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Intellectual Disabilities
Characteristics of Intellectual Disabilities (I.D.)
Current definition as defined by the American
Association on Intellectual and Developmental
Disabilities (AAIDD) underscores two important
1)ID involves problems in adaptive behavior, not just
intellectual functioning.
2) the intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior of
someone with an ID can be improved.
IDs are commonly categorized according to the time when the
cause occurs: Prenatal (before birth), perinatal (at the time
of birth), and postnatal (after birth).
Prenatal causes are usually attributed to:
1)Chromosomal disorders (Down Syndrome, Fragile
X syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Williams
2)inborn errors of metabolism (deficiencies in
enzymes used to metabolize amino acids, carbs, ect)
3)developmental disorders affecting brain formation
(microcephalus, hydrocephalus)
4)environmental influences (fetal alcohol syndrome,
Identified as 1% of the student population, but that
2.2% is a more accurate number. It is believed that
children are diagnosed as having a learning disability
over ID because its perceived as less stigmatizing (
Hallahan 106).
Identification and Assessment of IDs
The two major areas assessed to determine whether
a person is intellectually disabled: intelligence and
adaptive behavior.
Intelligence is mental age divided by
chronological age.
Adaptive behavior is the assessed by the
individuals ability to cope, or adapt to life.
Planning and Curriculum

Alternative testing assessments and
accommodations such as:
Presentation format
Response format
Extended or unlimited time
Breaking assessment into smaller portions
Reading problems to students

Social Integration in a general education
Preschool: prevention programs aimed at preventing
intellectual disabilities.
As adults: promote self-determination
Transition programs: community adjustment
:(managing money, using public transportation and
maintaining environments) and
employment: sheltered workshop and supported
competitive employment.
Fragile X Syndrome

Williams Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which a
person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46.
One in every 691 babies in the United States is born
with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the
most common genetic condition.
Physical Characteristics of Down Syndrome
Epicanthal folds in the corners of the eyes
Small stature
Decreased muscle tone (hypotonia)
Hyperflexibility of the joints
Short and broad hands with a single palmar crease
Small oral cavity that can result in a protruding
Hallahan, Daniel P., and James M. Kauffman. "Learners with Intellectual and
Developmental Disabilities." Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special
Education. 12th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. 102-30. Print.

Other Characteristics
Three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21
(nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases,
translocation accounts for about 4% and
mosaicism accounts for about 1%.
Susceptibility to heart defects, upper respiratory
infections, hearing problems, Alzheimers disease,
childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions
Unkown, . N.p.. Web. 16 Aug 2013.
Down Syndrome In The Classroom
Most students will be able to participate in all
activities without restrictions.
Respond to resistance by reinforcing usage for short
periods of time then gradually to full day use.
Use basic signs and teach it to the class.
Down Syndrome In The Classroom (Cont.)
Use verbal cues: songs,
rhymes, mantras, key
words, and repetitive
Establish routines
Work through situations
rather than sending the
student out
Expect and model
respectful behavior
In The Classroom (Cont.)
Many students will know far more than they can
express! Use pictures, symbols, or signs to
Focus on one task at a time.
Get the best equipment/tools possible.
Johnson, C.. N.p.. Web. 16 Aug 2013. <>.
Social Integration
Teach names of staff and peers using photos.
Teach about Down Syndrome.
Give opportunities for making choices and reinforce
good choice making.

Hallahan, Daniel P., and James M. Kauffman. "Learners
with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities."
Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special
Education. 12th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. 102-
30. Print.
Johnson, C.. N.p.. Web. 16 Aug 2013.
Unkown, . N.p.. Web. 16 Aug 2013.