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A Case for Teaching Functional Skills

My Older Brother Daryl
18 years old, TMH (30-40 IQ)
Been in school 12 years.
Never been served in any setting other than elementary school.
He has had a number of years of "individual instruction."
He has learned a lot of things!

Daryl CAN NOW do lots of things he couldn't do before!
He can put 100 pegs in a board in less than 10 minutes while in his seat with 85% accuracy.

But, he can't put quarters in vending machines.
Upon command he can "touch" nose, shoulder, leg, foot, hair, ear. He's still working on wrist, ankle, hips.

But, he can't blow his nose when needed.
He can now do a 12-piece Big Bird puzzle with 100% accuracy and color an Easter Bunny and stay in the lines!

But, he prefers music, but never taught how to use a radio or record player.
He can now fold primary paper in halves and even quarters.

But, he can't fold his clothes.
He can sort blocks by colors, up to 10 different colors!

But he can't sort clothes; whites from colors for washing.
He can roll Play Dough and make wonderful clay snakes!

But, he can't roll bread dough and cut out biscuits.
He can string beads in alternating colors and match it to a pattern on a DLM card!

But, he can't lace his shoes.
He can sing his ABC's and tell me names of all the letters of the alphabet when presented on a card in upper case with 80% accuracy.

But, he can't tell the men's room from the ladie's room when we go to McDonald's.
He can be told it's cloudy or rainy and take a black felt cloud and put it on the day of the week on an enlarged calendar (with assistance).

But, he still goes out in the rain without a raincoat or hat.
He can identify with 100% accuracy 100 different Peabody Picture Cards by pointing.

But, he can't order a hamburger by pointing to a picture or gesturing.
He can walk a balance beam frontwards, side-ways and backwards!

But, he can't walk up the steps or bleachers unassisted in the gym to go to a basketball game.
He can count to 100 by rote memory!

But, he doesn't know how many dollars to pay the waitress for a $2.59 McDonald's Coupon special.
He can put the cube in the box, under the box, beside the box and behind the box.

But, he can't find the trash bin in McDonald's and empty his trash into it.
He can sit in a circle with appropriate behavior and sing songs and play "Duck, Duck, Goose."

But, nobody else in his neighborhood his age seems to want to do that.

I guess he's just not ready yet.

by Preston Lewis, taken from the Dec. 1987 TASH newsletter

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