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Functional curriculum. Christine A. Macfarlane, Ph.D. Sped 535 Integrated Curriculum and Methods for Students with Disabilities: Functional. Skills must be chronologically age-appropriate. Can interview peers Survey peers Observe peers.

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Functional curriculum

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Functional curriculum

Christine A. Macfarlane, Ph.D.

Sped 535 Integrated Curriculum and Methods for Students with Disabilities: Functional

Skills must be chronologically age-appropriate

  • Can interview peers

  • Survey peers

  • Observe peers

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SPED 535 Functional

Functional skills

  • Immediately useful

  • Demanded in everyday activities and environments, both in and out of school

  • Result in greater independence & less dependence

  • Allow access to less restrictive environments

SPED 535 Functional

Criterion of ultimate functioning

  • Skills that adolescents and adults with severe disabilities would need in order to function as effectively and independently as possible in vocational, residential, and social environments

  • Should reflect need for transitions from one environment to the subsequent or next environment

SPED 535 Functional

Criterion of the next environment

  • Skills a student needs in the next educational environment

SPED 535 Functional

Criterion of the immediate environment

  • Consider needs for student to function in the immediate or current environment(s)

SPED 535 Functional

Criterion of the least dangerous assumption

SPED 535 Functional

"A functional curriculum could be defined as the life skills needed by a student in the current environment in which he or she was functioning, the life skills needed in the student's immediate next education environment,and the skills the student would need after leaving school to function in vocational, residential, and recreational environments."

SPED 535 Functional

Personalized Curriculum

SPED 535 Functional

Domains of Adult Life Skills





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SPED 535 Functional

Ecological inventories

  • A systematic, flexible process for determining a scope and sequence of functional living skills

SPED 535 Functional

Relationship of domains

  • Not all skills fit tidily into one domain.

  • Many have application across more than one domain.

  • "More bang for the buck".

SPED 535 Functional

Related skills





Motor skills

Social skills

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SPED 535 Functional

Community-Referenced Instruction

  • Aligning assessment and instruction to the natural cues in the environment

  • Referencing instruction to your community!

SPED 535 Functional

Life in a Greek Hotel

SPED 535 Functional

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SPED 535 Functional

SPED 535 Functional

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SPED 535 Functional

Oregon Statewide Assessment

  • Extended CIM

    • Math

    • Reading

    • Writing

  • Extended Career & Life Role Assessment System (CLRAS)

SPED 535 Functional

Principal of partial participation

  • Can't deny child access because of physical or cognitive deficits

  • Individuals with (severe) disabilities can acquire many skills that will allow them to function, at least in part, in a wide variety of least restrictive environments and activities.

SPED 535 Functional

The child should be allowed to participate in the activity even when:

  • the child does not exhibit all the necessary prerequisite skills,

  • the child will not be able to acquire all components of the skill,

  • the child may not complete the entire activity or skill independently, and

  • the child's developmental age is lower than his or her corresponding chronological age.

SPED 535 Functional

Frequently thought of as providing physical assistance, but that is too narrow a definition

  • Can be physical assistance

  • Can be a prosthesis

  • Can be communicative in nature to determine quality or make choices.

SPED 535 Functional

Types of adaptations

  • Provide personal assistance

  • Modify skills or activities

  • Use an assistive device

  • Modify the physical and social environments

Orelove & Sobsey, 1996

SPED 535 Functional

Can't always come up with a modification that will allow the person to function independently, but can increase level of participation and thus independence.

SPED 535 Functional

Patterns of error in using partial participation

Ferguson & Baumgart, 1991

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Passive participation

  • Sitting in a classroom, i.e., just being present, doesn’t necessarily make it active participation

  • Example: going to music class, but not being able to sing or play the instruments

  • Nonexample: Listening to a book being read

SPED 535 Functional

Myopic participation

  • Focus is too narrow, doesn’t meet full needs of student, family, or community

  • Example: parent requests help with shopping; teacher implements in nongeneralizable environment

SPED 535 Functional

Piecemeal participation

  • Not connecting in-class instruction with out-of-class instruction throughout the day

  • Example: Instructional lesson aimed at object permanence, public library outing in afternoon, play story tape in evening at home

SPED 535 Functional

Missed participation

  • The length of time required to learn to do something independently may be too time consuming, might be better to simply rely on personal assistance, so valuable time can be spent learning other skills as well

  • Example: Can’t grasp items in cafeteria to place on tray, can’t carry tray. Since there are always people present in the cafeteria, might be better to just leave it at that.

SPED 535 Functional

Remediation strategies

SPED 535 Functional

Active participation

  • Rather than worry about expanding a behavioral repertoire, concentrate on strengthening a small set of behaviors

SPED 535 Functional

Attend to multiple perspectives

  • Use family and community-referenced assessment

  • Use ongoing instructional information systems

  • Use ongoing outcome information systems

SPED 535 Functional

Use information from multiple sources

  • Merge “competing” perspectives

  • Ongoing planning and program improvement

SPED 535 Functional

Enhance image and achieve interdependence

SPED 535 Functional

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