Intellectual impairment (ID), formerly known as mental retardation, is characterized by below-average intelligence or mental aptitude as well as a lack of abilities required for daily living. People with intellectual disabilities can and do learn new skills, but at a slower pace. Intellectual disability ranges in severity from minor to severe. The phrase “mental retardation” is no longer used because it is derogatory and pejorative.
Mental Retardation Definitions
Mental retardation, as defined by the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), is an expressively sub-average common intellectual functioning that exists concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifests during the growing-up period, adversely affecting a child’s educational performance.
According to the American Association of Mental Retardation (AAMR), 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 restrictions become apparent before the age of 18.”
What factors contribute to intellectual disability?
Intellectual disability can occur whenever something interferes with normal brain development. However, only around one-third of the time can a specific cause of intellectual disability be identified.
The following are the most common causes of intellectual disability:
- Genetic disorders. Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome are examples of these.
- Pregnancy complications. Alcohol or drug use, starvation, certain illnesses, or preeclampsia can all disrupt embryonic brain development.
- Obstacles during birthing. If a kid is deprived of oxygen during labor or is born exceedingly prematurely, he or she may develop intellectual impairment.
- Ailment or damage. Infections such as meningitis, whooping cough, and measles can result in intellectual impairment. It can also be caused by serious head injury, near-drowning, excessive starvation, infections in the brain, exposure to toxic substances such as lead, and severe neglect or abuse.
Mental Retardation Characteristics
Poor motor abilities, limited language skills, and self-help competence that do not appear to be growing at the same rate as the child’s classmates are the primary indicators of mental retardation.
The intellectually impaired youngster may also struggle to adjust to his or her new surroundings. In the case of mild mental retardation, these signs may not be seen until the child reaches school age. The severity of mental retardation ranges from severely impaired to negligible or marginal retardation. Children with mental impairment usually demonstrate deficits in self-rule tools, including decision making, problem solving, and goal planning.
Is it possible to prevent intellectual disability?
Certain causes of intellectual impairment can be avoided. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most prevalent of them. Pregnant ladies should not consume alcohol. Getting good prenatal care, taking a prenatal vitamin, and getting vaccinated against certain infectious diseases can all reduce your child’s chances of being born with intellectual disability.
Before conception, genetic testing may be advised in families with a history of genetic diseases.
During pregnancy, certain procedures, such as ultrasonography and amniocentesis, can be conducted to search for abnormalities related to intellectual disability. These tests can detect issues before birth, but they cannot correct them.
Educating the Retarded Child
In this case, the employment of assistive technology represents a distinct yet critical teaching technique. Many software applications have been developed to assist students with intellectual disabilities in the classroom. These comprise of an audio-video-based curriculum that can be adapted by the teacher to fit the student’s explicit academic aptitudes.
Even while the term “mental retardation” is still extensively used in education, many groups believe it has too many negative connotations. As a result, educators must better grasp how to aid these children in traditional learning practices while also preparing them for the transition to adulthood.
Learning Environment Applications for Educating the Retarded Child
Individuals with intellectual disabilities will have different modifications to Educating the Retarded Child procedures and instructional material. General strategies, on the other hand, can be employed to assist students with intellectual challenges. Difficult or complex concepts should be broken down into simpler components (i.e., chunking). Additional components can be added as the student learns each component until the overall concept is taught and learned. Another important Educating the Retarded Child technique for students with intellectual disabilities is modeling. Students benefit by witnessing the action or behavior before completing the assignment. Many of these pupils struggle with memory recall and benefit from material application and repetition. When a learner can relate to the utility of an activity or endeavor, he or she is more likely to be interested in learning the topic. Agricultural education programs are appropriate for this since the curriculum is typically applied to real-world scenarios where students may directly apply the activities to their lives.
The classroom setting should be designed in such a way that children with intellectual disabilities can remain focused and on task. Students’ seating arrangements should be given special consideration. Students with intellectual disabilities should be seated in a location where the teacher and/or an Educating the Retarded Child helper may easily monitor the student and provide immediate support if necessary. Furthermore, the student should be situated with peers who are willing to assist the kid in staying on task, rather than peers who may encourage the youngster to participate in undesirable behavior. Individuals with intellectual disabilities learn best in small groups or one-on-one situations. Choose pupils who will work well with the intellectually impaired student while forming small groups.
For all kids in the classroom, feedback is critical. When giving comments to pupils with intellectual challenges, make it as immediate as feasible. Students may be unable to understand the source and consequence of their conduct if feedback is not provided immediately (Reynolds, Zupanick, & Dombeck, 2013). Feedback should be given to the student directly and might include both verbal and written praise or rebuke.
Readings, homework assignments, quizzes, and examinations in the classroom may need to be amended based on the student’s IEP team. The tough curriculum in agriculture education should be updated to ensure that students with intellectual disabilities can understand the subject matter. If a difficult curriculum is taught at a pace that is too fast for the learner, the student may become overwhelmed and unable to focus on the core components of the lesson. Plan what you want the learner to achieve from the lesson before Educating the Retarded Child the lesson and alter the learning objectives and Educating the Retarded Child approaches accordingly.
The laboratory environment offers several opportunities for students to acquire and apply skills in real-world scenarios. When possible, strategies for educating the retarded child should incorporate concrete examples and visual illustration. Many cognitively handicapped students learn best through visual and kinetic encounters. Combining images, films, and demonstrations with hands-on learning experiences is incredibly effective. For example, before allowing pupils to accomplish plant propagation on their own, the agriculture education teacher may provide step-by-step images and a demonstration. Students may gain even more from executing each step of the activity one at a time while the technique is being presented.
Laboratory settings can give excellent opportunities for youngsters to learn and engage with peers who are usually developing. Students with intellectual disabilities should be put in lab groups with peers who can contribute to a positive learning environment. Assign student responsibilities or have students assign roles for themselves to ensure that each student in the group participates completely in the activity.
In addition to learning experiences directly related to the trip’s aim, the non-formal learning setting can equip individuals with intellectual disabilities with skills in social interaction and acceptable behavior. It is critical to create an atmosphere with clear behavioral expectations and penalties for failure to meet those standards. When traveling, a structured atmosphere with an emphasis on student safety is crucial. Ascertain that the student is fully aware of bus safety and understands that he or she must remain with his or her group during the excursion.
Students with intellectual disabilities are frequently served by special education teachers in public schools. School personnel must determine the degree of the handicap, make appropriate curriculum modifications, and plan for the student’s transition into adulthood. Agricultural education can help individuals with intellectual disabilities meet their social and job preparedness needs. The agriculture education instructor should employ ideas from Educating the Retarded Child to help pupils with limited cognitive ability. Modifying hard material, chunking knowledge, creating visual and kinetic learning experiences, and connecting students with like-minded peers are some strategies. The physical learning environment should be modified to provide a safe learning environment that is as unobtrusive to the student as feasible.