Creating Functional, Lifetime Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities

Many people with disabilities spend their whole lifetimes in educational and developmental services and yet sometimes are able to do very few real world tasks. When children and adults with developmental disabilities do not learn functional skills, paid support must be provided at a greater level of intensity and the person’s life becomes less varied, interesting and fulfilling. Functional programming is the art and science of teaching skills to children and adults with autism spectrum disorders or other disabilities for use in “real” life. “Functional” is NOT the opposite of “Academic!” Functional and academic goals can be taught together in carefully planned programs. Functional programs result in greater independence, participation, satisfaction and contribution for children and adults with disabilities.

Participants will learn:

the definition and importance of functional programming and functional goals in the life of an individual with developmental disabilities of any age
the components of functional programming
how to assess and target lifelong needs
the importance of discovering and using liked activities as a guide to the selection of functional goals
how functional and academic goals can be targeted and taught together.
how to help families select and teach functional goals to family members
the importance of the principles of partial participation and multiple intelligences
the ecological inventory strategy for assessing skills and knowledge and for defining goals