is targeted in each.
Click here to view the sample IFSP you have been following.