How can I effectively teach self-advocacy skills to secondary students with developmental cognitive disabilities?: curriculum design





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This capstone examined transition skills and transition planning for secondary students with mild developmental cognitive disabilities (DCD) with the goal of designing a scope and sequence for teaching daily living skills. The research into the history of transition planning, what defines the developmentally cognitively disabled student, ineffective and effective curriculum led to a revision of the original question. The literature suggested that the most important skill for a rewarding and successful adult life for DCD students was self-advocacy. The new focus of this project was to answer the question of how to effectively teach self-advocacy skills at the high school level. The results of the research led to the development of a self-advocacy curriculum aimed at secondary DCD students. Self-advocacy was broken down into three major components (self-determination, identifying choices and making good decisions, understanding the Individual Education Plan) and lesson plans were created for each. The end product of a self-advocacy curriculum contains the following: lesson plans, student worksheets and handouts, a student booklet for facilitating an IEP meeting, checklists for teachers, students and parents, and a list of possible resources available in the community.

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