What are intellectual disabilities?
Intellectual disabilities refer to a type of mental impairment that is biological in nature which causes an individual to learn at a slower pace as compared to their contemporaries. One of the most common manifestations of this comes in the form of high school students with autism (commonly Asperger’s syndrome) which results in a certain level of “withdrawal” on the part of the student from the world around them. It is due to this and other similar disorders that new approaches are needed when it comes to teaching such students.
Difficulties that are encountered
Some of the common difficulties that are encountered when teaching a student with mild intellectual disabilities come in the form of: being unable to adequately participate in group activities, they cannot understand the lesson plan, they lack the ability to socialize with other students, there is the necessity of more “hands-on” guidance, and lastly greater levels of parental assistance needed. While these difficulties can be overcome, they need proper planning in order to be successfully implemented.
Strategies in Helping Children with Mild Intellectual Disabilities
In order to help children with mild intellectual disabilities, the following strategies are often utilized and advocated for by educators, namely:
One of the strategies in helping children with mild intellectual disabilities is a focus on greater home based methods of learning and teaching. It has been shown that students with impaired thinking are actually able to develop their intellect a lot better when taught in a familiar environment and by someone they trust. This is where parents enter the picture wherein they focus on a more “hands-on” teaching approach and supplement their child’s school lessons with home based learning.
It is necessary to create a separate environment for children with intellectual disabilities since the current classroom environment that they are in is not conducive towards learning at the pace and comfort that would actually facilitate a positive learning experience
Adjusted curriculums for special needs students come in the form of lesson plans that are simplified as compared their contemporaries. This means that the lessons focus on the basics and in developing an interest for the students. The point of an adjusted lesson curriculum is that the less competitive learning environment would be better for these types of students to learn in.
Lately the iPad has been gaining a significant amount of momentum in the U.S. as an additional teaching tool within various high school classrooms. As various school districts and teachers have noted students are able to relate better with technology driven lessons rather than traditional methods of teachings.
Overall, a high school student with mild intellectual disabilities can be taught so long as the proper methods are employed and the teacher knows how such methods can be implemented.