chapter  44
12 Pages

Functional Curriculum for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

WithStacy K. Dymond

This chapter reviews existing literature on functional curriculum, including its history and evolution, a description of the curriculum content and instructional strategies, and factors to consider when selecting appropriate skills to teach. Although students with significant cognitive disabilities (SCD) benefit from learning functional skills through the same avenues available to all students, many require additional learning opportunities paired with systematic instruction to acquire functional skills. The chapter describes four major domains of functional skills identified in the literature: personal care, home living, leisure/recreation, and community. It also describes factors affecting skill selection and methods for determining skills taught. Several factors must be considered when selecting functional skills for instruction including student age and skills, current and future environments, function of the skill, and parent and student preferences. Choosing age-appropriate skills for instruction enables students to learn skills needed for participation in activities with same-age peers as well as those needed throughout adulthood.