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Speech Therapy Goals: A Step By Step Guide

This step by step guide has everything you need for appropriate and successful speech therapy goals. It includes sample goals for expressive and receptive language, articulation, fluency, and more.

Speech Therapy: Getting Started

Before a goal is created, it is essential to determine what specific area of communication is in need of support. A speech therapist or speech language pathologist (SLP) will traditionally begin with a formal speech assessment.

The therapist will use a variety of assessment tools to screen for speech and language disorders.

speech therapy goals

How Do Speech Therapists Create Goals?

Based on the results of the initial assessments, the SLP will create goals based on the areas of communication that are in need of support.

Because speech and language is complex, no one goal or suggested treatment plan is the same. Goals are designed to be specific to the individual and are created to support speech development over stated time frames.

speech therapy

What Are The Different Types Of Speech Therapy Goals

Speech therapy goals tend to fall into any one of the following categories:

  • Expressive Language
  • Receptive Language
  • Articulation
  • Fluency
  • Social Pragmatic
  • Voice
speech therapy goals

You’ll find examples of successful goals in each category below.

Expressive Language Goals In Speech Therapy

Expressive language refers to how your child uses speech to express themselves. Expressive language difficulties may present as poor eye contact, struggles when interacting with other children and a limited number of spoken words.

Here are some examples of expressive language goals:

  1. Learner will imitate 1-2 word utterances 10x times per session for 3 sessions.
  2. Learner will imitate 10 different two word phrases to request, protest, comment, or get attention over 3 consecutive sessions.
  3. Learner will use 2-3 word phrases 80% of the time to participate in play and shared book reading across 3 data collections.
  4. Learner can produce a complete, relevant sentence about a given stimuli in 80% of the time across 3 data collections.
  5. Learner can produce complete, grammatical sentences of 4+ words within structured activities in 80% of opportunities across 5 data collections.
  6. Learner will independently label age-appropriate objects with 80% accuracy across 3 separate data collections.
  7. Learner will name a described object with 80% accuracy across 3 separate data collections.
  8. Learner will answer what/where/when/who/why questions about pictures or play with 80% accuracy across 3 data collections.
  9. Learner answers how questions accurately to include multiple steps (for example: how do you brush your teeth? how do you feed your dog?) with 80% accuracy across 3 data collections.
  10. Learner can retell stories to include 80% of relevant details across 3 data collections.

Receptive Language Goals

Receptive language refers to a child’s ability to understand language. Receptive language difficulties often present similarly to expressive language difficulties, including poor eye contact and difficulty interacting with other children.

These are examples of receptive language goals:

  1. Learner will identify age-appropriate objects/pictures from a field of three with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  2. Learner will identify 10 items from each category: body parts, clothing, personal care items, home items, school items, with 80% accuracy per category for 3 data collections.
  3. Learner will identify an action picture out of field of 3-4 in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  4. Learner will match objects or pictures to category when given 3-4 categories with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  5. Learner will identify a picture that doesn’t belong in a category with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  6. (client) will demonstrate comprehension of negation in sentences with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  7. Learner will follow single step directions when paired with a gesture cue in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  8. Learner will follow single step directions without the support of gesture cues within familiar routines in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  9. Learner will follow 2-step directions when paired with a gesture cue in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  10. Learner will follow 2-step directions without the support of gesture cues within familiar routines in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.

Examples Of Articulation Goals In Speech Therapy

Articulation in speech therapy refers to a child’s ability to make sounds. This includes all elements involved in the production of sounds – the coordinated movements of the lips, tongue, teeth, palate, and respiratory system.

Here are examples of articulation goals in speech therapy:

  1. Learner will produce [desired sound] in the initial position in words/phrases/sentences with accurately in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  2. Learner will produce [desired sound] in the medial position in words/phrases/sentences accurately in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  3. Learner will produce [desired sound] in the final position in words/phrases/sentences accurately in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  4. Learner will produce single words with 80% intelligibility during therapy session for 3 data collections.
  5. Learner will produce sentences with 80% intelligibility during therapy session for 3 data collections.
  6. Learner will imitate vowel sounds in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  7. Learner will imitate consonants /p, b, m, t, d, n, k, g, h, w/ as single sounds in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  8. Learner will imitate /p, b, m, t, d, n, k, g, h, w/ in reduplicated CVCV combinations (dada, moo moo, etc) in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  9. Learner will imitate /p, b, m, t, d, n, k, g, h, w/ in variegated CVCV combinations (hippo, bunny, etc) in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  10. Learner will imitate /p, b, m, t, d, n, k, g, h, w/ in VC combinations (up, in) in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.

Fluency Goals

Fluency is used in Speech Pathology to describe sounds and words and phrases when joined together. This is essentially a child’s ability to speak easily and smoothly.

Fluency goals in speech therapy include:

  1. Learner will demonstrate appropriate skills for communication effectiveness in conversation (eye contact, appropriate rate of speech, appropriate vocal volume, appropriate listening/waiting) during 1 conversation for 3 data collections.
  2. Learner will identify fluency-enhancing strategies including slow speech and thinking of words before speaking) for in 80% of opportunities for 3 data collections.
  3. Learner will introduce himself to another person using appropriate eye contact and skills for effective communication independently at the beginning of 1 conversation for 5 data collections.
  4. Learner will identify appropriate modifications to speech production (fast/slow, bumpy/smooth, loud/quiet) with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  5. Learner will share information about stuttering and stuttering treatment techniques with a peer or adult with no more than minimal prompting during 1 conversation across 3 data sessions.

Social Pragmatic Language Goals In Speech Therapy

A child’s pragmatic language involves the language skills that we use in everyday interactions with others. Conversational skills, non-verbal communication skills, understanding non-literal language, and interpreting and expressing emotions are all elements of social pragmatic language.

Typical social pragmatic goals include:

  1. Learn will demonstrate the ability to label emotions/feelings in communication partners or in pictures with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  2. Learner will use words to express their feelings independently for 80% of opportunities across 3 data sessions.
  3. Learner will state a logical answer to what another person might be feeling based about a social situation with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  4. Learner will identify a problem in a social setting/picture scene with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  5. Learner will make inferences after hearing part of a story/social situation with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.
  6. Learner will participate in turn-taking with the therapist for 5 turns per opportunity with a minimum of 5 opportunities across 3 data collections.
  7. Learner will identify signs of listener boredom or disinterest independently with 80% accuracy for 3 data collections.

Related Post: Social Pragmatic Goals In Speech Therapy: Everything You Need To Know

Examples Of Speech Therapy Goals In Practice

You can learn more about how these goals are formed and used in speech therapy in this video.

More Speech Therapy Resources

Speech Therapy For An Older Child

Speech Therapy At Home

Figurative Language Activities

Allusion Sentence Examples And Activities

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