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Mental Retardation Teaching Strategies

KARI RADKO EDUCATION 205 KAE HAMILTON

Person-Centered Planning
WHEN TEACHING STUDENTS WITH MENTAL RETARDATION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND THE LONG TERM GOAL, WHICH IS TO GAIN MAXIMUM INDEPENDENCE. THIS CAN BE DONE BY THE EDUCATIONAL APPROACH OF PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING. THIS IS AN EDUCATIONAL PLAN THAT MAKES THE INDIVIDUAL THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PLANNING, AND TAKES INTO CONSIDERATION THE ABILITIES AND ASPIRATIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

Instructional Content
Basic academic skills Students with mental retardation may learn basic academic skills, such as reading, math, science, language, and spelling. Functional academic skills Students with mental retardation may learn practical, everyday problem-solving skills that will serve the individual in his or her current and future life. Independent life skills Students with mental retardation learn life skills, or life management, by observing and participating in school, at home, and in the community.

Instructional Content continued


Self-determination/Self-advocacy skills By promoting ones own interests and being determined, students with mental retardation learn and then know how to make choices and decisions in their own lives. Community-based instruction Teaching instructions involve natural environments, such as work, malls, or restaurants, where students can learn how to function in society independently. Transition planning Preparing students with mental disabilities for out-of-school adjustment and being independent.

Instructional Procedures

Learning sequence The teacher needs to start with simple and small tasks before moving on to more complex ones. Presentation and practice Students with mental disabilities need examples, guidance, repetition, and more opportunities when learning. Generalization The ability to apply information or skills to different settings by means of examples, linking instructions to realworld use, or using similar/same learning materials.

Instructional Arrangements
Instructional Environment
The physical arrangement

Instructional Technology
The use of technology can

allows students with disabilities to experience a normalized classroom setting. Additionally, small groups allow students with disabilities to develop ageappropriate social and communication behaviors.

increase the independence, productivity, self-esteem, self-reliance, and selfdetermination of students with mental retardation, as well as remove instructional behaviors.

General Education Teacher Considerations

These considerations allow general

education teachers to try and move towards full inclusion for students with disabilities:

Unadapted participation in general education (same activities, same setting) Adaptations to the general education curriculum (same activities, different but related objectives, same setting) Embedded skills with the general curriculum (similar activity, different but related objectives, same setting) Functional curriculum in the classroom Functional curriculum outside the classroom