6 Teaching Tips for Kids with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

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Help your child learn with these simple strategies.

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1. Develop His Language Skills

Delayed language development is common for students with mild intellectual disabilities. These students often have difficulty with reading and speaking skills. Provide rich vocabulary instruction and reading comprehension strategies.

2. Make Math Manageable

Many students can learn basic math like arithmetic, time, and measurement. However, they may have difficulty learning advanced mathematical reasoning and problem solving. These students learn math best when they are taught with tangible examples and multiple-step problem solving strategies.

3. Increase His Attention Span

Youth with mild intellectual difficulties may have trouble attending to a task, knowing which parts of the task to focus on, and keeping attention for a given amount of time. Prompt students to important parts of the task. Remove distractions. Increase the difficulty of the task over time.

4. Make Up Memory Mechanisms

These children often have difficulty remembering information they recently encounter. Remembering new information can be even more difficult if they have trouble attending to it in the first place. Teach short-term memory strategies like repeating the information to oneself, remembering information in clusters, and mnemonic devices.

5. Show Him How to Adjust to New Scenarios

Children may have difficulty applying skills they learn in one area to a new situation. A student may learn a new word in English class but have trouble understanding the same word in a science textbook. Teach material in meaningful contexts. Remind students to apply information they learn in one situation to another.

6. Open Up Opportunities to Develop Social Skills

Some children with mild intellectual disabilities may have great social skills, and other kids may need social skills training. Students may have trouble understanding the content of interactions and expectations for friendships. Directly teaching social skills can give kids the tools to succeed. Placing students in the general classroom with age-appropriate peers as much as possible can give kids more opportunities to socialize.

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