Functional Subjects vs. Core Subjects in The Autism Helper Curriculum

Categories: Curriculum Ideas

My first classroom was a junior high school and I quickly realized the struggle of finding age appropriate materials. Many of my students were working on more foundational level concepts and it was beyond difficult (if not impossible) to find materials to work on basic skills that didn’t look like they were meant for kindergarten. It was during that struggle that I became passionate about creating age appropriate materials that would support all types of learners.

We created The Autism Helper Curriculum with this in mind the whole time. Every subject comes from this perspective. Every level can be age appropriate for most learners. 

For our older students, I wanted to create even more options to expand on learning. I am a firm believer that academic instruction should never stop. You are never “too old” for academics. You should never “switch” to vocational/life skills instruction. You can do both. You can work on academics with a life skills twist. Our two functional subjects do just that. Functional Literacy and Functional Math work on literacy and math skills using real world based texts and concepts.

What are the functional subjects?

We currently have Functional Literacy in Levels 1, 2, and 3. We also have Functional Math in Levels 1, 2, and 3.

How are they different than the core subjects?

The functional subjects will work on similar concepts as Language Arts and Math but using primarily real world texts and scenarios. Many of the subjects align across the two subjects or extend on the concepts from the core subject. For example, Language Arts Level 2 works on who, what, and where questions in Unit 1. Functional Literacy Unit 1 targets who questions and personal information. The who question are in the context of functional texts like name tags, IDs, mail, work schedules, office signs, and more. Personal information extends on the who/what/where goal by working on address, phone number, etc. 


Which One Should I Use?

Depends on your students. I would definitely recommend the functional subjects for Grades 5 and up. This is really a must-have for high school and transition. But these subjects can also definitely be used for the younger grades as well. Many teachers use both Language Arts and Functional Literacy together and Math and Functional Math together. These subjects were designed to compliment each other. It’s a great way to give academics that functional twist.

Get Started with The Autism Helper Curriculum: 

Curriculum Access

This subscription-based program was designed specifically for schools. Don’t know where to start? Need help asking your administration to invest in this platform for your classroom? No worries! Our team can schedule a live demo with your school administrators to show them all of the functional, evidence-based aspects of this differentiated, leveled curriculum! You can also use our “Ask Your Admin” email template, or send them this download to get the conversation about Curriculum Access rolling!

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The Autism Helper Curriculum is available in 7 subjects: Functional Literacy, Functional Math, Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, & Reading Comprehension. Each subjects is available in up to 6 different levels. You can purchase subject levels individually, or in a money-saving bundle from our shop! This curriculum is currently used by thousands of educators and homeschooling parents from across the globe. It covers the instructional needs for students working on early childhood and elementary level skills.


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