Monday, December 10, 2007

Mentally Disabled or Cognitively Delayed

Mentally Disabled or Cognitively Delayed:
Definition: This disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. This disability originates before age 18.
Difficulty in focusing and attending to relevant stimuli
Memory problems
Doubts own abilities due to past failures – external locus of control
Learned helplessness
Reliance on others for cues and guidance - Outer-directedness
Poor interpersonal skills, socially inappropriate behaviors
Academic performance: deficiency is seen in all areas, but, generally, reading is weakest.
Difficulty in generalizing knowledge – transferring knowledge gained in one area to another
May have problems with hearing, sight or speech
Impaired cognitive functioning (IQ below 70-75)
Significant limitations exist in two or more adaptive skill areas
Physical and emotional problems such as depression
Accommodation strategies
Student is within close proximity to teacher or teacher's aide during instruction
Have a “private” place available for distraction-free reading or small motor work
Always present oral instructions coupled with visual instructions – such as a story board or visual chart
Allow additional time for special needs student to adapt to situation
Provide learning experiences that are multi-sensory
Modify or shorten task to insure success
Provide opportunities for cooperative learning
Allow for short attention span
Use meaningful positive reinforcement

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