Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Intellectual Disabilities Related Abstracts

10 Using Computerized Analogical Reasoning Tasks as a Way to Improve Literacy Skills in Children with Mild Intellectual Disability

Authors: Caroline Denaes


The ability to read is crucial for a successful path in school and in a social and professional context. Children with mild intellectual disability are confronted to serious difficulties in literacy. A lot of them do not read or are illiterate. Only one child out of five is able to acquire basic reading skills, which increases the likelihood to misfit in society, especially when these children grow up and cannot manage themselves in situations requiring higher reading levels. One way to help these children acquiring basic reading skills is to use analogical reasoning, as some researchers demonstrated that this mechanism is fundamental for any reading process. For this purpose, we developed computerized analogies displayed on a touch screen tablet. Analogies are comparisons that give children a framework they can use to understand new information. They work by comparing one thing to another in order to emphasize some mutual quality. If one of the items is unfamiliar, that mutual quality can help make it understandable, or it can cause the children to consider something familiar in some new way, such as transferring what they know about familiar words to help them identify unfamiliar words. In addition, using touch screen tablets represents several advantages: the ease of use, the relevance to this specific population and the appeal of a self-directed activity gives individuals and practitioners a modern tool that differs from the traditional paper-and-pencil material. In addition, the touch screen dimension is especially appropriate for children as assistive technology has been found to be more motivating that any other types of devices and improves the children’ attention span.

Keywords: Literacy, Intellectual Disabilities, touch screen techonology, literacy skill

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9 The Place of Inclusive Education in the Transformative Education of Children with Intellectual Disabilities in Oyo State, Nigeria

Authors: Adewale Olabisi


The society has bastion of people with diverse kinds of special needs which invariably affect the kind of education that is provided to this category of children. Most schools for pupils with intellectual disabilities seem not to be achieving the objectives it was set out to achieve. Hence, there is the need to provide transformative education for these children with intellectual disabilities which can only be achieved in an inclusive educational setting. However, achieving this has been a great challenge in Nigeria. This paper, however, dealt with the urgent need for transformative teaching for persons with intellectual disabilities in readiness for them to be accepted in the society and also enhance their self-concept and perception which in turn will make a way for their self-sustenance. Suggestions and recommendations that will better enhance the full implementation of transformative teaching for pupils with intellectual disabilities in an inclusive environment were also made.

Keywords: Inclusive Education, Intellectual Disabilities, Transformative Education, Nigeria, Oyo State

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8 Owning (up to) the 'Art of the Insane': Re-Claiming Personhood through Copyright Law

Authors: Mathilde Pavis


From Schumann to Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Ray Charles, the stories narrating the careers of artists with physical or mental disabilities are becoming increasingly popular. From the emergence of ‘pathography’ at the end of 18th century to cinematographic portrayals, the work and lives of differently-abled creative individuals continue to fascinate readers, spectators and researchers. The achievements of those artists form the tip of the iceberg composed of complex politico-cultural movements which continue to advocate for wider recognition of disabled artists’ contribution to western culture. This paper envisages copyright law as a potential tool to such end. It investigates the array of rights available to artists with intellectual disabilities to assert their position as authors of their artwork in the twenty-first-century looking at international and national copyright laws (UK and US). Put simply, this paper questions whether an artist’s intellectual disability could be a barrier to assert their intellectual property rights over their creation. From a legal perspective, basic principles of non-discrimination would contradict the representation of artists’ disability as an obstacle to authorship as granted by intellectual property laws. Yet empirical studies reveal that artists with intellectual disabilities are often denied the opportunity to exercise their intellectual property rights or any form of agency over their work. In practice, it appears that, unlike other non-disabled artists, the prospect for differently-abled creators to make use of their right is contingent to the context in which the creative process takes place. Often will the management of such rights rest with the institution, art therapist or mediator involved in the artists’ work as the latter will have necessitated greater support than their non-disabled peers for a variety of reasons, either medical or practical. Moreover, the financial setbacks suffered by medical institutions and private therapy practices have renewed administrators’ and physicians’ interest in monetising the artworks produced under their supervision. Adding to those economic incentives, the rise of criminal and civil litigation in psychiatric cases has also encouraged the retention of patients’ work by therapists who feel compelled to keep comprehensive medical records to shield themselves from liability in the event of a lawsuit. Unspoken transactions, contracts, implied agreements and consent forms have thus progressively made their way into the relationship between those artists and their therapists or assistants, disregarding any notions of copyright. The question of artists’ authorship finds itself caught in an unusually multi-faceted web of issues formed by tightening purse strings, ethical concerns and the fear of civil or criminal liability. Whilst those issues are playing out behind closed doors, the popularity of what was once called the ‘Art of the Insane’ continues to grow and open new commercial avenues. This socio-economic context exacerbates the need to devise a legal framework able to help practitioners, artists and their advocates navigate through those issues in such a way that neither this minority nor our cultural heritage suffers from the fragmentation of the legal protection available to them.

Keywords: Copyright Law, Intellectual Disabilities, Authorship, art therapy and mediation

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7 Parental Involvement and Students' Outcomes: A Study in a Special Education School in Singapore

Authors: E. Er, Y. S. Cheng


The role of parents and caregivers in their children’s education is pivotal. Parental involvement (PI) is often associated with a range of student outcomes. This includes academic achievements, socioemotional development, adaptive skills, physical fitness and school attendance. This study is the first in Singapore to (1) explore the relationship between parental involvement and student outcomes; (2) determine the effects of family structure and socioeconomic status (SES) on parental involvement and (3) investigate factors that inform involvement in parents of children with specific developmental disabilities. Approval for the study was obtained from Nanyang Technological University’s Institutional Review Board in Singapore. The revised version of a comprehensive theoretical model on parental involvement was used as the theoretical framework in this study. Parents were recruited from a SPED school in Singapore which caters to school-aged children (7 to 21 years old). Pearson’s product moment correlation, analysis of variance and multiple regression analyses were used as statistical techniques in this study. Results indicate that there are significant associations between parental involvement and educational outcomes in students with developmental disabilities. Next, SES has a significant impact on levels of parental involvement. In addition, parents in the current study reported being more involved at home, in school activities and the community, when teachers specifically requested their involvement. Home-based involvement was also predicted by parents’ perceptions of their time and energy, efficacy and beliefs in supporting their child’s education, as well as their children’s invitations to be more involved. An interesting and counterintuitive inverse relationship was found between general school invitations and parental involvement at home. Research findings are further discussed, and suggestions are put forth to increase involvement for this specific group of parents.

Keywords: autism, Developmental Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, parental involvement, Singapore

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6 An Exploration of Special Education Teachers’ Practices in a Preschool Intellectual Disability Centre in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Faris Algahtani


Background: In Saudi Arabia, it is essential to know what practices are employed and considered effective by special education teachers working with preschool children with intellectual disabilities, as a prerequisite for identifying areas for improvement. Preschool provision for these children is expanding through a network of Intellectual Disability Centres while, in primary schools, a policy of inclusion is pursued and, in mainstream preschools, pilots have been aimed at enhancing learning in readiness for primary schooling. This potentially widens the attainment gap between preschool children with and without intellectual disabilities, and influences the scope for improvement. Goal: The aim of the study was to explore special education teachers’ practices and perceived perceptions of those practices for preschool children with intellectual disabilities in Saudi Arabia Method: A qualitative interpretive approach was adopted in order to gain a detailed understanding of how special education teachers in an IDC operate in the classroom. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with experienced and qualified teachers. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, based on themes identified from the literature review together with new themes emerging from the data. Findings: American methods strongly influenced teaching practices, in particular TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children), which emphasises structure, schedules and specific methods of teaching tasks and skills; and ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis), which aims to improve behaviours and skills by concentrating on detailed breakdown and teaching of task components and rewarding desired behaviours with positive reinforcement. The Islamic concept of education strongly influenced which teaching techniques were used and considered effective, and how they were applied. Tensions were identified between the Islamic approach to disability, which accepts differences between human beings as created by Allah in order for people to learn to help and love each other, and the continuing stigmatisation of disability in many Arabic cultures, which means that parents who bring their children to an IDC often hope and expect that their children will be ‘cured’. Teaching methods were geared to reducing behavioural problems and social deficits rather than to developing the potential of the individual child, with some teachers recognizing the child’s need for greater freedom. Relationships with parents could in many instances be improved. Teachers considered both initial teacher education and professional development to be inadequate for their needs and the needs of the children they teach. This can be partly attributed to the separation of training and development of special education teachers from that of general teachers. Conclusion: Based on the findings, teachers’ practices could be improved by the inclusion of general teaching strategies, parent-teacher relationships and practical teaching experience in both initial teacher education and professional development. Coaching and mentoring support from carefully chosen special education teachers could assist the process, as could the presence of a second teacher or teaching assistant in the classroom.

Keywords: Early Childhood, Special Education, Early Intervention, Intellectual Disabilities

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5 The Effect of Using Universal Design for Learning to Improve the Quality of Vocational Programme with Intellectual Disabilities and the Challenges Facing This Method from the Teachers' Point of View

Authors: Ohud Adnan Saffar


This study aims to know the effect of using universal design for learning (UDL) to improve the quality of vocational programme with intellectual disabilities (SID) and the challenges facing this method from the teachers' point of view. The significance of the study: There are comparatively few published studies on UDL in emerging nations. Therefore, this study will encourage the researchers to consider a new approaches teaching. Development of this study will contribute significant information on the cognitively disabled community on a universal scope. In order to collect and evaluate the data and for the verification of the results, this study has been used the mixed research method, by using two groups comparison method. To answer the study questions, we were used the questionnaire, lists of observations, open questions, and pre and post-test. Thus, the study explored the advantages and drawbacks, and know about the impact of using the UDL method on integrating SID with students non-special education needs in the same classroom. Those aims were realized by developing a workshop to explain the three principles of the UDL and train (16) teachers in how to apply this method to teach (12) students non-special education needs and the (12) SID in the same classroom, then take their opinion by using the questionnaire and questions. Finally, this research will explore the effects of the UDL on the teaching of professional photography skills for the SID in Saudi Arabia. To achieve this goal, the research method was a comparison of the performance of the SID using the UDL method with that of female students with the same challenges applying other strategies by teachers in control and experiment groups, we used the observation lists, pre and post-test. Initial results: It is clear from the previous response to the participants that most of the answers confirmed that the use of UDL achieves the principle of inclusion between the SID and students non-special education needs by 93.8%. In addition, the results show that the majority of the sampled people see that the most important advantages of using UDL in teaching are creating an interactive environment with using new and various teaching methods, with a percentage of 56.2%. Following this result, the UDL is useful for integrating students with general education, with a percentage of 31.2%. Moreover, the finding indicates to improve understanding through using the new technology and exchanging the primitive ways of teaching with the new ones, with a percentage of 25%. The result shows the percentages of the sampled people's opinions about the financial obstacles, and it concluded that the majority see that the cost is high and there is no computer maintenance available, with 50%. There are no smart devices in schools to help in implementing and applying for the program, with a percentage of 43.8%.

Keywords: Intellectual Disabilities, Universal design for learning, vocational programme, the challenges facing this method

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4 Quality of Life Responses of Students with Intellectual Disabilities Entering an Inclusive, Residential Post-Secondary Program

Authors: Mary A. Lindell


Adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) are increasingly attending postsecondary institutions, including inclusive residential programs at four-year universities. The legislation, national organizations, and researchers support developing postsecondary education (PSE) options for this historically underserved population. Simultaneously, researchers are assessing the quality of life indicators (QOL) for people with ID. This study explores the quality of life characteristics for individuals with ID entering a two-year PSE program. A survey aligned with the PSE program was developed and administered to participants before they began their college program (in future studies, the same survey will be administered 6 months and 1 year after graduating). Employment, income, and housing are frequently cited QOL measures. People with disabilities, and especially people with ID, are more likely to experience unemployment and low wages than people without disabilities. PSE improves adult outcomes (e.g., employment, income, housing) for people with and without disabilities. Similarly, adults with ID who attend PSE are more likely to be employed than their peers who do not attend PSE; however, adults with ID are least likely among their typical peers and other students with disabilities to attend PSE. There is increased attention to providing individuals with ID access to PSE and more research is needed regarding the characteristics of students attending PSE. This study focuses on the participants of a fully residential two-year program for individuals with ID. Students earn an Applied Skills Certificate while focusing on five benchmarks: self-care, home care, relationships, academics, and employment. To create a QOL measure, the goals of the PSE program were identified, and possible assessment items were initially selected from the National Core Indicators (NCI) and the National Transition Longitudinal Survey 2 (NTLS2) that aligned with the five program goals. Program staff and advisory committee members offered input on potential item alignment with program goals and expected value to students with ID in the program. National experts in researching QOL outcomes of people with ID were consulted and concurred that the items selected would be useful in measuring the outcomes of postsecondary students with ID. The measure was piloted, modified, and administered to incoming students with ID. Research questions: (1) In what ways are students with ID entering a two-year PSE program similar to individuals with ID who complete the NCI and NTLS2 surveys? (2) In what ways are students with ID entering a two-year PSE program different than individuals with ID who completed the NCI and NTLS2 surveys? The process of developing a QOL measure specific to a PSE program for individuals with ID revealed that many of the items in comprehensive national QOL measures are not relevant to stake-holders of this two-year residential inclusive PSE program. Specific responses of students with ID entering an inclusive PSE program will be presented as well as a comparison to similar items on national QOL measures. This study explores the characteristics of students with ID entering a residential, inclusive PSE program. This information is valuable for, researchers, educators, and policy makers as PSE programs become more accessible for individuals with ID.

Keywords: Inclusion, Quality of Life, Intellectual Disabilities, Post-Secondary Education

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3 Barriers That Special Education Teachers Faced When Working with Students with Intellectual Disabilities in an Inclusion Schools

Authors: Faris Algahtani


Every child has a right to education. This is one of the laws in the constitution and it empowers every child to access knowledge but it does not, however, allocate special interest to the rights of education for children with disabilities. It also does not address the challenges that teachers of such children face while trying to educate them. This study was conducted at government schools of Saudi Arabia. As the teaching profession is the most valuable profession and deserves to have its challenges tackled. This paper explores the challenges that teachers face as they try to teach students who have intellectual disabilities (ID). It looks at the daily challenges of a teacher who has to teach both children with disabilities and those without. The literature review shed light on the various aspects of mainstream education from the classroom to the outside environment to the teachers involved in mainstream education. The study employed qualitative methods in which Focus Group Discussions were utilized and Twenty (N=20) special education teachers were randomly sampled from primary schools through 6 groups of teachers from 6 different schools were interviewed through semi-structured interviews with the aim of drawing collective perceptions rather than personal perceptions about the challenges. The study found that most teachers had similar perceptions about the challenges that teachers face as they educate students with intellectual disabilities. The study recommends that The Ministry of Education should consider increasing the availability of special needs courses, workshops and conference for special education teachers.

Keywords: Inclusion, Disabilities, Intellectual Disabilities, special education teachers, mainstream schools

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2 Influence of Animal Assisted Activity with Cat on Emotions of People with Intellectual Disabilities: Preliminary Study

Authors: Angelika Magiera, Weronika Penar, Czesław Klocek


Intellectual disability (ID) affects approximately 1.55% of children and adults in the society of developed countries. Depending on the ID degree, the patient is burdened with additional disease entities. Intellectual disability does not only limits a person’s opportunities to participate in social life but also affects whole families. People with ID belong to the group of risk of mental illnesses, they are less emotionally stable, while families are predisposed to depression. The study was held in a day care center for people with intellectual disabilities (of various degrees of disability) on 26 people. Nurses and carers also took part. The age range of study groups ranged from 22 to 67 years. Therapeutic classes were held for four independent mixed groups (sex and intellectual disability degree) from 6 to 7 people each, lasting no more than 30 minutes. They were created by the facility's staff to make sure that a group is stable. The animal assisted activity took place with a 2.5-year-old Ragdoll cat. The animal has passed the exam (certificate entitling her to take part in felinotherapy) and had 1.5 years of work experience. Due to the different degrees of ID, an individual emotional state survey was conducted among the caregivers of those who were involved in the activity, to assess the impact of animal assisted activity with a cat on patients. A positive effect on the emotional state of people with different types of intellectual disability was observed. Caregivers and nurses of those participating in the study express willingness to continue these types of classes and consider them necessary for this group of people.

Keywords: Intellectual Disabilities, Cat, Emotions, animal-assisted activity, feline

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1 Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Children with Intellectual Disabilities in the Aspects of Vocational Activities and Instrumental Activities of Daily Life

Authors: Shakhawath Hossain, Tazkia Tahsin


Introduction/Background: Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. Vocational education is a multi-professional approach that is provided to individuals of working age with health-related impairments, limitations, or restrictions with work functioning and whose primary aim is to optimize work participation. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living activities to support daily life within the home and community. Like as community mobility, financial management, meal preparation, and clean-up, shopping. Material and Method: Electronic searches of Medline, PubMed, Google scholar, OT Seeker literature using the key terms of intellectual disability, vocational rehabilitation, instrumental activities of daily living and Occupational Therapy, as well as a thorough manual search for relevant literature. Results: There were 13 articles, all qualitative and quantitative, which are included in this review. All studies were mixed methods in design. To take the Occupational Therapy services, there is a significant improvement in their children's various areas like as sensory issues, cognitive abilities, perceptual skills, visual, motor planning, and group therapy. After taking the vocational and instrumental activities of daily living training children with intellectual disabilities to participate in their daily activities and work as an employee different company or organizations. Conclusion: The persons with intellectual disability are an integral part of our society who deserves social support and opportunities like other human beings. From the result section of the project papers, it is found that the significant benefits of Occupational Therapy services in the aspects of vocational and instrumental activities of daily living.

Keywords: Occupational therapy, Intellectual Disabilities, daily living activities, instrumental ADL

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