Best strategies for teaching students with mental retardation
Mental retardation, now termed as intellectual disability, is not just an illness which can be cured it requires a lot of effort and patience. This condition, if not managed tactfully, can result in horrendous events. Students with mental disabilities usually find themselves in a tough position when it comes to social interaction and performing tasks. Teaching these students does not only require a greater effort but also certain skills and strategies. In order to create a constructive learning experience for them, you need to know the following strategies;
Connect with them:
Build a good relationship with them so they feel comfortable around you. Your kindness will open them up and they will share their problems with you.
Ask them what they want to achieve and help them learn different prospects. This will motivate them for learning.
Provide a sound workplace for them so they can concentrate. Any other activity going on will distract them from their tasks.
If a child has difficulty in comprehending or performing a task, help them until they reach a point where they understand it fully. Your patience will help create a better understanding with the students.
Such students face difficulty in handling new information so you need to teach them by using some tricks for remembering like repetitive learning, mnemonics, and chunking. You can also use visual aids as they are known to be more effective than text and sound.
Design the topics in parts:
You need to take small steps with every topic. Break each topic into different sub-topics according to the intellectual ability of the students. Also, make the lectures interactive and fun by planning activities like fun facts, hands-on experience, quiz questions, and pictorial questions, etc.
Appreciate their efforts and never criticize them in front of other people. If you believe anyone has behaved inappropriately, communicate with him individually.
Make a separate plan for each student:
Last but the most important, try to build a separate learning plan for each student according to his/her capability. For this, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the student as well as his interest.
Follow these strategies and you will definitely get a satisfactory output.