ABA Goal Bank (3-7 Years Old)

Smiling toddler boy in colorful shirt looking up indoors

Communication Goals

Increase Vocabulary

  1. Use 40 different words/phrases for expressing emotions.
  2. Identify and name 20 different animals.
  3. Use a variety of adjectives to describe objects (e.g., big, small, cold, hot).
  4. Name common household items correctly.
  5. Use action words (verbs) in sentences.
  6. Name body parts when prompted.
  7. Use words to describe quantity (e.g., more, less).
  8. Recognize and name primary colors.
  9. Identify and name simple shapes.
  10. Use words related to positional concepts (e.g., over, under, beside).

Enhance Non-Verbal Communication

  1. Use gestures to indicate ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  2. Communicate needs through facial expressions.
  3. Utilize sign language for basic needs (e.g., more, eat, drink).
  4. Respond to non-verbal cues from others.
  5. Use a communication board effectively.
  6. Point to objects or pictures in a book when named.
  7. Utilize a visual schedule to anticipate daily activities.
  8. Use eye-gazing to indicate choices.
  9. Respond to visual cues in the environment.
  10. Use body language to express feelings.

Improve Articulation

  1. Correctly pronounce blends (e.g., st-, sp-, cr-).
  2. Use appropriate voice volume in different settings.
  3. Correctly articulate ending sounds in words.
  4. Practice clear speech in sentences.
  5. Correctly pronounce vowel sounds.
  6. Use appropriate pitch and intonation patterns.
  7. Correctly articulate multisyllabic words.
  8. Practice fluency in speech.
  9. Correct misarticulations in conversational speech.
  10. Engage in articulation drills for targeted sounds.

Develop Conversational Skills

  1. Initiate a conversation with a peer.
  2. Stay on topic for at least 3 turns.
  3. Use appropriate conversation openers and closers.
  4. Ask relevant questions in a conversation.
  5. Respond to questions with relevant information.
  6. Take turns in a conversation without interrupting.
  7. Show interest in others’ conversations through nodding or verbal acknowledgment.
  8. Use appropriate facial expressions during conversations.
  9. Recognize and repair breakdowns in communication.
  10. Engage in role-play to practice conversational skills.

Expand Expressive Language

  1. Describe a recent event or experience.
  2. Use conjunctions (e.g., and, but, because) in sentences.
  3. Narrate a simple story or sequence of events.
  4. Ask for help or clarification when needed.
  5. Express wants and needs using complex sentences.
  6. Use language for different purposes (e.g., greeting, informing, requesting).
  7. Correctly use past, present, and future tenses.
  8. Describe the function of common objects.
  9. Use descriptive phrases in sentences.
  10. Express opinions and preferences.

Enhance Receptive Language

  1. Follow multi-step directions.
  2. Understand age-appropriate jokes or riddles.
  3. Distinguish between similar sounding words (e.g., cat/hat).
  4. Comprehend opposites and synonyms.
  5. Follow classroom instructions.
  6. Understand terms related to time (e.g., today, tomorrow, yesterday).
  7. Recognize category names and related items (e.g., animals, foods).
  8. Understand spatial concepts (e.g., in, on, under).
  9. Identify the main idea in a simple story.
  10. Follow oral directions to complete a task.

Improve Phonological Awareness

  1. Rhyme words.
  2. Segment syllables in words.
  3. Blend sounds to make words.
  4. Identify the last sound in words.
  5. Differentiate between long and short vowel sounds.
  6. Identify the number of sounds in a word.
  7. Match words with the same initial sounds.
  8. Recognize words that start with the same sound.
  9. Identify words that do not belong in a group based on sound.
  10. Participate in phonological awareness games and activities.

Increase Use of Pronouns

  1. Correctly use possessive pronouns (e.g., my, your, their).
  2. Distinguish between subject and object pronouns.
  3. Use reflexive pronouns appropriately (e.g., myself, yourself).
  4. Correctly use indefinite pronouns (e.g., anyone, everyone).
  5. Use pronouns consistently in conversation.
  6. Correct errors in pronoun usage spontaneously.
  7. Identify pronouns in stories or texts.
  8. Use gender-specific pronouns correctly.
  9. Understand and use plural pronouns.
  10. Practice pronoun substitution in sentences.

Social Skills Goals

Improve Eye Contact

  1. Use eye contact to gain attention before communicating.
  2. Maintain eye contact for a comfortable duration during conversations.
  3. Use eye contact to express interest and engagement.
  4. Practice eye contact in different social settings (e.g., classroom, playground).
  5. Combine eye contact with smiles and other facial expressions.
  6. Use eye contact in response to one’s name being called.
  7. Understand and respect others’ comfort levels regarding eye contact.
  8. Initiate eye contact when asking for help or clarification.
  9. Use eye contact to acknowledge understanding.
  10. Recognize when it’s appropriate to break eye contact.

Develop Joint Attention

  1. Use pointing or other gestures to share interests.
  2. Show objects of interest to peers or adults.
  3. Engage in shared book reading, focusing on the same page.
  4. Participate in joint play, like building a puzzle together.
  5. Follow peers’ gaze or pointing to shared objects of interest.
  6. Demonstrate interest in peers’ activities.
  7. Participate in turn-taking games that require joint attention.
  8. Use verbal cues to direct others’ attention.
  9. Share reactions to events or objects with others.
  10. Engage in activities that require monitoring and responding to others’ actions.

Enhance Group Participation

  1. Follow group rules during activities.
  2. Engage in classroom group discussions.
  3. Take turns speaking in group settings.
  4. Show interest in group activities through verbal or non-verbal means.
  5. Offer ideas or suggestions in group tasks.
  6. Respect others’ contributions in group settings.
  7. Participate in group decision-making processes.
  8. Engage in cooperative learning activities in the classroom.
  9. Show willingness to compromise in group activities.
  10. Recognize and respect the roles of others in a group.

Increase Sharing Skills

  1. Offer toys or materials to peers without being asked.
  2. Understand the concept of taking turns.
  3. Share favorite toys or materials during playtime.
  4. Participate in activities that require sharing, like board games.
  5. Use polite language when asking for a turn.
  6. Handle frustrations calmly when waiting for a turn.
  7. Celebrate peers’ successes during shared activities.
  8. Offer help to peers using shared materials.
  9. Understand and respect the concept of personal property.
  10. Demonstrate patience while waiting for shared items.

Develop Empathy

  1. Identify and label emotions in oneself and others.
  2. Show concern for a peer who is upset.
  3. Offer comfort or help to someone in distress.
  4. Recognize when someone is happy and respond positively.
  5. Talk about feelings and how actions affect others.
  6. Understand and respect different perspectives.
  7. Use role-playing to practice responding to others’ emotions.
  8. Recognize facial expressions and tone of voice that indicate emotions.
  9. Discuss scenarios and appropriate empathetic responses.
  10. Celebrate peers’ achievements and share in their happiness.

Improve Understanding of Social Cues

  1. Interpret facial expressions accurately.
  2. Recognize tone of voice cues (e.g., happy, sad, angry).
  3. Understand and respond to body language.
  4. Recognize personal space boundaries.
  5. Adapt behavior based on social feedback.
  6. Interpret social cues in various settings (e.g., classroom, playground).
  7. Use context to understand social interactions.
  8. Notice and respond to changes in others’ behavior.
  9. Understand implicit social rules and norms.
  10. Adjust responses based on social cues and environment.

Enhance Cooperative Play Skills

  1. Engage in role-playing games with peers.
  2. Participate in team sports or group physical activities.
  3. Work together with peers on a shared project.
  4. Practice problem-solving in group play.
  5. Celebrate successes in cooperative games.
  6. Negotiate and compromise during play.
  7. Follow shared plans and strategies in games.
  8. Respect peers’ ideas and suggestions during play.
  9. Participate in creative group activities (e.g., art projects).
  10. Show leadership skills in directing cooperative play.

Increase Appropriate Greetings

  1. Use polite phrases (e.g., please, thank you) in social interactions.
  2. Initiate greetings in different social contexts (e.g., school, community).
  3. Respond to greetings from adults and peers.
  4. Use different greetings for different times of the day.
  5. Understand and use culturally appropriate greetings.
  6. Recognize when to use formal vs. informal greetings.
  7. Engage in small talk following greetings.
  8. Use farewells appropriately in different situations.
  9. Introduce oneself and others in social settings.
  10. Combine verbal greetings with appropriate gestures (e.g., waving, handshakes).

Self-Care Skills Goals

Enhance Eating Skills

  1. Hold and use a spoon or fork correctly.
  2. Chew food thoroughly before swallowing.
  3. Drink from a cup without spilling.
  4. Wipe mouth with a napkin after eating.
  5. Sit at the table for the duration of a meal.
  6. Try new foods without negative behaviors.
  7. Serve oneself food from a communal dish.
  8. Clear own plate after meals.
  9. Participate in simple meal preparations.
  10. Understand basic table manners (e.g., not talking with food in mouth).

Improve Dressing Skills

  1. Select appropriate clothing for the weather.
  2. Put on socks and shoes independently.
  3. Fasten snaps and hooks on clothing.
  4. Dress and undress without assistance.
  5. Hang up or put away clothes after use.
  6. Choose outfits independently.
  7. Adjust clothing for comfort and appropriateness.
  8. Use a zipper on jackets or pants.
  9. Identify front and back of clothing.
  10. Fold and organize clothing.

Develop Grooming Skills

  1. Comb or brush hair independently.
  2. Wash hands effectively.
  3. Blow nose and dispose of tissues properly.
  4. Trim fingernails with assistance.
  5. Apply sunscreen or lotion with minimal help.
  6. Take a shower or bath with supervision.
  7. Identify and use personal hygiene products correctly.
  8. Use tissues or handkerchiefs appropriately.
  9. Recognize the need for increased hygiene during illness.
  10. Keep personal grooming items organized.

Enhance Bathroom Independence

  1. Use toilet paper properly.
  2. Flush the toilet after use.
  3. Wash hands thoroughly after toileting.
  4. Recognize the urge to use the bathroom and respond in time.
  5. Manage clothing independently during toileting.
  6. Use a step stool if necessary for reaching the toilet.
  7. Keep the bathroom tidy after use.
  8. Report any bathroom accidents without shame or fear.
  9. Understand the importance of privacy in the bathroom.
  10. Follow a bathroom routine before bedtime.

Improve Sleeping Habits

  1. Choose and wear appropriate sleepwear.
  2. Use a comfort object for sleep if needed (e.g., blanket, stuffed animal).
  3. Fall asleep without excessive adult intervention.
  4. Remain in bed until an appropriate time in the morning.
  5. Use calming techniques for bedtime (e.g., deep breathing, reading).
  6. Participate in quiet activities before bedtime.
  7. Understand the importance of sleep for health.
  8. Keep the sleeping area organized and conducive to sleep.
  9. Transition from a crib to a bed successfully.
  10. Use a nightlight if afraid of the dark.

Enhance Safety Awareness

  1. Recognize and avoid common household hazards (e.g., sharp objects, electrical outlets).
  2. Understand the importance of adult supervision in certain situations.
  3. Identify and follow emergency procedures (e.g., fire drill).
  4. Use crosswalks and understand basic pedestrian safety.
  5. Recognize the importance of wearing protective gear (e.g., helmets).
  6. Know personal information for emergency situations (e.g., parent’s name, home address).
  7. Understand the dangers of talking to or going with strangers.
  8. Practice water safety skills with supervision.
  9. Identify safe and unsafe substances in the home (e.g., medicine, chemicals).
  10. Understand and follow rules related to personal safety in public places.

Behavioral Goals

Decrease Aggressive Behaviors

  1. Use words to express frustration instead of physical actions.
  2. Seek adult help when feeling the urge to hit or bite.
  3. Participate in activities that promote sharing and empathy.
  4. Recognize and communicate triggers for aggressive behavior.
  5. Engage in calming activities when feeling agitated.
  6. Practice positive interactions with peers in structured settings.
  7. Respond to conflicts with non-physical solutions.
  8. Demonstrate appropriate ways to express anger.
  9. Learn and follow rules about physical safety.
  10. Recognize the consequences of aggressive behavior.

Increase Task Completion

  1. Follow through on simple chores or responsibilities.
  2. Complete academic tasks within a given timeframe.
  3. Stay focused on an activity without getting distracted.
  4. Break tasks into smaller steps to encourage completion.
  5. Reward small achievements in task completion.
  6. Use visual schedules to track task progress.
  7. Engage in tasks without requiring constant adult supervision.
  8. Complete personal care routines independently.
  9. Participate in group tasks without deviating from the objective.
  10. Develop a routine to check and review completed tasks.

Enhance Emotional Identification

  1. Use a chart to identify and express emotions daily.
  2. Recognize and describe emotions in others.
  3. Discuss events and the emotions they elicit.
  4. Link physical sensations with emotional states (e.g., butterflies in stomach when nervous).
  5. Use art or play to express complex emotions.
  6. Read stories and identify characters’ emotions.
  7. Role-play scenarios to explore different feelings.
  8. Discuss the appropriateness of emotions in various situations.
  9. Identify coping strategies for different emotional states.
  10. Practice expressing emotions through facial expressions and body language.

Improve Coping Strategies

  1. Identify personal relaxation techniques (e.g., listening to music, drawing).
  2. Use positive self-talk during challenging situations.
  3. Practice mindfulness or meditation techniques.
  4. Engage in physical activities to release tension.
  5. Develop a ‘calm down’ kit with preferred soothing items.
  6. Seek adult assistance when feeling overwhelmed.
  7. Role-play responses to stressful scenarios.
  8. Practice deep breathing exercises.
  9. Create a personal space for relaxation and reflection.
  10. Use problem-solving skills to address sources of distress.

Decrease Elopement

  1. Understand and respect boundaries set by adults.
  2. Practice staying in a designated area during activities.
  3. Use a timer to understand the duration of activities.
  4. Develop a signal or phrase to use when wanting to leave an area.
  5. Reward staying in the area for progressively longer periods.
  6. Discuss the importance of safety related to staying put.
  7. Engage in preferred activities that encourage staying in one place.
  8. Identify emotions or situations that trigger elopement.
  9. Learn and practice alternative responses to the urge to elope.
  10. Implement a safety plan for when the urge to elope occurs.

Increase Positive Social Interactions

  1. Practice greeting peers and adults positively.
  2. Engage in cooperative games that require teamwork.
  3. Share and take turns with peers during play.
  4. Participate in group activities and contribute positively.
  5. Show interest in peers’ activities and join respectfully.
  6. Compliment or praise peers for their achievements.
  7. Resolve conflicts using words and peaceful strategies.
  8. Show empathy and understanding towards peers.
  9. Participate in role-playing to practice positive social behaviors.
  10. Recognize and respect personal space and boundaries.

Academic Skills Goals

Improve Letter Recognition

  1. Match uppercase letters to their lowercase counterparts.
  2. Recognize letters in different fonts and contexts.
  3. Arrange letters alphabetically.
  4. Identify the initial letters in familiar words.
  5. Recognize letters in personal name.
  6. Practice tracing and writing both uppercase and lowercase letters.
  7. Identify letters associated with specific sounds.
  8. Play letter recognition games.
  9. Recognize letters in environmental print (e.g., signs, labels).
  10. Use technology-based programs to reinforce letter recognition.

Enhance Number Skills

  1. Recognize and write numbers up to 20.
  2. Understand the concept of quantity associated with numbers.
  3. Identify numbers in out-of-order sequence.
  4. Count objects by touching each one (one-to-one correspondence).
  5. Practice simple addition and subtraction with objects.
  6. Understand the concept of more and less.
  7. Use number lines to understand number sequence.
  8. Identify numbers in everyday contexts (e.g., phone numbers, addresses).
  9. Engage in number recognition games.
  10. Practice counting backward from 10.

Develop Color and Shape Recognition

  1. Sort objects by color and shape.
  2. Identify secondary colors (e.g., purple, orange, green).
  3. Recognize shapes in different orientations and sizes.
  4. Draw and label basic shapes.
  5. Use shapes to create simple patterns.
  6. Identify colors and shapes in the environment.
  7. Understand the concept of mixing colors (primary to secondary).
  8. Match shapes with real-world objects (e.g., circle with a clock).
  9. Participate in activities that involve color and shape classification.
  10. Use color and shape terms in daily conversations.

Increase Following Directions

  1. Execute classroom routines based on verbal instructions.
  2. Perform simple tasks following written directions.
  3. Participate in games that require following directions (e.g., Simon Says).
  4. Follow directions involving prepositions (e.g., on, under, beside).
  5. Execute tasks requiring sequential steps.
  6. Respond to directions involving opposites (e.g., stop/go, up/down).
  7. Complete classroom assignments by following a set of instructions.
  8. Practice directions that require decision-making.
  9. Engage in activities that combine listening and action (e.g., dance routines).
  10. Follow multi-step directions in group activities.

Improve Fine Motor Skills

  1. Practice handwriting skills.
  2. Use play dough to strengthen hand muscles.
  3. Engage in beading or threading activities.
  4. Use tweezers for picking up small objects.
  5. Practice cutting along lines and shapes with safety scissors.
  6. Assemble small blocks or Legos.
  7. Participate in finger painting and other tactile activities.
  8. Trace shapes, letters, and numbers.
  9. Button and unbutton clothing during dressing practice.
  10. Engage in age-appropriate drawing and coloring activities.

Enhance Attention and Focus

  1. Participate in quiet reading or listening activities.
  2. Engage in tasks without interruption until completion.
  3. Practice mindfulness activities suitable for children.
  4. Participate in memory games and activities.
  5. Stay seated during circle time or structured learning.
  6. Engage in activities that require concentration (e.g., building a model).
  7. Follow through on instructions without being distracted.
  8. Practice listening without interrupting.
  9. Participate in individual tasks that require sustained attention.
  10. Use organizational tools to aid in task management (e.g., visual schedules).