Meeting Behavioral Health Goals is Both Art and Science

*This article was originally published on the HuffingtonPost

How do you define success? For individuals with intellectual disabilities, establishing goals and measuring success is complex. It requires a thoughtful balance; one that is part science, but also a bit of art. And it certainly isn’t one-size-fits-all.

The recent Endrew vs. Douglas County case took this very issue from theoretical to practical with the strike of a gavel. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that to simply provide special education to students with disabilities is not enough; it must be meaningful education. This is what students are entitled to under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – the law governing how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services. Most importantly, it is what is necessary for education to be effective, let alone successful.

The Endrew decision is a reminder for those of us working with children in behavioral health and education to look at how we define success – and to consider doing so quite differently. Over the past 10+ years, my organization, Grafton Integrated Health Network— which serves children and adolescents with complex behavioral health challenges — has learned critical lessons about measuring success that may be of value to others as the industry continues to evolve.

The full article is available here.