The Meanings of Intelligence and Adaptive Behavior

The Meanings ofIntelligence and Adaptive Behavior

Intelligenceis viewed to be the common ability in which individuals apply inreasoning, relationships, perceiving analogy, and calculation. Italso entails mental ability to store and retrieve effectively of anyinformation, at the same time, fluency in the use of language(Carlson, 2010). Intelligence therefore, regards perceived capacity,which not only is applied in learning and understanding of newscenarios, but also the ability to effectively adapt to those kindsof environments or situations. Again, Mental retardation refers to apsychological condition, which is characterized by limitations withina person’s current intellectual ability. It is often characterizedby the intellectual ability to function, which is below average(Sternberg et al., 2003). This condition is therefore accompaniedwith a number of limitations, which include social and academicskills and communication among others.

In aclassroom setting, a teacher can employ a number of teaching stylesto be able to adapt well to the needs of the intellectuallychallenged or rather, mentally retarded students. To begin with, thisspecial teacher will be force to identify life skills, which thestudents with ID are supposed to learn. When the skills have beenidentified, the teacher will have to create better learningatmosphere, which will facilitate the process of learning. With thisapproach, the student will be in a better position to effectivelyacquire the necessary skills to adapt quickly to their environment.In addition, the teacher should also impart the necessary and simpleskills that are measureable (Race, 2007). With this, the student withID will be in a much better position to gain the complex knowledge,step by step. For example, when teaching basic skills of wiping andcleaning the cutlery, the skills should be broken down to moreabsorbable ones. For instance, it should be done in a way that thecutlery are first taken to the kitchen, put in a sink, and are thenwashed. Similarly, the teachers should impart the same skills tothese students with ID (Hunt, 2010). Such techniques will help themenhance quick mastery of the skills taught.

Inequal measure, teachers teaching students with IntellectualDisability should therefore adhere to consistency on imparting aparticular skill to ensure these students are able to own the skills.It will help them reduce the amount of anxiety and stress, whileabsorbing a tough skill. With consistency, students are able to buildconfidence since mastering the concept is much higher, especiallywhen the instructors employ repetitive teaching (Sternberg et al.,2003). Additionally, for students with mild ID, the instructor shouldemploy over-learning to ensure he or she imparts the students withcognitive-related information. These students are slightly slowerwhen mastering a certain concept when compared to the normal ones.When they are over-taught, it helps these special students to catchup with normal learners, especially when they are in commonmainstream classes. Again, for students with intellectual disability,instructions given to them should emphasize on the number of motionexercises that would help enhance adoption of basic skills.

Assessmentof students with intellectual disability is often associated with anumber of problems. To begin with, instruments meant for assessmenthave often been criticized for ignorance on cultural differences whenevaluating the procedures. Insensitivity to differences in culturecould possibly end up in misdiagnosis and negative labeling (Race,2007). To mislabel means negative effects on the students that areassessed since it often result in wrongly diagnosis. In addition,evaluation instruments, when not used carefully, could end upaffecting self-esteem of the students when handling the assessment.The special personnel must also consider ethical issues, which whenmisused could result in detrimental effects on the student.

Studentswith intellectual disability exhibit a number of characteristics,which depends on the perceived degree or the level of the disability.Hunt (2011) observes that students with severe intellectualdisability often demands service from the instructor of the caregiverall through their lives. Majority of individuals with severeintellectual disability again have other disabilities, which rangefrom difficulties in communication and difficulty in mobility. In anumber of instances, whatever that is aiding mobility is the use ofwheel chairs, while difficulties in communication are handled byteaching the students the means of ideas articulation with theirpeers (Carlson, 2010). Students with severe disability havecomplexities that require an abstract for difficulty in reasoning.These students therefore, are taught basic skills that are essentialfor their normal way of living. It also means that these studentsacquire education for purposes of acquiring live skills since theyare not able to comprehend information from the abstract. Inaddition, these categories of students more often exhibit knownsyndromes, for example, the Down syndrome, which is a challenge inthe level of intellectual a capacity. Because of their perceptibleintellectual ability nature of these students, their category demandsspecial education.

Consequently,students exhibiting slight mental retardation often demand limitedsupport. With this category of students often indicate moderate orslight delay in academic and communication performance levels compareto normal student. In addition, children development with slightmental retardation is often delayed when compared to theircounterparts (Sternberg et al., 2003). Developmental delays oftenhave a certain effect in reduction of the cognitive abilities of thekid. Under this category, learners are known to experience difficultyin understanding complex subjects that require abstract reasoning andlonger concentration. Special teachers as such, ought to applyover-teaching to emphasize on mastering concept taught. This willrequire the teacher to intentionally exercise personalized teachingby giving needy students enough time than the normal students. Again,they often fall between the third or fourth grade by the time theyare done with high school. To conclude, teachers ought to employadaptive behavior when handling needy students for effectiveenhancement of learning.


Carlson, L. (2010). The faces of intellectual disability:Philosophical reflections. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Hunt,E. B. (2011). Human Intelligence. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Race, D. G. (2007). Intellectual disability: Social approaches.Maidenhead, England: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.

Sternberg, R. J., Lautrey, J., &amp Lubart, T. I. (2003). Modelsof intelligence: International perspectives. Washington, DC:American Psychological Association.