CDS Program Overview

The CDS (Cognitively Disabled Severe) program at Horace Mann offers integrated instruction in the areas of academics, social skills, and life skills. Students in our program are provided with individualized instruction and care to best fit their needs.

Academic instruction is based on each student's individual goals and objectives. Other courses include specially designed physical education, art, vocational education, and music. Whenever possible, our students are included with their non-disabled peers in a variety of settings, including regular education classes, lunch, special programs, and field trips.

Community-based instruction is also a part of the CDS program at Horace Mann. Each week we go on various community outings including the grocery store and restaurants. We work on navigating the stores, using appropriate community behaviors, and practicing table etiquette, social skills, functional reading, and money skills. When weather permits, students use the city bus for transportation on these outings. The class also takes a trip to James Madison Elementary School to go swimming in their heated pool every Friday morning where they work on personal hygiene. Most importantly, our students have fun.

The students participate in a class called "Apartment" each week. During this time, they learn and practice basic cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other life skills. Students use adaptive picture recipes and cues and adaptive equipment to promote safety and independence.

Many of the CDS students qualify to receive related services such as speech and language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, visual impairment services, and/or deaf and hard of hearing services. We work as a team using an integrated approach. Most often, these related services are provided within the context of the child's school day.

As you can see, our days are filled with many activities and projects that enhance the learning of all of our CDS students. We work hard to provide a firm, positive, and nurturing environment that allows all the students to succeed.