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Chapter 4 Mental Retardation Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Definitions of Mental Retardation AAMR’s 1983 definition in IDEA Significantly subaverage intellectual functioning Deficits in adaptive behavior Manifested during the developmental period AAMR’s new definition based on needed supports Significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; the disability originates before age 18 Intensity of supports: Intermittent - As needed, short-term supports Limited - Consistent support for limited time Extensive - Consistent support in some settings Pervasive - Consistent, high intensity support in most settings Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Identification and Assessment Assessing Intellectual Functioning Standardized tests are used to assess intelligence A diagnosis of MR requires an IQ score at least 2 standard deviations below the mean (70 or less) Important considerations of IQ tests: IQ is a hypothetical construct IQ tests measure how a child performs at one point in time IQ tests can be culturally biased IQ scores can change significantly IQ testing is not an exact science Results are not useful for targeting educational objectives Results should never be used as the sole basis for making decisions regarding special education services Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Normal Curve Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Assessing Adaptive Behavior Adaptive behavior is the effectiveness or degree with which the individual meets the standards of personal independence and social responsibility expected of his age and social group Measurement of adaptive behavior has proven difficult because of the relative nature of social adjustment and competence Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Prevalence and Causes Prevalence During the 2000-2001 school year, approximately 1% of the total school enrollment received special education services in the MR category Mild MR cases make up about 85% of all persons with MR Causes More than 250 causes of MR have been identified For approximately 50% of mild MR cases and 30% of severe MR, the cause is unknown Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Biological Causes Prenatal causes include: Chromosomal disorders Inborn errors of metabolism Developmental disorders Toxic exposure through maternal substance abuse Perinatal causes include: Intrauterine disorders Neonatal disorders Postnatal causes include: Head injuries Infections Degenerative disorders Malnutrition Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Environmental Causes Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Prevention The biggest single preventive strike against MR was the development of the rubella vaccine in 1962 Toxic exposure through maternal substance abuse and environmental pollutants are two major causes of preventable MR that can be combated with education and training Advances in medical science have enabled doctors to identify certain genetic influences Although early identification and intensive educational services to high-risk infants show promise, there is still no widely used technique to decrease the incidence of MR caused by psychosocial disadvantage Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Characteristics of Students with MR Mild MR Usually not identified until school age Most students master many academic skills Most able to learn job skills well enough to support themselves independently or semi-independently Moderate MR Most show significant delays in development during the preschool years As they grow older the discrepancies in age related adaptive and intellectual skills widens Severe MR Usually identified at birth Most have significant central nervous system damage Likely to have health care problems that require intensive supports Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Educational Approaches Curriculum Goals Functional curriculum A functional curriculum will maximize a student’s independence, self-direction, and enjoyment in school, home, community, and work environments Life skills Skills that will help the student transition into adult life in the community Self-determination Self-determined learners set goals, plan and implement a course of action, evaluate their performance, and make adjustments in what they are doing to reach their goals Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Characteristics of Effective Instruction Explicit and systematic instruction Task analysis Direct and frequent measurement of student performance Active student response Systematic feedback provided by the teacher Transfer of stimulus control from prompts to task Generalization and maintenance Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Educational Placement Alternatives Some children with MR attend special schools Most are educated in their neighborhood schools Special classes Regular class with support Resource room The extent to which a student with MR should be included in the regular classroom should be determined by the student’s individual needs Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Current Issues and Future Trends Some concerns of the current definition of MR include: IQ testing will remain the primary means of assessment Adaptive skills cannot be reliably measured with current assessment methods The levels of need supports are too subjective Classification will remain essentially unchanged in practice Acceptance and membership An especially important and continuing challenge is moving beyond the physical integration of persons with MR in society to acceptance and membership that comes from holding valued roles Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
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