chapter  21
13 Pages

Profound intellectual disability

This chapter concerns students with profound intellectual disability. In DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association) the definition of intellectual disability includes deficits in both intellectual and adaptive functioning in conceptual, social and practical domains which start during the developmental period. For profound intellectual disability, in the conceptual domain, conceptual skills generally involve, the physical world rather than symbolic processes. The individual may use objects in a goal-directed way for self-care, work and recreation and may be able to sort or match objects according to physical characteristics and similar tasks. However, motor and sensory impairments may prevent the individual from using objects functionally. Students with profound intellectual disabilities achieve at a very early developmental level. Accordingly, the curriculum is informed by knowledge of typical early infant development, while taking account of an individual student's idiosyncratic development and the effects of other disabilities. An assessment system suitable for students with profound intellectual disability will record learning and developmental outcomes, experiences and responses.