PLAAFP puts into words what your child can do. It tells the ARD committee what your child knows right now. The ARD committee can get this information from many places. They will look at recent evaluations. They will look at class work your child is doing. They can look at other tests your child has taken.
The "Academic Achievement" part of PLAAFP is the work your child is doing at school. It might include what math level or reading level they are on.
"Functional Performance" looks at areas that aren’t academic. This might include social and communication skills. It might include other activities of daily living. Once all this information is collected, the ARD committee can start writing the goals.
You are an important member of the ARD committee. You can add things to the PLAAFPs. If you work on academic work at home, you can share it with the ARD. If you’re working on any activities of daily living, you can put this information in the PLAAFPs too. This might be things like toilet training, following directions, and independent dressing. The more information you have about what your child can do, the easier it is to write goals.
Once the goals are written, you can look back at the PLAAFPs. You want to make sure the goals make sense based on what your child knows right now. For example, the PLAAFP might state that your child can read on a kindergarten level. The new goals should then include reading on a first-grade level. If your child can follow two-step directions with prompts, then a new goal could be to follow two-step directions without help.
As you can see, the PLAAFP statements are very important. They help guide the rest of the IEP. Without good data, you can’t write good goals. The PLAAFPs are the foundation of your child’s Individualized Education Plan.
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills go beyond academics. Everyday life provides opportunities to apply these skills. During my son’s educational career, a lack of critical thinking and problem-solving skills was often noted in his Individualized Education Plan paperwork. While he may struggle with these skills academically, he solves problems all the time in his daily life.