The Special Needs component of CAP was specifically designed to meet the needs of children with developmental disabilities. Children with developmental disabilities are especially vulnerable to abuse, assault and bullying, by peers as well as adults. This population of children also may lack the social, cognitive and/or language abilities to assert themselves, make informed decisions, understand consequences, and communicate when personal boundaries have been violated.
As with other curricula the goals, objectives, and strategies were developed by educators, psychologists, and other specialists in the field of special education. The strategies of peer support, self-assertion and telling a trusted adult are present in this curriculum just as they are in all CAP curricula.
The program focuses on working closely with the classroom teacher to teach body concept, recognition of body rights and to develop self confidence and independence. The program is a five-day model with the teachers conducting the activities on the first and fifth days. They meet with the CAP facilitators and receive all the materials they need to implement those two days. On the other days, the CAP facilitators (3) come into the classroom for 40 minute sessions. This combination of effort has proven to be an effective and comprehensive method of reaching the students with this valuable information. Role-plays and guided group discussion center on the issues of assault by bullies, by strangers and by a known and trusted adult. Pictures and other visual aids are used to convey concepts.
Time is set aside after the workshops for students who wish to talk to facilitators about the workshop material or to have further discussions. This time is called “review time”. Review time is offered everyday in the classroom and is coordinated with the classroom teacher.