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Cognitive Disabilities

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Elizabeth Palmer

on 24 January 2013

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Transcript of Cognitive Disabilities

Jordan, Alexandra, Liz, Ian Cognitive Disabilities Definition a person with a cognitive disability has greater difficulty with one or more types of mental tasks than the average person (WebAIM 1) High Incidence
0.74% of children ages 6-21 (487,854) identified as having mental retardation
0.13% (88,557) were served with the general label of being developmentally delayed
Cognitive disabilities affect over 20 million American citizens or 7% of the U.S. Population Prevalence Teaching Strategies Braddock, D. (n.d.). Welcome to the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities
Website. Retrieved from Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities
website: https://www.cusys.edu/ColemanInstitute/background_text.html
Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan. (n.d.). Supporting the Student with
Down Syndrome in Your Classroom [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from
Friend, M. (2008). Special education Contemporary perspectives for school
professionals (2nd ed.). Pearson.
Sparrow, S. S., Cicchetti, D. V., & Balla, D. A. (n.d.). Vineland Adaptive
Behavior Scales, Second Edition (Vineland-II). Retrieved from Pearson
website: http://psychcorp.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/en-us/
WebAIM. (n.d.). Cognitive disabilities. Retrieved from WebAIM website:
Wechsler, D. (n.d.). Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children® — Fourth Edition
(WISC®-IV). Retrieved from Pearson website:
Productdetail.htm?Pid=015-8979-044 Cognitive and Academic Characteristics Identification Students must go through the formal process of identification where they complete assessments involving intellectual functioning, adaptive behavior, and medical factors
Intellectual functioning
Wechsler Intelligence Scale
These tests measure a student's overall abilities and predict school achievement
Adaptive behavior
Completed through interview and surveys
Done with teachers, parents, and others with direct observation of the student
AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale
Medical factors
Input from medical professionals about
Medications being taken
Health risks and limitations
Chronic conditions to be aware of
Anticipated medical procedures that would affect attendance or performance Learner Profile Special services start right after birth for kids with cognitive disabilities.
May have an early interventionist, physical therapist, and speech and language therapist
Start pre-school at the age of three, and these programs have a positive effect on language, motor, and pre-academic skills
Elementary and secondary schools they are put in least restrictive environment which for most is a special ed classroom
Participation in activities depends on level of functioning
Often need alternative assignments
Supported by an aid in most cases
Have a life skills curriculum
Community based instruction
Have a job coach
Once in secondary school focus is on self determination and transition into adult world Classroom Info and Curriculum:
Tend to be visual learners: Use cues and objects, pair pictures with spoken words, present info visually
Use simple directions and break them down into small steps
Give adequate response time
Give a lighter work and practice load
Give freedom to chose activities
Give large independent work in smaller parts
Teaching Arrangment and Instructional Methods
Work best in one-on-one instruction or small groups
Teaching assistants and aids are effective
Materials Being Used
Concrete and hands on materials are most effective Accommodations
Down Syndrome Example Cognitive Disabilities Down Syndrome
Fragile X Syndrome
-Martin Bell Syndrome
Prader-Willi Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Phenylketonuria (PKU)
Lead Poisoning
Brain Injury Low IQ
Difficulty with working memory
Difficulty with generalization (ability to learn a tasks or idea and apply it in other situations) of academic tasks, of behavior expectations, and in social interactions
Low metacognition
Tend to give up easily, low motivation, feel helpless
Delays in developmental language
Have to work harder and longer on school work then most students Social, Behavior, and Emotional Characteristics Difficulties in social relationships
Less accepted by their peers
Immature behaviors
Trouble picking up social cues
Deficits in adaptive behavior (everyday skills like brushing teeth, using free time productively, keeping a job, etc)
Specific rewards systems help
Self-injurious behavior
Experiences more loneliness More likely to be obese
Down syndrome children will be likely to have hearing or vision or hear problems that require surgery
As disabilities worsen, the more likely a child will need to have medical intervention
Kids tend to miss more school due to these medical issues Physical and Medical
Characteristics Causes Prenatal
Premature babies
Birth injury
Deprivation of oxygen
Chromosome difficulties

Post Natal
Inflammation of the brain caused by viral infection
Brain injury
Exposure to lead Example Prader-Willi Syndrome
Significant behavior problems once they reach school age like stubbornness, resistance to change, problems switching from one activity to another
Compulsive eating like stealing food or eating discarded food
Food intake needs to be controlled, 95% are obese Example Down Syndrome
May have hearing or visual impairments
Have mild or moderate intellectual disability
May have to work harder and practice longer to learn certain skills
When educated in general ed classroom and surrounded by peers they often make better academic progress Accommodations
Down Syndrome Example Cont... Modifications Life skills curriculum-focus on skills used on a daily basis. (Learning currency, how to make purchases)
Alternative assignments- A student with a cognitive disability may create a picture of the American Revolutionary War, instead of writing a report.
Projects for life skills-Apply what they have learned into a community based setting. Differentiated Instruction Works Cited Civil Rights Project Example
A teacher may assign general education students a report about the civil rights movement. The teacher picks the topic that the students will write about. There is a child with a cognitive disability in the classroom and the teacher needs to differentiate the assignment for this student. Instead of assigning the student with the disability a topic, the teacher lets the student pick so he/she is more motivated to do the assignment. The teacher also extends the due date for this student because it might take him/her longer to do the report. Finally, the teacher talks about how the student should relate the paper to any life skills he/she has learned. The teacher asks the student to focus on kindness, equality, relationships, and treating people fairly. Example from Wechsler Intelligence Test: Matrix Reasoning measures fluid reasoning, a child is presented with a partially filled grid and asked to select the item that properly completes the matrix. Wechsler Intelligence Scale Examples of Modifications Projects for Life Skills
A student with a cognitive disability may learn how to make a bed, assist in eating and checking for cleanliness. The student with a disability may be assigned a project to go into a nursing home and make beds, check that the rooms are clean and help an elderly person eat. This gives the student a sense of purpose and they are able to put their life skills to use.

Ms. DeCuir’s special education classroom consists of students who are taking an alternative math assignment. The goal is to assist students with the skills they will need in order to shop, order in a restaurant, and maybe work in a fast-food restaurant. The concept of budgets and saving money is also explored. This is part of the life-skills curriculum where students are still practicing math skills, but applying them to activities they may encounter in everyday life.
(Friend, 251) significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits and adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance (Friend 236) Task analysis-Focuses on basic tasks (turning on a computer, shutting of the light)
Peer mediated instruction-students teaching each other
Assistive technology-speech to text Memory
Poor short term memory
Use labeling and verbal associations, break info down into small parts, teach rehearsal strategies, show patters, teach memory tricks
Transfer of Learning
Teach and practice new skills in many different environments while using different people and materials
Always point out similarities and differences
Make materials meaninful to the student
Need more encouragement, acceptance, and postive feedback than most students
Be aware that by the time they get to your class they have probably experienced a lot of negativity Accommodations
Down Syndrome Example Cont... Transitions
Change of location and subjects can be refreshing for students
Breaks between class allow peer interaction, and when ready students should be allowed to change classes independently
When they need help it is best with peer support
Use prompts, cues, lighting, different colored or texture backgrounds, remove distractions (fewer picture on walls),
Sensory / Motor Difficulties
Have difficulty processing information from many sources at once, doing more than one thing at a time or responding quickly to some situations
Focus on completing one task at a time
Look at student while giving directins, look away while they are processing
Give back support when sitting on the ground (Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan 12 and 13) (Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan 13) (Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan 14 and 15)
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