Step 1.1 Select and describe the target skill or behavior in observable and measurable terms

Beginning with the IFSP, the EI team discusses with the parent the strengths and challenges of the toddler in meeting a priority outcome and then describes the target skill. The IFSP outcome should be observable and measurable in order to be able to clearly describe the expected skill that the toddler will learn and how to determine when the toddler has mastered the skill.


Parents discussed with the providers that their toddler, Jonathan, doesn’t interact with them or his 5 year old sister at home.

The IFSP team initially wrote the outcome as: Jonathan will play with his sister after day care.”

While the outcome describes the family’s hope, it is not observable and measurable and thus difficult to observe progress on over time. Different people would have different ideas of what “play” means and what it would mean for Jonathan to do it successfully. This IFSP outcome was re-written so that it was observable and measurable. To do this, the team clearly described the context (WHEN), the target skill the toddler will perform (WHAT) and how will we know Jonathan has mastered this skill (HOW). 

New outcome: After daycare and before dinner, Jonathan will send at least 5 minutes interacting with his toys within 3 feet of his sister for 4 out of 5 days.