Functional Curriculum

Cody shopping at the grocery store Functional curriculum are those skills which significantly affect quality of life in the community. They are all grouped together as Life Skills. Students with autism have significant difficulty learning life skills. Life skills require the student to take into consideration another's perspective, to be self-reflective, to incorporate past experiences into current situations, and to make judgements based not only on past experiences, but also on the particular events occurring in the moment.

Learning functional curriculum is critical to helping students with autism spectrum disorder reach their potential as active participants in home, school and community environments. Direct instruction is needed in one or more of the following areas:

  • PERSONAL CARE SKILLS (bathing, grooming, toileting, sexuality, medical needs)
  • DOMESTIC SKILLS (shopping, cooking, laundry, housekeeping)
  • RECREATIONAL SKILLS (swimming, skating, bowling, exercise)
  • COMMUNITY SAFETY SKILLS (street crossing, use of crosswalk, use of walk button, store recognition, public transit use)
  • EMPLOYMENT SKILLS (pre-vocational/vocational skills, work experience)
  • BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL SKILLS (self-regulation, recognition of emotions, social awareness)
  • MODIFIED/FUNCTIONAL ACADEMICS (partial integration, small group instruction in areas supporting community life, food recognition, safety signs, time, money)