2 Mild Intellectual Disability is. . . A learning disorder characterized by:An ability to profit educationally within a regular class with the aid of considerable curriculum modification and supportive servicesAn inability to profit educationally within the regular classroom because of slow intellectual developmentA potential for academic learning, independent social adjustment and economic self-supportsMinistry of Education, Special Education Companion, 2002
4 What does it mean to be intellectually disabled? “intellectual disability presents itself as an inability to think as quickly, reason as deeply, remember as easily, or adapt as rapidly to new situations” (Westwood, 2007)
5 Identifying MID IQ scores or percentiles Adaptive behaviour skills that are significantly below averageAcademic achievementHow is a student identified as having mild intellectual disabilityA student with MID would have an IQ score of less than 70adaptive behavior skills that are significantly below average. Adaptive behavior includes conceptual, social, and practical skills that people learn so that they can function in their everyday lives.Provincial report card, CBM, PM Benchmarks
6 Mild Intellectual Disability vs Learning Disability IQ score ‹ 70performing 2-3 years behind age appropriate peers in cognitive developmentRequire modification/accommodationsSocial relationships may be difficultLack understanding of verbal/non-verbal cues, difficulty following rules and routinesLearning DisabilityTypically have average to above average cognitive abilitiesMay require specific teaching strategies or accommodationsSome may require grade level modifications in some subjectsMany are able to successfully complete the Ontario curriculum expectationsMID#2 which may include math, language, short attention span and delays in speech developmentMID#3 and will require greater support or withdrawal from the classroomMID#4 they may have behaviour problems, immature, obsessive/compulsive disordersLD#1 – cognitive abilities is their processing, memory, judgment, reasoning and perceptionLD#3 to learn and demonstrate their knowledge and skillsLD#4 and continue on to postsecondary educationWatson, Sue; Learning Disabilities
7 Student Characteristics Academic Performance:Lag significantly behind grade-level peers in developing academic skillsDelayed in learning reading and basic math skillsDelays in reading and math combined with delays in language skills results in delays in other academic areas that require the use of these skills, such as writing, spelling and science#1 Lag behind age-level peers throughout the school year#2 Many students develop basic literacy skills and functional math skills, for example, most learn basic computational skills and math skills related to time, money and measurement#2 Continue to have difficulty with more advanced skills related to content such as mathematical reasoning and applying concepts to problem solve#3 Delayed language development has the most detrimental effect in reading with a deficit in phonological awareness and oral language skillseven if they develop the ability to read individual words and strategies for reading comprehension, they will have difficulty comprehending what they have read because of weak verbal skills in areas such as vocabulary
8 Student Characteristics Cognitive Performance:Have general delays in cognitive development3 of the most important cognitive skill deficits demonstrated by students with mild intellectual disability are related to attention, memory and generalization.
9 Student Characteristics Cognitive Performance: Attention Difficulty with 3 different types of attention: 1) Orienting to task requires a student to look in the direction of the task 2) Selective attention requires that the student attend to relevant aspects of the task and not to unimportant task components 3) Sustaining attention requires that the student continue to attend to a task for a period of time#1 for example a teacher demonstrating how to solve a math problem on a Smartboard in the front of the room.#2 attending to one type of math problem on a page and completing the appropriate operation
10 Student Characteristics Cognitive Performance: MemoryDifficulty remembering information (short-term memory)Remembering math facts or spelling wordsMemory problems are influenced by attentional difficultiesHave difficulties generating and using strategies that help facilitate short-term memoryFocus should be on meaningful content during instruction and instructing on which strategy to use#2 may remember information one day and they may forget the next#3 students will have difficulty remembering of they do not orient to the information (look in the direction the information is being presented), select the information that needs to be remembered and maintain attention to the important material for a period of time#4 for example, when students attempt to remember information many use a rehearsal strategy such as repeating the information over and over#5 rehearsal, clustering/chunking, using mnemonic devices
11 ActivityRemember this sequence of numbers Now write it down in the correct order Now write it down backwards
12 Student Characteristics Cognitive Performance: GeneralizationDifficulty in generalizing of information to other materialDifficulty generalizing material learned in one setting to another#1 for example, a student may learn operations for adding or subtracting but then may have difficulty generalizing the information to a division problem or a word problem or a student may learn a new word in one subject area but have difficulty reading the same word in other reading materials in science or social studies.#2 for example, from school to the community or home such as making a purchase at the store
13 Student Characteristics Social Skills Performance:Cognitive characteristics of students with MID may contribute to difficulty interacting sociallyDifficulty understanding the content of verbal interactions due to low level cognitive development and delayed language developmentDifficulty with attention and memory impedes social interactionsDifficulty reading social cues, interacting successfully in conversations, lack of connections in school activities#2 for example, a student may not know when to listen and when and how to respond#3 have difficulty attending to important aspects of social interactions, maintaining attention over time and holding important aspects of what they observe in short-term memory#4 this may include difficulty reading body language or gestures and understanding social language and behaviour, this can lead to alienation of students from peers and lack of involvement in school, they may feel that they are unimportant to peers and teachers and develop feelings that they are not involved in the social community of the school,#4 students may withdraw in social situations and seek attention in inappropriate ways because they have difficulty distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable standards of behaviour#4 social skills of student with MID are greatly improved when they are provided with appropriate supports and included in the
14 Teaching Strategies Direct Instruction Academic Skills Real world reading skillsReal world math skillsReal world writing skillsFunctional SkillsMoney conceptsTime conceptsIndependent living skillsSelf-care and hygieneCommunity accessLeisure activitiesVocational trainingLearn skills in applicable environmentsGeneralize skills to various situations and environmentsAcademic skills take on a more functional role utilizing real world experiences in reading, math and writing.To fully address the limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior often experienced by individuals with intellectual disabilities, teachers need to provide direct instruction in a number of skill areas outside of the general curriculum as well as academic skills. These skills are more functional in nature but are absolutely essential for the future independence of the individual. Additional skill areas include money concepts, time concepts, independent living skills, self-care and hygiene, community access, leisure activities, and vocational training.Students with intellectual disabilities learn these skills most effectively in the settings or activities in which they will be asked to apply these skills. Once the skills are mastered then additional environments can be added to work towards generalization.
15 Teaching Strategies Break down tasks. Teach in smaller components. Teach complex concepts over time one component at a time.Use a variety of instructional supports, from physical and verbal prompting to observational learning.Instructional strategies and materials should be designed with the student’s own interests and strengths in mind.
16 Teaching StrategiesUseful strategies for teaching students with intellectual disabilities include, but are not limited to the following techniques:Teach one concept or activity component at a time.Teach one step at a time to help support memorization and sequencing.Teach students in small groups, or one-on-one if possible.Always provide multiple opportunities to practice skills in a number of different settings.Use physical and verbal prompting to guide correct responses, and provide specific verbal praise to reinforce these responses.
17 Alternative Expectations To help students who have mild intellectual disability live and work in the community and or postsecondary learning their courses may need to be spaced out over a longer period.Alternative expectations may need to form part of the programming for these students and be outlined in their IEPThese expectations may include:Personal life management (social interaction, budget management, meal planning, use of public transit, self-control)Self-care skills (personal health care, grooming, safety)Employability skills (attendance, punctuality, work ethic, task completion)Vocational skills, apprentice-like jobs and experiencesLeisure and recreation self-advocacy skills (sports, fitness, hobbies, use of community facilities , assertiveness training)Social skills (social language, turn-taking, negotiation, conflict resolution, maintaining friendships and relationships)
18 Assistive Technologyassistive technology devices incorporates both access to learning activities and utilization of computer-based instructionThis website has an exhaustive list of apps for a variety of teaching and learning strategies
19 Community ResourcesCommunity Living Ontario 240 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 403 Toronto, M3B 3S6 LiveWorkPlay Suite 301, 1223 Michael Street, Ottawa ON K1J 7T2. Best Buddies Canada Islington Ave. Toronto, M8X 1Y9 Community Care Durham Community Living Toronto
20 References Learning Disabilities and related Mild Disabilities Teaching Exceptional Children, Vol.46, No. 2 pp6-13Rosenberg, M.S., Westling, D. L., McLeskey, J., Primary Characteristics of Students with Intellectual Disabilities, 2013Special Education, A Guide for EducatorsSpecial Education CompanionProject IdealLearning Disabilities and related Mild Disabilities