Intellectual impairment (ID), formerly known as mental retardation, is defined by below-average IQ or mental ability as well as a lack of daily living abilities. Individuals with intellectual disabilities can and can learn new skills but at a slower rate. The severity of intellectual disability ranges from mild to severe. Because it is disparaging and negative, the term “mental retardation” is no longer used.
Definitions of Mental Retardation
The IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) defines mental retardation as “an expressively sub-average common intellectual functioning that exists concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviour and manifests during the growing-up period, adversely affecting a child’s educational performance.”
Mental retardation is defined as “significantly below-average general intellectual functioning accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning in at least two of the following skill areas: communication, self-care, social skills, self-direction, academic skills, work, leisure, health, and/or safety.” These limitations become clear before the age of 18.”
What are the variables that lead to intellectual disability?
When something interferes with normal brain growth, intellectual impairment can arise. However, a precise cause of intellectual disability can only be determined around one-third of the time.
The most common causes of intellectual impairment are as follows:
- Genetic conditions, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome are two examples.
- Complications with pregnancy. Alcohol or drug abuse, hunger, certain diseases, or preeclampsia can all wreak havoc on embryonic brain development.
- Obstacles encountered during childbirth. If a child is deprived of oxygen during labour or is born too soon, he or she may suffer from intellectual disability.
Ailment or harm. Infections including meningitis, whooping cough, and measles can cause cognitive impairment. It can also be caused by a significant head injury, near-drowning, extreme hunger, brain infections, exposure to toxic substances such as lead, and severe neglect or abuse.
Characteristics of Mental Retardation
The key signs of mental retardation include poor motor abilities, restricted language skills, and self-help competence that does not appear to be growing at the same rate as the child’s classmates.
The mentally challenged child may also struggle to adjust to his or her new environment. These indicators may not be seen until the child enters school age in the case of moderate mental disability. Mental retardation ranges in intensity from severely impaired to insignificant or marginal impairment. Deficits in self-control tools, such as decision making, problem solving, and goal setting, are common in children with mental disabilities.
Can intellectual disability be prevented?
Certain causes of cognitive decline are avoidable. The most common of them is fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol should not be consumed by pregnant women. Prenatal care, prenatal vitamins, and immunization against specific infectious diseases can all lessen your child’s risk of being born with intellectual handicap.
Genetic testing before pregnancy may be recommended in families with a history of genetic problems.
Certain techniques, such as ultrasonography and amniocentesis, can be performed during pregnancy to look for anomalies associated to intellectual disability. These tests can uncover problems before birth, but they can’t fix them.
Educating the Developmentally Disabled Child
In this instance, the use of assistive technology is a distinct yet crucial instructional strategy. Many software apps have been created to help kids with intellectual disabilities succeed in school. These consist of an audio-video-based curriculum that the teacher can tailor to the student’s specific academic abilities.
Even while the term “mental retardation” is still widely used in schools, many people consider it has too many negative implications. As a result, educators must better understand how to support young children in traditional learning practises while simultaneously preparing them for adulthood.
Learning Environment Applications for Retarded Children
Individuals with intellectual disabilities will experience various adjustments to Educating the Retarded Child processes and teaching materials. General tactics, on the other hand, can be used to help children who are facing intellectual obstacles. Difficult or complex concepts should be chunked (broken down into simpler components). As the student understands each component, more can be added until the complete concept is taught and remembered.
Modelling is another crucial Educating the Retarded Child strategy for kids with intellectual disabilities. Before completing the task, students gain by experiencing the event or behaviour. Many of these students have difficulty recalling information and would benefit from content application and repetition. A student is more likely to be engaged in learning a topic if he or she can relate to the utility of an activity or endeavour. Agricultural education programs are ideal for this because the curriculum is often applied to real-world circumstances in which students can apply the activities directly to their life.
Environment in the Classroom
The educational environment should be designed such that children with intellectual disabilities can focus and stay on task. Seating arrangements for students should be given special consideration. Students with intellectual disabilities should be positioned in a location where the teacher and/or an Educating the Retarded Child assistant may easily monitor them and provide prompt assistance if needed. Furthermore, the student should be placed with peers who are prepared to help the child stay on track, rather than peers who may encourage the child to engage in undesirable behaviour. Individuals with intellectual disabilities learn best when they are in small groups or one-on-one. Select students who will work successfully with the cognitively handicapped students in small groups.
Feedback is essential for all students in the classroom. Make your comments to students with intellectual issues as immediate as possible. If students do not receive rapid feedback, they may be unable to understand the source and consequences of their behaviour (Reynolds, Zupanick, & Dombeck, 2013). Feedback should be delivered directly to the learner and may include both vocal and written praise or censure.
Readings, homework assignments, quizzes, and exams in the classroom may need to be modified based on the IEP team’s recommendations. Agriculture education curriculum should be revised to ensure that students with intellectual disabilities can understand the subject matter. If a challenging subject is presented at a rate that is too quick for the learner, the student may become overwhelmed and unable to focus on the lesson’s main components. Before Educating the Retarded Child the lesson, consider what you want the student to gain from it, and adjust the learning objectives and Educating the Retarded Child approaches accordingly.
The laboratory setting provides several possibilities for students to learn and apply skills in real-world circumstances. When possible, educational tactics for the impaired youngster should include concrete examples and visual illustrations. Many kids with cognitive disabilities learn better through visual and physical experiences. It is quite useful to combine visuals, films, and demonstrations with hands-on learning activities. Before allowing students to do plant propagation on their own, for example, the agriculture education teacher may provide step-by-step photos and a demonstration. Students may benefit even more from performing each step of the activity one at a time while the technique is demonstrated.
Laboratory settings can provide fantastic opportunities for children to study and interact with peers who are typically growing. Students with intellectual disabilities should be paired with classmates who can contribute to a pleasant learning environment in lab groups. designate student duties or have students designate roles to ensure that every student in the group participates fully in the activity.
In addition to directly linked learning experiences, the non-formal learning setting can provide individuals with intellectual disabilities with skills in social interaction and acceptable behaviour. It is vital to establish a culture with defined behavioural expectations and consequences for failing to achieve those goals. An organised environment with an emphasis on student safety is essential when traveling. Ascertain that the student knows bus safety and that he or she must remain with his or her group throughout the tour.
Special education teachers commonly serve students with intellectual disabilities in public schools. School personnel must assess the extent of the handicap, modify the curriculum, and plan for the student’s transition into adulthood. Individuals with intellectual disabilities can benefit from agricultural education to meet their social and job readiness goals. To assist students with low cognitive ability, the agriculture education instructor should use principles from Educating the Retarded Child. Some tactics include modifying hard content, chunking knowledge, generating visual and kinetic learning experiences, and linking students with like-minded peers. The physical learning environment should be changed to produce a safe learning environment that is as unobtrusive as possible to the student.