Dr. Lou Brown noted that "it is vital that public schools prepare students with severe disabilities to function as independently as possible socially, vocationally and personally in the least restrictive post-school environment." And that we cannot justify "preparing students to function in large residential institutions or for fostering or maintaining the development of environments that unduly shelter or restrict the individual."

A person on a swingPhoto courtesy William Bronston, M.D.

The Criterion of Ultimate Functioning. For citizens with severe disabilities to ultimately function as productively and independently as possible in integrated adult environments, the services provided to them as students must be longitudinal and continuous, as opposed to short term and episodic.

The overuse of one to one instruction, homogeneous groupings, and repeated practice strategies probably prevent many persons with severe disabilities from acquiring the skills, values, and attitudes necessary to interact effectively in a variety of settings and with a variety of people.

Artificial instructional materials and settings do not allow students with severe disabilities to solve real life problems or provide them with the skills needed for practical functions, as much as do natural and realistic settings, tasks and materials.