MANAGEMENT OF GIFTED / TALENTED CHILDREN
- ENRICHMENT:- This is the provision of enriched programme components and contents with regular class setting without necessarily enrichment pupils who are gifted may study the same subjects as their mates but in greater detail, or the curriculum may be broadened to include areas of study not generally covered. Eg. Project work etc. may be assigned to gifted pupil
- ACCELERATION:- This is the process of letting a pupil move faster than usual through the classes, for example, from Basic 3, the gifted pupil may be promoted to basic 5. Another example of acceleration is
- Early admission – This is where the child is allowed to enter Kindergarten at a younger than normal age.
- Curriculum Compacting or Telescoping – This is another example of acceleration whereby whatever the child is to cover is done in less or reduced time. For instance, finishing a topic in two weeks when we are to use three weeks for it.
- Content – this is another example of acceleration whereby the gifted child takes or adds one or two subjects to what he is already learning with peers while he remains in the same class.
This is where the gifted child is paired up with a specialist in the field of interest of the learner to understudy him. For example, where a gifted child is paired with a pilot who is willing to explain the intricacies of flying and offering him a lesson on flying.
This is where pupils are encouraged to find out things for themselves. Under this, the gifted/ talented pupils are encouraged to look for answers and ideas for themselves with little supervision.
- INDEPENDENT STUDY
This is where the gifted pupils are assigned to study a specific area to be examined. The child could also be asked to serve as a teaching assistant to his teacher.
- OPPORTUNITY FOR GIFTED/TALENTED PUPILS TO SPEND TIME TO WORK TOGETHER.
This is where gifted/talented pupils are put together in one group to enable them have the chance to enrich their experiences by sharing their work with others.
- RESOURCE ROOM PULL-OUT
This is where we ask the gifted/talented pupils to pull out of the regular classroom for a brief period of time to receive instruction from specially-trained consultants.
Mental retardation is define as significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with related limitations in two or more adaptive skill areas such as self-care, communication, social skills, academic etc. Mental retardation manifests itself at age 18 years.
KINDS OF MENTAL RETARDATION
- The mildly retarded who are also known as the educable mentally retarded.
- The moderately retarded also referred to as trainable mentally retarded.
- The severely retarded also known as custodials.
- The profounds also known as custodials.
SINGS AND IDENTIFICATION OF THE MENTALLY – RETARD CHILD
- He is not understood by people outside his family by age 5. He also talks differently from other children of the same age.
- He cannot respond to his own name by age 1. Cannot answer simple questions by age 4.
- He cannot play like other children of the same age and does not enjoy playing simple games by age 1.
- He moves differently from other children of the same age. He cannot walk by age 2 and cannot sit unsupported by 10 months.
- He has very short attention span. In addition, he has poor memory and is always apathetic and indifferent.
- He has difficulty in copying shapes such as circles and squares and usually mixes up letters such as d and b.
CAUSES OF MENTAL RETARDATION
The causes of mental retardation are grouped into genetic or hereditary and environmental.
- GENETIC / HEREDITARY CAUSES
Genetic means relating to genes and hereditary means a disease passed from a parent to a child through their genes.
- RHESUS FACTOR
If a mother conceives a baby which possesses Rh positive blood from the father while the mother has Rh negative blood, the two cannot live in harmony. The disagreement between the two blood groups results when the Rh positive baby produces some substances called antigens which are passed on to the mothers negative blood through the placenta. They are found in the red blood corpuses. Naturally, the mother’s Rh negative blood will react to the antigens. The mother’s blood produces antibodies from the plasma and passes them through the baby’s circulatory system. This attack of the mother’s antibodies on the baby’s blood system destroys the red blood corpuses; thus reducing the flow of oxygen. This may lead to miscarriage or still birth (baby dies before it is born). If the child lives, he may have mental retardation.
2) CHROMOSOMAL ANOMALIES
Chromosomes are rod like structures found in all living cells that contain the heredity controlling genes. Life begins as a result of fusion between the male sperm which contains 23 chromosomes and the female ovum which also has 23 chromosomes. It is noticed that every normal person is formed by the fusion of 46 chromosomes of 23 pairs of chromosomes. There are cases, however, in which more than 23 pairs of chromosomes are fused and in other cases less than 23 pairs are fused. Children born with more or less than the 23 pair of chromosomes suffer from mental retardation.
3) METABOLIC DISORDERS
A metabolic disorder is the difficulty breaking down a particular nutrient chemical for use by the body. The component nutrients and chemical in the food we eat are broken down into soluble particle that easily dissolve in water for use by the dissolve in the blood. The breaking down of the various nutrients is done by some enzyme. The process by which such enzymes do this breaking down exercise is known as metabolism. Mental retardation arises as a result of the inheritance of an inactive gene from a parent.
- B) ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
- DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
When pregnant experience problems such as body weakness, dizziness, headaches, cold, loss of appetite etc they attempt to take drugs like sedatives, purgatives and tranquillize which may have many negative effects on the baby. This is very serious during the trimmest of the pregnancy.
2) FETAL POSITION
When the baby lies across the womb, the placenta tears during labour and oxygen flow to the brain stops-anoxia. The body comes with the hands or legs first during the birth.
The result is mental retardation.
When we treat children so badly that they fear to come near us or parents, they develop psychological trauma. Car accidents, knocking at the child’s head may lead to the breaking capillaries of the blood. This can make the child vomit and unconscious and finally leads to mental retardation.
4) MATERNAL MALNUTRITION
Malnutrition is a condition in which you are weak or ill because you do not eat enough or the right foods. Malnutrition causes mental retardation because during pregnancy, the fetus depends solely on the mother for the supply of valuable nutrients necessary for normal growth and development. The fetus gets food supply through the placenta and umbilical cord. If the pregnancy mother is badly fed; then the fetus cannot get the important nutrients which the growing brain needs. Therefore, when the mother’s malnutrition is serious, the child becomes mentally retarded.
5) MATERNAL DISEASES
If a pregnant mother suffers from German measles or Rubella during the first three months of pregnancy, the viral agents which are so small can infiltrate the placental wall into the baby’s blood stream then the child has 50% chance of having mental retardation. Other diseases that can cause mental retardation include chicken pox, syphilis, influenza etc.