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Students With Intellectual Disabilities

The amount of variety that can be witnessed in human beings is astounding. The biology and physiology texts can hardly keep up with the fact that some women grow beards, some children start off as female and then naturally become male and the fact that an individual can support a tumor many times as large as the rest of his or her body. In the midst of all these different states of humanness, there are people whose minds are different and may not be as easily able to grasp concepts that neuro-typical people take for granted. Here are some of the methods that have been used to deal with students whose disabilities are intellectual.

Separate Schools

In previous generations it was especially common to see people put into ‘special’ schools if they were unable to keep up with their age cohort academically. Sometimes these schools gave very little to the students and were basically holding bays or babysitting facilities. At other times they were staffed by dedicated faculty who would do everything in their power to facilitate the success of their charges.

Mainstreamed schools

It is much more common to see children with mental or physical special needs being put int classrooms with their neuro-typical peers. This is meant to help them assimilate into society as they will need to eventually as adults. Their teachers, of course, require special training and sometimes assistance to better cater to their unique needs but this method has been known to be successful if implementation is thoroughly researched in advance.

Home schooling

For some parents, the school system is simply not adequately prepared for their children. They may live miles from the nearest appropriate facility or even have very specific religious beliefs. These need to be treated with a particular level of sensitivity that strangers cannot always be trusted with. Parents who are truly determined can acquire the appropriate materials and even be trained in the methods that are most likely to work with their child’s particular condition. Autistic students, for example, must be approached differently from those with Down Syndrome. Mild dyslexia and dyscalcula can even be mitigated through targeted drills in the respective weak subject area.

Learning is possible even in situations where there is a specific difficulty. Just as with other stumbling blocks, such students should be encouraged to keep trying and celebrate the successes they achieve along the way.


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