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As in the education of all children, in the education of children with mental disabilities, it is aimed that they will continue their lives without being dependent on others in the future, become self-sufficient and integrate with the society. The mentally retarded individual is in constant interaction and communication during his / her life. The mentally disabled individual is expected to be accepted in the society to the extent that he / she can express himself / herself and meet his / her needs independently. Mentally retarded adults need to gain full independence in order to take on social roles such as family members, workers, students, participating in leisure activities, consumerism and citizenship. It is possible to achieve this objective by considering the individual's differences and individual needs, and by presenting appropriate educational environments.
The educational needs of children with intellectual disabilities may vary according to some of their characteristics. Since mentally retarded people are not a homogenous group, they show important individual differences among themselves depending on their various characteristics. These differences may lead them to need more help from others in learning the many skills needed to prepare for community life. In particular, children with mental disabilities may find it difficult to learn on their own or with little help to learn many skills that other individuals have learned on their own or with little help. Many mentally disabled individuals are candidates for independent living. Many will need to take care of themselves, do household chores, marry and start a family, use household appliances and equipment, clean, prepare food, and, in short, continue their own lives independently.
The main purpose of the education of children with intellectual disabilities is to provide the necessary skills for these children to continue their lives independently. To this end, a number of educational arrangements should be included to provide safe and independent life skills for children with intellectual disabilities starting from preschool period.
Independent living skills are a comprehensive concept to meet all the needs of the individual starting from birth, except for the primary needs such as nutrition, shelter and love. We can classify independent life skills as adaptive skills, social skills and professional skills. Adaptive skills include communication, self-care, home life, social skills, community utility, self-management, health and safety, functional academic skills, leisure and work. skills. Daily life skills consist of skills related to the individual and his / her immediate environment within the scope of independent life skills. Daily life skills; food preparation, storage, placement, cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, washing clothes, ironing, button sewing, traveling, buying, going to the doctor, all the functions necessary to sustain life, such as the use of the market, as well as the post office; These skill areas are also at the basis of maintaining a successful life. These skills are part of the special needs of children with intellectual disabilities.
The special educational needs of children with intellectual disabilities focus on functional academic skills and independent living skills. Functional academic skills are intended to be used in the daily life, home, community and environment for the individual. Independent living skills, on the other hand, include the skills necessary for an individual to survive without being dependent on others. Normal children can acquire independent living skills through developmental stages through models such as parents or opportunities given to them. Children with intellectual disabilities, however, often lack opportunities for normal children. Because families do not have enough information about how to gain independent life skills of the mentally retarded child. Parents often do so for children with mental retardation rather than for them. Mental disability as well as negative attitudes of parents and the environment and lack of systematic experiences may delay the ability of mentally retarded children to acquire independent life skills. Therefore, the ability of the mentally retarded child to acquire independent life skills requires a special team arrangement.
Prepared by: Special Education Specialist Erdi Kanbaş
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