Teaching Students with Intellectual Challenges
- Use visual aids because lengthy verbal instructions, and lectures have limited appeal for almost all students, and are particularly ineffective in teaching a mentally challenged child.
- Use visual stimuli such as charts, drawing and models. You can also use charts to track a child’s educational or behavioral progress.
- Use hands on demonstrations. Mentally challenged children may have difficulty in grasping abstract concepts.
- Fang age the children in a sensory way. For example explaining gravity verbally to a mentally challenged child will be confusing. Instead give him a book and let him drop it.
- Use flexibility with task or assignment. The good here is to learn to work with the child’s unique strength to accomplish task.
- Break information or task into smaller parts. Do not present too much informant to them all at once.
- Set your, expectations in accordance with the child’s disability. A Severely disabled child might simply be taught to communicate huger.
- Request an I.E.P meeting at any time if your feel that child’s needs are not being met and a major change in I.E.P is required.
- Give fewer choices if a child is asked to pick a color, say red only give him two or three choice to pick from. Give very clear choice.
- Keep your language simple. Reword your sentence if child does not understand.
- Repeat instructions and checking understanding. Provide very clear structure and a set of daily routine including time for play.
- Teach what is finished and what new is going to be learned.
- Address the pupil individually by calling name all times.
- Use various means of presentation, visual, physical guidance, peer modeling etc.
- Avoid over stimulation. Remove distracters, when a task involving concentration is set.
- Explore word processing and computer based learning for literacy.
- Protect the pupil from teasing at free times and provide peers with awareness of his/her particular needs.
How Parents Cope with a Mentally Challenged Child:
Parents of a mentally challenged child experience many emotional difficulties, including self-blame helplessness, unrealistic expectations, whrries for the future and marital strain.
Learn about the challenges your child is facing the more you learn, the more you will be able to help your child and yourself. Ask your child’s doctor, teacher and therapist for book recommendations that will educate you about your child’s challenges and prouder ways for you to encourage his independence at home.
Many parents of mentally challenged children benefit from joining a parent group and meeting other families with similar needs. There also exist online support groups and prouder information and emotional support. Local parent groups many exit in your area, and your family can meet other families facing similar challenges in person.
All parents need a break from the responsibilities of caring for their child. But parents of a child with disabilities may have more difficulty accessing this type of relief. Seek out parents of other special needs children who are qualified and experienced in caring for a mentally challenged child and ask if you can work out a trade where you take tarns watching each-others children while the other couple has a chance to run errands or enjoy a day out.
Parents of disabled children go through a grieving process that includes shock, denial, anger and acceptance. Create a home salty zone:
Carve out private space in your home where your child can relax, feel secure and be safe. Visual cues can be helpful for example colored tape marking areas that are off limits, labeling items in the house with pictures. You many also need to safety proof your house, especially if your child is prone to tantrums of other self-injurious behaviors.
- Look for nonverbal cues:
You can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that children with autism use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they are tired, hungry or want something.
- Figure out the need behind the tantrum:
It is only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and it’s no different for children with autism. Throwing a tantrum is their way communicating their frustration and getting your attention.
- Make time for fun:
For both children with autism and their parents, there needs to be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your child is most alert and awake.
- Pay attention to the Child’s sensory Sensitivities:
Many children with autism are hyper sensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Other children with autism are under sensitive to sensory stimuli. Figure out what kind of sight, sound, smell, movements and tactile sensations trigger your kind’s bad or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. A teacher’s guide to autism treatment and support:
- Parent’s guide for the management of an autistic child can also be helpful for a teacher of the same type of child.
- A good autism treatment plan can be built on child’s interest.
- Teacher can offer a predictable schedule of activities.
- Teacher’s tasks should consist of a series of simple steps.
- Teacher should wait for “right time” when the child is most alert and responsive and then engage child’s attention actively in highly structured activities.
- Provide regular reinforcement of behavior.
- Try to involve parents, siblings or other play mates in some learning sessions.
- Find out child’s strength and make nesses and weakness in view while designing same activity or task for child and his/her parents.
- Active involvement and creative skills of teacher are Vital to the child’s benefit and teacher’s success.
- Keep in touch with other members of treatment team, for example, psychotherapist, speech therapist, physiotherapist, sensory therapist, occupational therapist, nutritional therapist or simply family physician.
- Create autism support group for parents. Arrange parent’s meetings with families dealing with the same challenges, and encourage them to share experiences and information.