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Development Self-Care and Daily Living Skills

Development Self-Care and Daily Living Skills

Individuals with mental retardation who require extensive supports must often be taught basic self-care skills such as dressing, eating, and hygiene. Direct instruction and environmental supports such as added prompts and simplified routines are necessary to ensure that deficits in these adaptive areas do not come to seriously limit one's qualityof life. Most children with milder forms of mental retardation learn how to take care of their basic needs, but they often require training in self-management skills to achieve the levels of performance necessary for eventual independent living.

Social Development

 Making and sustaining friendships and personal relationships present significant challenges for many persons with mental retardation. Limited cognitive processing skills, poor language development, and unusual or inappropriate behaviors can seriously impede interacting with others. It is difficult at best for someone who is not a professional educator or staff person to want to spend the time necessary to get to know a person who stands too close, interrupts frequently, does not maintain eye contact, and strays from the conversational topic. Teaching students with mental retardation appropriate social and interpersonal skills is one of the most important functions of special education.