Systematic instruction of students with significant cognitive disabilities

Erik Drasgow, Mark Wolery, Laura C. Chezan, James Halle, Zahra Hajiaghamohseni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The purpose of educating students with significant cognitive disabilities (SCD) is to promote inclusion, self-determination, independence, and quality of life. The evidence-based process for providing information to students with SCD is referred to as systematic instruction (SI). One instructional approach that meets all the components of SI is applied behavior analysis. The behavioral model is based on the antecedent–behavior–consequence relation. Antecedents are environmental events that cue or trigger behavior. The chapter discusses the selected features of SI that are relevant to acquisition, generalization, and maintenance of skills. Teachers must consider generalization and maintenance when selecting the type or types of instructional presentation format to use during instruction because acquisition, fluency, and factors such as the authenticity of the setting and the materials influence outcomes. The chapter also addresses promising strategies that enhance the generalization of new skills by students with SCD.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Special Education
EditorsJames M Kauffman, Daniel P Hallahan, Paige Cullen Pullen
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781315517698
ISBN (Print)9781138699144
StatePublished - May 25 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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