Educational Goals for Children with Developmental Challenges

The hierarchy of educational goals for children with developmental challenges follow:

1. To improve the child's functional developmental capacities to relate, communicate, and think (not to memorize rote content or splinter skills).

2. To strengthen and integrate underlying processing abilities.

3. To develop the specific cognitive processes that support higher levels of thinking and problem solving (e.g. to become logical and able to abstract as steps one and two are developed).

4. To expand the emotional range of experience to support initiative, intentionality, reciprocity, flexibility, curiosity, organization, cooperative learning, and exploration, first through mediation and then independently.

5. To acquire the specific knowledge and tools necessary for learning academic content (e.g. to read, write, do math, and perform related skills).

6. To expand emotional availability to respond to increasingly complex and independent learning situations.

7. To convey the centrality of affective connections to others and the logic of caring for others that leads to a social, interactive, rule-based society.