Mental Retardation

Source:  Mental Retardation    Tag:  what is mild mental retardation
According to the Council for Exceptional Children “Mental retardation is a disability characterized by many limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills.” There are three components when diagnosis these individuals with mental retardation's. First off their IQ score must be 70 or below. Must have deficits in adaptive behavior. And lastly origins of this disability must be present before the age of 18 years old. Mental retardation is broken down into four different levels from most mild form to the most severe. A child’s IQ score of 70 to 55 is considered to have mild retardation. Mild retardation makes up approximately 70 percent of their population. The individuals who fall into this group may be able to live on their own. Moderate retardation is a IQ score from 55 to 35. This group includes about 10 percent of the total mental retardation population. These individuals depending on the severity can often live a somewhat normal life. They usually live in group homes. Severe retardation is having an IQ score of 35 to 20. This group makes up 3 to 4 percent of the mental retardation population. The people in this groups usually live in group homes, but can perform the simple skills in life such as getting dress or cleaning. And the last form of mental retardation is the most severe form and it is known as profound mental retardation. Its IQ score ranges anywhere below 25. The profound level makes up 1 to 2 percents of all mental retardation population. These individuals often have more than one mental disability. They usually have self care skills and basic communication skills.
People whom suffer from mental retardation are less efficient at learning than others. Some areas that suffer deficits are in memory, attention, or language. People who have severe mental retardation are more effect with brain damage that can lead to other physical disabilities. Individuals who have mild mental retardation typically do not have any specific physical or medical cause for limitation in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. These cases are to me more likely linked to heredity, early environment, or some combination of both. There is an exception to this, fetal alcohol syndrome these babies are at significantly high risk to be born with mild to severe intellectual impairments as well as other problems. Overall, the more severe the mental retardation is the more likely to have a medical or physical cause.

Implications and Modifications

Implications of teaching Students whom suffer from mental retardation have the ability to learn, to develop , and to grow. Most of the mild population can go on the live a productive life. Appropriate educational services that begin in infancy and continue throughout the developmental period and beyond will enable children with mental retardation to develop to their fullest potential

I’m sure that teaching children who suffer from some sort of mental retardation isn’t easy but this shouldn’t make them any less of a student to teach. As a teacher there are many different criteria and planning the must go into helping these individuals learn. As an Regular Kindergarten Elementary Educator I feel that is extremely important to first identify what the student knows and what areas the student needs help with. I feel that this must be done not by assessments but by following the student’s routine to find those skills that can be applied and those that need more attention.

As the IDEA state all children with Mental Retardation age 3 to 21 is entitled to a free and appropriate education through and IEP. As a teacher I will have to provide the student with general education curriculum. I think this is great so they can learn from typical classmates. The curriculum of course will have to be modified to fit their level. Different instructions will also have to have modifications made to them.
When teaching these children I think it is important to have many visual aids. Although you may say it and they will hear you I think seeing it will stick with them and go farther than just hearing it. A child whom had mild retardation can do well in school but will need individual help. Children with mental retardation will need help in adaptive skills that will help them work, play and live in the community. There are many ways that I can help a individual whom suffers from this disability as well as some of these skills can be worked on at home with the parents. It is important to help the student communicate. Communication is so important in life so working with them on these skills will be very important as the go throughout life. Social skills also fall into this category. Some them how to play a game, working with in a group or even working on knowing the rules of conversation is very important.
I think a very important way of teaching would be to present the information and instructions in small chronological steps and review each step frequently. Say for instance you were teaching the child how to learn the alphabet. First you would say it whole alphabet a couple of times. Then break it down say 5 letters of the alphabet such as ABCDE and repeat until they can remember and understand that this is the first 5 letters of the alphabet. Move on to the next 5 letters FGHIJ and then once they are understanding these go back and the first five and go through the ten of them together. Once they are understand this much add 5 letters at a time and then always go back and add in what they have already learn. I think I would use this maybe even with all my students as a Elementary kindergarten teacher. But I think it is specifically important to make sure they mentally challenged kids get the progress of taking it a little at a time then adding more and more and keep going back and repeating what they’ve already acquired.

Specific Technology

Using bright coloring when teaching, Reward system, A checklist ( must easier for MR student to go through the checklist than to read instructions and follow. Must easier to follow) I’ve also heard of IKEY that is an easier keyboard to use whiling on the computer. Possible a audio recorder and playback. There are endless technologies that can help in teaching these student these are just a few to name.


Annotated References

http://www.people1.org/articles/asst_tech_about.htm - an overview of assistive technology for people with mental retardation

http://www.aamr.org/- give a great definition

www.bestbuddies.com- great website that incorporate person with MR into society.

www.webmd.com- get place to get basic foundation of the mental retardation.