In nowadays, there are an increasing number of children have intellectual disabilities (sometimes called intellectual challenged or mental retardation) in most of the countries. Based on the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY, 2011), there are around 6.5 million individuals in the United States have an intellectual disability and more than 545 thousands of children ages six to 21 years old with learning disability will receive special education at public school.
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Intellectual disability is characterized as significant limitations in intellectual functioning and in two of the adaptive behaviour that expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills which originates before age 18 (AAIDD, 2012). AAIDD (2012) suggested that assumptions such as comprehensive valid assessments, context of limitations in functioning, coexistence of other strengths and improvements of life functioning with appropriate supports must be considered in the application of this definition.
Criteria like an IQ value of nearly 70 or below in an individually administered IQ test, concurrent deficits in current adaptive functioning in more than one areas in “communication, self-care, home living, social skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health and safety” and onset is before 18 years are all included in the DSM IV-TR (APA, 2000).
The DSM-IV-TR has classified mental retardation into category of Mild (IQ: 50-55 to approximately 70), Moderate (IQ: 35-40 to 50-55), Severe (20-25 to 35-40) and Profound (IQ: below 20-25) and type that with unspecified severity (APA, 2000). Each has specific codes that based on severity of intellectual impairment (More details at Appendix).
Hunt and Marshall (2012) commented that children with learning disability may face difficulty in learning. They probably process smaller amounts of information than others, have difficulty in problem solving and using skills like metacognition, memory and attention.
There are also some deficits in development of language, physical, social and emotional in children with intellectual disability. Batshaw and Rose (1997) suggested that intellectual disability is contributed by about 60-70% of biological causes. These biological factors are infections, intoxications, physical agents, nutritional disorders, postnatal brain disease, prenatal diseases, chromosomal abnormalities, perinatal conditions and some psychiatric disorders (Hunt & Marshall, 2012). Social, behavioural and educational factors also may cause intellectual disabilities in children.
Standardised intelligence tests such as Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III) and The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and also The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales and AAMR Behavior Scales: Second Edition (ABS-2) are used to assess intellectual disability in children. Early intervention programs, special education, home-schooling and some related services are useful in helping children that diagnosed with intellectual disability.
This paper is mainly focused on centre-based home-schooling for children with intellectual disability. National Center for Education Statistics (2008) commented that homeschooling is increasing in the United States and there were around 1.5 million of children aged five through seventeen were homeschooled in year 2007.Similarly in Malaysia, homeschooling is growing gradually. There are several home school centres in Malaysia, one of the well-known one is the Kairos Resource Centre that located at Selangor.
A centre-based home schooling is characterized as a place that offers home school classes to a wide range of children from those with disabilities to those that are gifted. The centre generally is an established centre or church that has quality educators in a centralized site. Home schooling has a lot of benefits especially for children with intellectual disability. In a home school centre, children with intellectual disability gain individual attention from the trained and experienced teachers in a small class setting as compared to the large classroom setting in a traditionally public school. Teachers are always available to observe the child’s coping in various subjects and to help the children when they face any difficulties in their works. Children with intellectual disability will also feel secure and more confident in doing their works with the presence of the educator beside them to guide and assist them. This is helpful for the children as they are able to keep at the same pace with their peers in the centre and learn better than in public school that mainly emphasized on coverage of all syllabuses on time.
A tailored-made and individualized lesson plan is designed by the educators at home-school centre for each child with intellectual disability respectively based on the child’s strengths, specific interest and learning style which they think is the best for the child. For examples, a child can focuses on certain subject that he/she is good at, such as mathematics, arts, geography or history. The learning mechanisms of the children are also under the control of the home-school centre which will allow the children that are intellectually challenged to develop healthily in certain areas and continuously offer learning with some level of challenges that can help to increase the children’s learning abilities. This special characteristic of home-school centre can help the children with intellectual disorder to have real progress and have a higher tendency to success in certain fields.
Children that are mentally challenged have the opportunity to learn at own pace. For example, children that have completed the assigned works earlier can move on to another topic. On the other hand, if a child that is slow in understanding a concept for example a child that has intellectual disability, the home-school program will allows the child to progress in a slower pace or let him/her to learn on that particular concept again. This is useful for the children that are intellectually challenged as they can keep on learning until they are understand of certain concepts which they cannot get it at first few attempts.
Home schooling is characterized to be flexible than the traditional public school that has rigid schedule. Sometimes, there will be some appointments for the intellectual disabled child to visit his/her paediatrician, psychologist, occupational therapist or other related professionals. The curriculum in home-school centre is self-paced and the child will not left out anything on the day he/she absent to school. Similarly, when the child’s family is having a trip to some places, it will not cause any inconveniences of the child’s learning. This is good as the learning is still carry on and will not have any negative impacts on the child’s learning. Some home-school centre even can plans and structured a lesson schedule that based on the needs of a child and his/her parents.
At home-school centre, learning is not confined in a classroom and not only about academic works, the children learn anytime and at any places for examples, when going field trips, watching a movie and playing at playground. There are a lot of spaces for the child to explore. Therefore it provides an environment for the children with intellectual disability to develop independent and creative thinking.
Home-schooling centre offers a more community-based socialization which provides the opportunity for the children with intellectual disability to socialize more. There are more chances for the children to take educational field trips and meet with a lot of people in the society. The diversified learning environment in a home school centre can enhance the children’s communication between all age groups. Children are able to develop a close friendships at home school centre than at school.
At home school centre, children with intellectual disability are free from peer pressure because there is no competition among them like at public school. Parents also feel safe when their children at home school centre because they no need to worry about bullies that often happened in general school settings.
Children that are intellectually challenged have the chance to learn some religious
values in home school centre that is religious-based like Christian home school curriculum. The children can develop their spiritual and character in home-school centre.
There was a trip at 5th of October at this year to visit Kairos Resource Centre that caters the academic needs of learning disabled children and youth that are highly functioning and also for those who are gifted. This trip provided a deeper understanding on how this home school centre would benefits for children with certain disabilities based on areas like the staffs, facilities, curriculum and some additional support that available in the centre.
Both the founders, Reverend Rudy Liu and Pastor Ruby Loh are certified professionals in many areas that related to children with special needs such as Learning Disorder Management, Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Child Psychology and Counselling (Kairos Resources, n.d.). They are also pastors that with background of Christian Studies who stress on the Bible and its values and also teachings. As referred to their backgrounds, both of them are rich in knowledge and experiences in dealing with children that need special help especially those with intellectual disabilities. Besides this, the founders are good in dealing with operation of the centre, types of curriculum, staffs, resources such as books and tools and parents’ of the students.
One of the main reasons that children that are intellectually challenged can learn better at Kairos is because of the good characteristics of the staffs there. The educator-student ratio at Kairos is small, which is about six to seven students per educator, so each student will gain sufficient attention from the educators. At Kairos, the educators will conduct lessons in a slower pace and will assist students to move forward their individual goals. More data is collected to tailor educational plans for certain students and to help students progress in learning. A variety of teaching strategies are also practiced by educators to make learning much easier and fun especially when teaching children that are intellectually challenged.
If there is insufficient response from students, educators are more likely to provide answers to their own questions. Besides this, the behaviours of the student are being monitor frequently by the educators. Rewards, praises and positive regards are often used by the educators. Furthermore, educators will use a wide range of responses to handle disruptive or inattention behaviours in students with intellectual disabilities. Educators at Kairos prefer using a detailed intervention program such as direct instruction and cognitive strategy instructions. By practicing direct instruction, educators will teach materials in small and sequenced steps, give immediate feedback and also encourage frequent interactions with students with intellectual disabilities. Cognitive strategy instructions are used by educators to teach students with specific learning strategies. This will help students that are mentally challenged to have a better comprehension in learning. Cooperative learning is also included by assigning the students with students that have different disabilities into teams to attain mutual goal (Nezu, 1994). This can help children with mild intellectual disability to progress in academic. Educators at Kairos usually have good interactions with their students.
Kairos uses Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E) which is a home school curriculum in educating their students (Kairos Resources, n.d.). This curriculum has been adapted in order to meet the needs of their students with different disabilities. The A.C.E. is effective in assisting children with intellectual disabilities to learn as it allows them to proceed from part to part if they display mastery in their learning. Under the guidance of educators, students can proceed independently through this curriculum. The unique format of A.C.E. enables students that are mentally challenged to learn in a stress-free environment. Therefore, students are motivated to work as they are not encountering frustrations in their works. Students that are intellectually challenged are encouraged to proceed from time to time as they need to demonstrate some degreeof mastery before proceeding to the higher level of learning.
Students are taught to see life from God’s point of view, to take responsibility for their own learning, and to walk in Godly wisdom and character.
In order to provide effective learning, the Centre has successfully adapted to the use of an American Christian Home-School curriculum whereby the students learn to be independent and work at their individual pace. Besides academic training, moral values are inculcated through the curriculum and an effective mentoring program. In order to enhance the independence of the students, Kairos embarked on supplementary living skills training such as cooking, laundry, housekeeping, shopping, budgeting, etc.
Occasionally we let the kids take a day off “formal” school and go to SciTech or a park and let them just play all day and be kids.
Educator training:Educators are somewhat more likely to have advanced degrees. However, because of per-sonnel shortages nationwide, about 10% of special education personnel are not certified for the position
Accountability:Each student in special education has an individualized education program (IEP), and
educable mental retardation
(EMR) in general and special settings found
that special educators showed more flexibili-ty in selecting strategies with which to man-age and monitor the classroom.
Educator Monitoring of Student Progress
tailor educational programs
for specific students.
Overall, special education teach-ers were more likely than general educators
to monitor student behavior, praise, show
positive regard, give the answer, and reject
students’ verbalizations. More effective gen-eral and special education educators had
materials ready, began lessons promptly,
oriented learners to the lesson, made
assignments more often, exhibited more
educator-directed than student-directed
learning, praised student responses more,
and had to manage student inattention/dis-ruption less often.
with different types of disabilities
Students with educable mental retardation (EMR), usually defined as having an IQ between
70 and 50 combined with deficits in adaptive behavior, appear to be particularly sensitive
to classroom environment. A supportive educator, instruction style, and classmates have a
greater impact on outcomes for these students than for students without disabilities.
The class-room factors associated with better out-comes for students with educable mental
retardation were active involvement of the
students in educator-directed and supervised
instruction (as opposed to passive individual
seatwork) and the use of cooperative learn-
ing approaches, which promoted students’
frequent interaction with nonhandicapped
specialists such as
“integration facilitators,” speech/language
pathologists, occupational therapists, and
Speak clearly and slowly when describing projects and activities. Ask for questions when you are finished. Watch the child or children carefully during activities to ensure that safety precautions are being followed
Kairos Fund Raising Charity Dinner
Also, you do not need a teaching degree. You just need dedication, motivation, and hard work. The same comments also apply to gifted children and mentally retarded children. You can accelerate some subjects and decelerate other subjects.You can add unusual subjects or additional treatments and therapies as necessary. Again,homeschooling provides the perfect individualized educational plan for your children.
If your child has autism or is extremely shy, you will be able to work with them appropriately to improve their social skills. You can provide structured social events with social skills training so that they can master these skills in a controlled environment.
Homeschooling provides opportunities for many activities and much community involvement. Educational field trips provide creative experiences as well as socialization and communication opportunities. We have been to many places.
I also suggest that you closely examine your goals for homeschooling. Government schools strive for conformity and vocational training. With homeschooling you are free to concentrate not only on academics, but also on the development of
character and integrity
a Christian worldview
communication abilities and social skills, and appropriate behavior
thinking and learning skills
life and domestic skills and
ethics and morals.
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Life skills: A primary purpose of special education is to help students with disabilities lead successful and personally fulfilling lives now and in the future. Curriculum for students with mental retardation should be designed to prepare students to function as independently as possible in an integrated society. This curriculum should include a broad range of skills and be chronologically age-appropriate and useful to the learner.Physical fitness: Physical fitness is generally defined in two parts: The first part defines fitness as a physical condition that allows an individual to perform daily activities and still have enough energy for leisure activities. For example, if an individual is unable to make it through an eight hour work day or is too tired at the end of the day for leisure or household activities such as gardening, walking, playing tennis or cleaning, then the individual probably has a low level of physical fitness. Problem solving skills training: Training in problem solving skills can be useful for persons with mental retardation and mental illness who are likely to have problem solving deficits. Of special interest is training to improve social or interpersonal problem solving, in contrast to cognitive problem solving. Training in social problem solving is often part of cognitive-behavioral treatment “packages” such as Valenti-Hein and Mueser’s Dating Skills Program and Benson’s Anger Management Program.Medical problems in the classroom-good overview: Here are a few short reports on various medical problems in the classroom. The papers cover medical conditions that occur in school-age children with varying degrees of frequency. Each report describes the ailment, its treatment and modifications for the classroom educator.
Speak clearly and slowly when describing projects and activities. Ask for questions when you are finished. Watch the child or children carefully during activities to ensure that safety precautions are being followed.
In part, this distinction was perpetuated by the commonly
held belief among professionals that individuals with mental retardation
were somehow immune to emotional and psychological
problems as a specific function of the retardation. Nezu, A. M. (1994). Introduction to special section: Mental retardation and mental illness. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology,62(1), 4-5.
Controversial Issues in Special Education
Special education has been the target of criticism throughout history. Some of the criticism has been justified, some unjustified. Some criticisms brought to light ineffective practices, such as the inefficacy and inhumanity of relegating all persons with disabilities to institutions. Other criticisms were distractions with disastrous repercussions, such as the singular focus on the importance of place while ignoring other inappropriate practices. The beginning of the twenty-first century found new criticisms being launched at special education. Some argue that the use of diagnostic labels is potentially stigmatizing to students, others that minority students are overrepresented in some disability categories, and still others that education of students with disabilities in special classes and schools, even pulling students out for instruction in resource classes, is akin to race-based segregation. Some of these criticisms may expose ineffective practices, others may only distract educators from the effort of finding and implementing effective instructional practices. Professionals must develop the ability to learn from history and differentiate between unimportant criticisms and those with merit.
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One valid criticism repeatedly launched against special education involves the implementation of ineffective educational interventions. Although great concern about the where of instruction was expressed in the 1980s and 1990s, little attention was given to the what of instruction. Throughout the twentieth century the field of special education repeatedly adopted instructional strategies of questionable efficacy-interventions that have little to no empirical basis. Additionally, special educators have adopted, with “bandwagon” fervor, many practices that have been proven ineffective and have thereby repeated the mistakes of history. If special education is to progress, professionals will need to address and remedy the instructional practices used with students with disabilities
Special education has also been validly criticized for the way in which students with disabilities are identified. In the early nineteenth century, physicians and educators had difficulty making reliable distinctions between different disability categories. In fact, the categories of mental retardation and behavioral disorders are inseparably intertwined. Many of the disability categories overlap to the extent that it is hard to differentiate one from the other. Additionally, some of the categories-learning disabilities and behavioral disorders, for example-are defined by the exclusion of other contributing disabilities. Thus, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, much work remains on the identification of students with disabilities.
Perhaps the largest, most pervasive issue in special education is its relationship to general education. The relationship of special to general education has been controversial since the beginning of universal public schooling. However, in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the question of whether special education should retain a separate identity or be fused with general education such that it has no separate identity (e.g., budget, personnel) was made prominent by proponents of a radical restructuring of special education. Proponents of radical restructuring and fusion argue that such integration is necessary to provide appropriate education for all students regardless of their disabilities and without stigma or discrimination. In their view, special education suffers primarily from structural problems, and the integration of two separate systems will result in a flexible, supple, responsive single system that will meet the needs of all students without “separating out” any. All educators, according to this line of thinking, should be prepared to teach all students, including those with special needs.
Opponents of radical restructuring argue that special education’s problems are primarily the lack of implementation of best practices, not structural. Moreover, they suggest, special education will not survive to serve the special needs of exceptional students if it loses its identity, including special budget allocations and personnel preparation. It is not feasible nor is it desirable, they contend, to prepare all educators to teach all children; special training is required to teach students who are educationally exceptional. Arguments about the structure of education (special and general), who (if anyone) should receive special treatment, how they should be taught, and where special services should be provided are perpetual issues in special education. These issues will likely continue to be debated throughout the twenty-first century.
In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, another issue became the basis for conceptual or theoretical bases for special education practices. Postmodern and antiscientific philosophies have been put forward in both general and special education. These ideas have been challenged by others who have noted the importance of the scientific method in discriminating among ideas and assertions. Likely, postmodern ideas and attempts to apply them to or refute them will be perpetual.
More than two hundred years after Itard began his work on the education of the wild boy of Aveyron, special educators are being asked to make decisions concerning such issues as placement and delivery of services. The inclusion debate, although important, has the potential to distract the field of special education away from issues of greater import-issues such as the efficacy of intervention and the accurate identification of students with disabilities. If special educators are to avoid the mistakes of the past, they will need to make future decisions based upon reliable data, evaluating the efficacy of differing options. Since the inception of what is now known as IDEA, significant progress has been made in applying scientific research to the problems of special education. In the twenty-first century, special education need not remain a field of good intentions, but can fully employ the scientific child-study techniques begun in the late eighteenth century to provide free and appropriate educations to all children with disabilities.
Encyclopedia of Education | 2002 | MOCK, DEVERY R.; JAKUBECY, JENNIFER J.; KAUFFMAN, JAMES M.; JAKUBECY, JENNIFER J.; MOCK, DEVERY R.; KAUFFMAN, JAMES M.; SINDELAR, PAUL T.; BROWNELL, MARY T.; ACKERMAN, PAUL; JAEGER, ROBERT; SMITH, ANNE | The persistence of learning disabilities across time also suggests that support services should not be stopped after leaving school or entering the work force”. (Raskind, Marshall H., Goldberg, Roberta J., Higgins, Eleanor L., Herman, Kenneth L., Frostig Center Patterns of Change and Predictors of Success in Individuals with Learning Disabilities: Results from a 20Year Longitudinal Study. 1999)
materials ready, began lessons promptly,
oriented learners to the lesson,
educator-directed learning, praised student responses more,
with different types of disabilities
special educators showed more flexibili-ty in selecting strategies with which to man-age and monitor the classroom
There are lots more benefits of homeschooling and a lot more ways that home school can be accomplished today. Some parents use available textbooks while some use the structured curriculum. Others combine this thing with their own teaching while others teach each lesson completely using their own resources. We can all see that this kind of education process is completely flexible. It can be changes to the student’s needs and can also me increase as to how high the knowledge of a student has. There are many considerations to be made when choosing to home school, but for many, homeschooling has been a good choice that has proven to benefits both children and parents relationship with each other.
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