Special Ed Final
Intellectual Disability
(definition of mental retardation is used)

  • Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

The services, resources, and personal assistance that enable a person to develop, learn, and live effectively
Intensities of Support

  • Intermittent
  • Limited
  • Extensive
  • Pervasive

(Intensity of Support);Intermittent
Supports on an “as needed” basis. Characterized by episodic nature, person not always needing the support(s),;or short-term supports needed during life-span transitions (e.g., job loss,;an acute medical crisis).

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Intermittent support may be high- or low- intensity when provided.

(Intensity of Support);Limited
An intensity of supporters characterized by consistency over time, time-limited but not of an intermittent nature may require fewer staff members and less cost than more intensive levels of support (e.g., time-limited employment training, transitional supports during the school-to-adult period).
(Intensity of Support);Extensive
Supports characterized by regular involvement (e.

g., daily) in at least some environments (such as work or home) and not time-limited (e.g., long-term vocational support, long-term home living support).

(Intensity of Support);Pervasive
Supports characterized by their constancy, high intensity; provided across environments; potential life-sustaining nature. Pervasive supports typically involve more staff members and intrusiveness than do extensive or time-limited supports.
Two major characteristics of intellectual disability:
Limitations in intellectual functioning;;;Limitations in adaptive behavior
Intelligence refers to a student’s: 
general mental capability for solving problems, paying attention to relevant information, thinking abstractly, remembering important information and skills, learning from everday experiences, and generalizing knowledge from one setting to another.
Different levels of mental retardation

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Profound

IQs that go with each level of mental retardation: Mild
IQ 50-55 to approximately 70
IQs that go with each type of mental retardation: Moderate
IQ 35-40 to 50-55
IQs that go with each type of mental retardation: Severe
IQ 20-25 to 30-40
IQs that go with each type of mental retardation: Profound
IQ below 20-25
Short-term Memory
Refers to the ability to recall information that has been stored for a few seconds to a few hours, such as the step-by-step instructions teachers give their students.
Refers to the ability to transfer knowledge or behavior learned for doing one task to another task and to make that transfer across different settings or environments
No single profile of motivation applies to all people with intellectual disability, any more than any single profile applies to all people without intellectual disability
Low motivation- Problem-solving Style: outer-directedness

  • distrusting their own solutions and depending on others to guide them.

  • can be especially vulnerable to control by others.

Adaptive Behavior
refers to the “collection of conceptual, social, and practical skills that have been learned by people in order to function in their everyday lives
Three domains of adaptive behavior:

  • Conceptual skills include language (receptive and expressive), reading and writing, money concepts, and self-direction
  • Social skills include responsibilty, self-esteem, gullibility, and rule-following
  • Practical skills include activities of daily living, occupational skills, and maintenance of safe environments

CAUSES of intellectual disability

  • Prenatal (before birth, such as chomosomal disorders and disorders of the brain formation)
  • Perinatal (during the birth process, such as prematurity and birth injury)
  • Postnatal (after birth, such as traumatic brain injury and infections)

Percents of Causes

  • 12%- prenatal cause
  • 6%- perinatal cause
  • 4%- postnatal cause

Causes by Type:

  • Biomedical factors relate to biologic processes, such as genetic disorders and nutrition
  • Social factors relate to social and family interaction, such as stimulation and adult responsiveness
  • Behavioral factors relate to potentially causal behaviors, suchs as dangerous activites and maternal substance abuse
  • Educational factors relate to the availability of educational supports that promote mental development of adaptive skills

Social, Behavioral, and Educational Causes

  • These three causes’ boundaries often overlap
  • Difficult to distinguish among them


Other factors associated with Social, Behavioral, and Educational causes:

  • Low maternal education is the strongest predictor for having a child with an intellectual disability when the child does not have a serious neurological condition
  • By 3 to 5 years of age, children raised by adolescent mothers have been found to have difficulties with self-regulation, poor academic achievement, and lower language development
  • The more a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, the greater likelihood that her child’s development will be impacted, with the most serious outcome being fetal alcohol syndrome

Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Process for determing the presence of intellectual disability: OBSERVATION

  • Medical personnel observe: The student does not attain appropriate development milestones or has characteristics of a particular syndrome associated with intellectual disability
  • Teacher and parents observe: The student (1) does not learn as quickly as peers, (2) has difficulty retaining and generalizing learned skills, (3) has low motivation, and (4) has more limitations in adaptive behaviors than peers in the general education classroom.

Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Process for determing the presence of intellectual disability: SCREENING

  • Medical screening: The student may be identified through a physician’s use of various tests before the child enters school.
  • Classroom work products: The student has difficulty in academic areas in the general education classroom; reading comprehension and mathematical reasoning/application are limited.

Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Process for determing the presence of intellectual disability:;PREREFERRAL;

  • Teacher implements suggestions from school-based team: The student still performs poorly in academics or continues to manifest impairments in adaptive behavior despite interventions.

    (If the student has been identified before entering school, this step is omitted.)

Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Process for determing the presence of intellectual disability:;REFERRAL

  • If, in spite of interventions, the student still performs poorly in academics or continues to manifest impairments in adaptive behaviors, the child is referred to as multidisciplinary team.

Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Process for determing the presence of intellectual disability:;NONDISCRIMINATORY EVALUATION PROCEDURES AND STANDARDS

  • Individualized intelligence test: The student has significantly subaverage intellectual functioning with IQ standard score of 70 to 75 or below.

  • Adaptive behavior scales: The student scores significantly below average in two or more adaptive skill domains, indicating deficits in skill areas such as communication, home living, self-direction, and leisure
  • Anecdotal records: The student’s learning problems cannot be explained by cultural or linguistic differences
  • Cirriculum-based assesment: The student experiences difficulty in making progress in the general cirriculum used by the local school district.
  • Direct observation: The student experiences difficulty or frustration in the general classroom.

Nondiscriminatory Evaluation Process for determing the presence of intellectual disability: DETERMINATION

  • The nondiscriminatory evaluation team determines that the student has mental retardation and needs special education and related services.

    The student’s IEP team proceeds to develop appropriate education options for the child

4 Levels with IEP Teams:

  • A statewide transition team that includes secondary educators, adult service providers, adults with disabilities, and family members
  • A communitywide team representing all of the key agencies involved
  • A schoolwide team consisting of key professionals and family members
  • An IEP team for each student

Prelinguistic milieu teaching
teaches children with intellectual disability who do not speak to make frequent, clear requests or comments with gestures or sounds while looking at the person whom they are communicating.
Accommodations for students with intellectual disability typically include:

  • Dictating responses to a scribe
  • Having extended time to complete an assessment
  • Having test items read to them
  • Securing clarification to test items

Time-testing to monitor a student’s progress is to observe how well the student has mastered certain skills (different types of data):

  • Response-by-response data: How well has a student learned a task that has been broken down into discrete steps or subtasks?
  • Instructional and test data: How well does a student perform  under teaching and nonteaching conditions? Instead of collecting data strictly on each step in a task, and teaxhers collect data on the student’s independent performance on the task as a whole
  • Error data: How many and what kinds or errors does a student make, and how often, in performing a task?
  • Anecdotal data: What other student performance information has the teacher acquired?

Defining Multiple Disabilities
(sometimes use a combination of two terms, severe disabilities and multiple disabilities)

  • A single category for students who need unusually intensive support to mitigate their impairments
  • Impairments often occur in a combination with each other

Importance of;self-care skills;for students with multiple disabilites:
these students are increasingly included in schools and community activities
Motor Development:
Students with multiple disabilites usually have significant motor and physical challenges
Sensory Functioning:
Hearing and vision impairments are common among individuals with multiple disabilities
Communication Skills:

  • Almost all students with multiple disabilites, not just those who are deaf-blind, have communication impairments
  • Typically, these students have limited or no functional speech

To determine whether a student needs assistive technologies, the student’s evaluation team should ensure that assistive technology devices:

  • Are necessary for the student to make progress in the general education cirriculum
  • Meet the IDEA definition– any commercial or noncommercial item, piece of equipment, or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve the student’s functional capabilities
  • Are considered appropriate for the environments in which the student participates
  • Are examined through procedures that lead to potentially effective interventions

Individuals should consider the student’s educational, medical, and behavioral records and provide the following assessments, each of which constitutes part of an overall assistive technology evaluation:

  • A speech, language, and communication assessment
  • A seating and positioning assessment
  • A mobility assessment
  • A switch use and input/output device assessment
  • A writing evaluation, including hand and grip strength and fine-motor skills
  • A visual and hearing assessment
  • An assessment of home, school (classroom and campus), and community environmental factors


  • Process customizes students’ educational programs to their specific visions, strengths, and needs
  • It is especially effective in planning transitions from school to postschool activities

Peer Tutoring
Involves paring students one on one, so students who have already developed certain skills can teach those and other skills to less advanced students and also help those students practice skills they have already mastered
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
enables students who cannot communicate verbally or through other formats, such as sign language, to do so through the use of technology.
Basic principles underlying research and practice in AAC:

  • AAC fosters the abilites, preferences, and priorities of individuals with complex communication needs, taking into account motor, sensory, cognitive, psychologicalm, linguistic, and behavioral skills, strengths, and challenges
  • AAC recognizes the unique roles communication partners play during interactions
  • AAC enables individuals with complex comunication needs to maintain, expand, and stregthen existing social networks and relationships and to fulfiill societal roles

Three forms of assistive technolgy use symbolic communication:

  • Non-electronic devices, such as communication boards and communication notebooks
  • Dedicated communication devices specifically designed for communication
  • Computer systems (not special devices)

Displays for AAC devices:

  1. Fixed Displays

or;2.;; Dynamic Displays

Fixed Display
offers an; unchanging symbol arrangement (ex: all of the pictures remain the same)
Dynamic Display
enable students to make choices that change the display on the device screen
AAC devices typically offer two major types of selection options:

  1. Scanning Selection

or;2.;;;Direct Selection

Scanning Selection:

  • is suitable for the student who has extensive motor loss; it involves pointing or using a cursor to scan an item at a time, a row of items, or a block of items
  • many different options are available for scanning, and each can be tailored to the needs and preferences to a student

Output Options:
include low-tech and high tech solutions, ranging from pointing to symbols pasted on a communication board to navigating multiple levels of options on a computer-type screen
Partial Participation Principle:
holds that students with multiple disabilites should not be denied all access to general education and other inclusive activities solely becaue of their intellectual, adaptive, skill, motor, sensory, and/or communication impairments
teachers should ask themselves three questions to implement partial participation:

  1. What noninstructional supports does the student need for meaningful participation?
  2. How much does the student wish to participate?
  3. How can teachers enhance the student’s independence, especially partial independence?

Self-instruction Strategies
involve teaching stuednts to use their verbal or other communication skills to direct their learning
Self-monitoring Strategies
students learn to collect data on their progress toward educational goals
Suggestions for implementing self-monitoring strategies:

  • Implement self-monitoring strategies after the student has already learned to do the task that is being monitored
  • Teach the self-monitoring strategy to the student before implementing the strategy
  • Build in checks to determine the accuracy of the student’s self-monitoring

Portfolio-based Assessment:
requires teachers to accumulate permanent products that exemplify the student’s work These products are indicators- evidence- of student performance, do not require continuous observation, and allow for ongoing analysis (formative analysis) and comparisons between less and more mature products (summative evaluation)
Field Observations:
Involve simply observing and recording, in a longhand, anecdotal format, what the student is doing (those anecdotal records are often the first step in collecting observational data because they identify the specific behaviors or events that warrant more systematic observation)
Time Sampling
an observer records the occurence or nonoccurence of specific behaviors during short, predetermined intervals
Event Recording
when an observer is using event recording, every occurrence of a behavior during an observation period is recorded, instead of using the yes/no recording per interval that is characteristic of time sampling
Absence Seizures
small, harldy noticeable seizures, that some students with multiple disibilites may have may occur every 2 to 5 seconds
Alternate Assessments
must be aligned with the state’s academic content standards;(serve the same purpose as the typical accountability assessment- to determine how well a student has mastered content that is aligned with standards)
Several Formats for Alternative Assessments:

  • IEP-linked body of evidence. Teachers collect student products, similar to portfolio assessment, but linked them to IEP goals and objectives
  • Performance assessment. Teachers use the data-based measurement techniques
  • Checklist. Teachers idenitfy a student’s skills and abilities on a checklist
  • Portfolio-based alternate assessment. Teachers rely on samples of a student products that are related to a state’s standards

Autism is a severe form of a broader group of disorders referred to as:;
Pervasive Developmental Disorders
Aspergers Disorder
describes individuals who have significant challenges in social functioning but do not have significant delays in language development or intellectual functioning
Six Distinct Characteristics of Autism:

  1. Atypical Language Development
  2. Atypical Social Development
  3. Repetitive Behavior
  4. Problem Behavior
  5. Sensory and Movement Disorders
  6. Differences in intellectual Functioning

Communication of children with Autism involves:

  • Focusing attention on one topic only
  • Limiting a communication topic to fewer than a couple of interactions
  • Using limited gestures to supplement verbal skills
  • Reversing pronouns (ex: the student may look at his teacher and say, “You want have a snack now,” meaning that he, not the teacher, wants a snack.)
  • Looking away from the speaker rather than maintaining eye contact
  • Repeating or echoing other people’s language
  • Experiencing difficulty with receptive and expressive language

The American Psychiatric Association has four criteria for diagnosing atypical social development in individuals with autism:  

  1. Impaired use of nonverbal behavior
  2. Lack of peer relationships
  3. Failure to spontaneously share enjoyment, interests, and achievements with others
  4. Lack of reciprocity

Theory of Mind (one explanation for delayed social development)
individuals with autism do not understand that their own beliefs, desires, and intentions may differ from those of others
Repetitive Behavior
involves repeated movements and verbalizations include motor movements (e.g., hand slapping), persistant attention to parts of objects (e.g., the moveable bolt in a door’s deadbolt lock), and strict adherence to routines
Social Stories
an evidence-based approach for instructing students to anticipate changes and know how to respond to them
Savant Syndrome
consists of extraordinary talents;in areas such as calendar calculating, musical ability, mathematical skills, memorization, and mechanical abilities
Functional Behavioral Assessment
identifies specific relationships between a student’s behaviors and the circumstances that trigger those behaviors, especially those that impede the student’s or others’ ability to learn
or memory, strategies help students learn and retain information
Keyword Strategies
teach students to link a keyword to a new word or concept to help them remember the new material (the keyword is a word that sounds like the word or concept in question and can be easily pictured)
Pegword Strategy
helps students remember numbered or ordered information by linking words that rhyme with numbers (the visual images help students remember a number or number sequence)
Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS)
is a systems-level and evidence-based method for improving valued social and learning outcomes for all students, not just those with autism
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
uses the prinicples of operant psychology to reduce problem behavior or increase positive behavior ABA is the “process of applying sometime tentative principles of behavior to the improvement of specific behaviors and simultaneously evaluating whether or not any changes noted are indeed attributable to the process of application”
Discrete Trial Teaching uses three elements:

  1. The Discrimative Stimulus
  2. The Response
  3. The reinforcing Stimulus or Consequence