September 24, 2012

Teaching students who are low-functioning: who are they and what should we teach?

Dr. Cathy Pratt & Rozella Stewart

During recent years, interest in individuals with autism who are high- functioning has grown as increasing numbers of students who fit that description have been identified. During the same period, those who advocate on behalf of students with severe cognitive disabilities have continued their search for information on teaching, working, and living with individuals perceived as belonging to this more challenging group. Before discussing programming issues, it seems important to first attempt to clarify who these individuals are who are referred to as low-functioning.

The most common tool for identifying this population of students are standardized test scores. It is commonly believed that 70% of students with autism also have cognitive disabilities. However, we need to be careful when using formal instruments to determine levels of cognitive functioning. During the past several years... READ MORE >>

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick/

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