Are there students in your school or classroom with an intellectual disability identification? Between 75 and 90 percent of people with an intellectual disability are identified with mild intellectual disability, or MID. With the growing recognition of the diversity of learners in Ontario schools, it’s crucial that teachers understand all students’ individual learning needs.
Students with an MID identification have limited intellectual abilities (reasoning, planning, problem solving, thinking abstractly, and comprehending complex ideas) and/or adaptive behaviour (language, reading and writing, money, time, number concepts, interpersonal skills, social responsibility, gullibility, naivete, following rules, and schedules/routines). They also may have been diagnosed with Down syndrome (or trisomy 21), fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X, cerebral palsy, or Williams syndrome.
In the AQ course Teaching Students with Intellectual Needs, Mild Intellectual Disability (MID) you’ll have the opportunity to explore various topics related to supporting students with MID. By examining Ontario policy, you’ll develop the knowledge, skills and strategies needed to instruct, assess, and create an equitable, inclusive space for all students, including those with MID. You’ll learn to use universal design, differentiation, and the IEP to guide programming decisions. Other course topics include mixed-ability grouping, positive classroom management, responsive approaches to behaviour, and classroom mindset. Upon completing this course, you’ll be prepared to support students with MID with care, respect, and a dedication to equity and inclusion.
In this course you’ll have the opportunity to
• review the characteristics of the exceptionality mild intellectual disability and the program design, planning, development and implementation strategies and frameworks related to Teaching Students with Intellectual Needs
• identify the significance of relevant Ministry documents pertaining to special education, as well as legislation including the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and associated responsibilities of professional practice
• consider environmental features and barriers that may impact student programming, such as schools with restricted access or accessibility to resources
• use theories and concepts learned to choose appropriate instructional and assessment strategies to guide practice for students with mild intellectual disability
• recognize the importance of support staff (i.e., school psychologist, speech and language pathologist) to guide accommodations and modifications for exceptional learners
• reflect on the importance of transition planning and application of transition plans for students with mild intellectual disability through curriculum learning goals, career pathways, and life skills, with the support of families and support agencies
• critically reflect on personal and professional growth when teaching students with mild intellectual disability and how practice fits into an inclusive classroom
• create and sustain positive, ethical, equitable, accepting, inclusive, engaging and safe learning environments, keeping in mind environmental barriers and supports (i.e. assistive technology) to enhance student learning
• apply equitable, transparent, and reliable assessment and evaluation practices that value the dignity, emotional learning, and cognitive development of students