Almost every team has children who require special attention, and not always these children are people with disabilities with physical disabilities. The appearance of a child with intellectual disabilities is also possible. It is difficult for such children to learn the program on a common basis, they often lag behind in training and require individual lessons to be conducted with them. That's it about classes with children with intellectual disabilities we will talk in this article.
Manifestation of the disease
Mental retardation is a disease that cannot be detected immediately at birth. Its first manifestations become noticeable when the baby goes to kindergarten, and in some cases even later. But if the brain damage is really strong, then you can notice significant developmental delays in the first years of the baby’s life. But if we are talking about mental retardation, then it mainly manifests itself already at school age.
Now almost 90% of children who are diagnosed with a delay in intelligence have a diagnosis of mild mental retardation. Slight delays may be noticeable even in the kindergarten, however, a diagnosis can be accurately established only after entering school. There are three stages of mental retardation, each of which has its own characteristics. We will talk about this later.
Mild mental retardation
Work with children with intellectual disabilities can begin only after you have a complete picture of his condition. So, if you have a child with a slight mental retardation, then working with him will be quite simple. He rarely has problems communicating with a team of peers, such children can learn material on their own, but not to such an extent as the bulk of the children. But despite this, they attend ordinary classes in secondary schools. Over the course of life, this diagnosis does not disappear, but people can live a normal life, work in an enterprise, have friends and family. Perhaps sometimes they will need outside help, but loved ones are able to help them without the involvement of specialists.
Moderate mental retardation
Such a diagnosis is made only to ten percent of children who have impaired intelligence. Features of children with intellectual disabilities of this level can be found even in preschool age. When it comes time to go to school (approximately six or seven years), the intelligence of this child corresponds to two or three years of age. Therefore, such educational institutions do not lead such children.
Most often, such a diagnosis is observed in children who have Down syndrome. They are quite capable of living normally, communicating with other people, but they must be constantly monitored so that an adult can guide him. The development of children with intellectual disabilities of this level is rather slow, and they barely have time to master the school curriculum for the second grade. In adolescence, they also have a hard time, since it is difficult for children to learn moral standards and rules of behavior, as a result of which serious problems arise when communicating with peers.
Severe mental retardation
This is the rarest diagnosis of all. It is only given to three or four percent of children who have intellectual disabilities. The first manifestations can be noticed already in the first months of life, since even a person without a special education can see some anomalies in development. These children learn everything much later than others. It is more difficult for them to learn to sit, then crawl and walk, using a pot is also always a difficult stage of cognition. There’s nothing to say about the ability to talk, since it takes several years for the child to express his thoughts more or less clearly. There are also problems with physical development, serious health problems are observed.
This is terrible, but a child with such a level of intellectual disability can only make up a sentence of two or three words on his own by the twelfth year of his life. And at the age of fifteen, a boy or girl with severe mental retardation has the intelligence of a six-year-old child.
There is another diagnosis that occurs in only one percent of children - a deep mental retardation, which becomes noticeable in newborns. These children have not only mental, but also physical pathologies. It is required to conduct many classes with children with intellectual disabilities of such a level, just to teach them to hold a spoon, sit still, take care of themselves. It takes more than one year.
Causes of the disease
It is impossible to name absolutely all the reasons why a diagnosis of this type appears. However, the most common of them still need to know:
- Various genetic diseases can provoke this problem.
- Of course, heredity.
- Perhaps there were some violations during the period of intrauterine development, which entailed such consequences.
- Often such a diagnosis occurs in children who were born by their mother after forty-five years.
- Adverse pregnancy.
- A child may be injured directly during childbirth.
- Various inflammations can occur in the membranes of the brain, which inevitably entail similar consequences.
- Intellectual disorders can occur as a result of the fact that the child received a serious head injury, while still very small.
A healthy child from birth begins to learn this new and amazing world. He begins to feel everything, taste, checks the strength of objects. Only in this way will the child be able to get all the information he needs about the world into which he finds himself. It's no secret that he pronounces the first conscious and understandable words at one and a half or two years. Someone a little later or earlier, but the average performance is just that.
As for the development of children with impaired intelligence, they all go through these stages a little later, depending on the form in which this violation is expressed. They are no different from their peers, because they are also interested in toys and outdoor games. Communication with peers with children with mild mental retardation is especially easy. If they can find friends, and this is not so difficult, they will perfectly join the team and may even become recognized leaders there.
Education and training
Raising children with intellectual disabilities in some cases can cause difficulties and questions, however, if you make the maximum effort, you can cope with this difficult task.
The first thing that causes difficulties for children with such a diagnosis is speaking. It is very difficult for them to learn to speak, so quite often they have to use various gestures to simply explain what they want or do not want. This problem greatly complicates their verbal communication, does not allow communication with peers.
As already mentioned, it is difficult for such children to make friends, because they do not always understand what other children are talking about, what they are trying to get from them. Because of this, they can remain alone, not take part in various outdoor games, because by virtue of their intellectual capabilities they simply can not understand the rules of the game.
Great difficulties may arise in the learning process. Indeed, in children not only the ability to reproduce information is violated, but also the ability to assimilate it. Their thinking is not so well developed, they cannot absorb all the material that is given in school, like the rest of the children. Therefore, quite often they are transferred to individual training, and teachers study with them according to a special program.
Children who are diagnosed with "mental retardation" may well study in a comprehensive school and learn all the material submitted. Yes, it will not be fully understood and, possibly, not immediately, but the learning outcomes will be. They can easily make contact with peers, find friends in the student team. However, only those children who have mild mental retardation have such an opportunity. More serious types of backwardness have their own characteristics.
Children with moderate and severe disabilities attend special educational institutions or are in home schooling.
As for the first category of children, they do quite well in school, but their success largely depends on the teacher himself, on his ability to correctly build a lesson and present information. The kindergarten teacher and school teacher should understand that this child requires special attention and approach. It's no secret that children feel everything, and especially sensitivity is increased in children with this diagnosis.
Being engaged in a school team, they should see the support of an adult who should praise them for their smallest achievements. Otherwise, the child will understand that he can not perform any tasks, he will have fear and a feeling of helplessness. If the teacher shows his negative attitude towards such a child, then he will immediately understand that no one here is needed, will give up and stop moving forward. He will not be able to get even the tasks he can do.
What should parents do?
Many mothers, having heard the diagnosis of their child, seek to completely isolate him from the outside world. They are afraid that he will be teased or offended, that he will be “clogged” and useless to anyone. In this regard, even children with mild mental retardation often remain at home school or in a specialized school. This should not be done if there are no serious prerequisites.
On the contrary, you need to try to socialize the baby, send him to the garden, then to a regular school. So he will learn to communicate with people, he will understand that he is the same person as everyone. But here you need to be careful and better go through a consultation with a psychologist PMPK. After all, if the baby has serious delays, that is, the risk of his isolation in the team, then this will entail serious consequences for his mental state.
So, remember that teaching children with intellectual disabilities in a regular school is possible, but only after a preliminary examination of a specialist and consultation with him.
It is impossible to say exactly what kind of programs are needed for children with intellectual disabilities, since here everything is determined purely individually. However, you can give general advice and recommendations on the design of such programs.
Such exercises are needed in order to strengthen the hand, develop motor skills. As auxiliary materials, experts use plasticine or clay, from which together with the child they sculpt some figures. Also quite often in the classroom there is a small rubber ball that the child can actively squeeze. To develop motor skills, you can offer the child to untie various knots, pierce the cardboard. Children really like to connect the dots, from which they then turn out beautiful drawings, which can then even be painted. Mosaic will also be very useful in such classes, you can come up with various finger exercises.
Orientation in space
Also a very important point in the education of a child with intellectual impairment. He must be able to determine the right and left, not only in himself, but also in his mirror image, of different people and objects in life and in pictures. It is necessary to teach the child to navigate on a plane. To do this, he is offered a regular sheet of paper on which he puts various marks depending on the instruction of the teacher: right, top, left, bottom. It also trains memory and abstract thinking. You can offer the baby to remember the picture, and then put it from the puzzle from memory.
Drawing is useful for the development of absolutely all types of thinking. Also included is modeling, the construction of various models, and the manufacture of applications. The activities of children with intellectual disabilities are aimed at understanding the outside world, they learn to depict what they see on paper, their abstract thinking develops.
Classes can never be held in silence, since together with cognitive activity the child must learn speech, learn to formulate his statements, comment on everything that he does. If you decide to do correctional work with such a baby, then be prepared for the fact that the classes that you are preparing should be designed for the development of the entire personality from all sides, and not just for certain skills. Corrective work with children with intellectual disabilities is a long and painstaking work. Success here awaits only the teacher who is truly fully committed to this business, and not just sees a way to make money.