When it comes to teaching kids with intellectual disabilities, repetition and practice are key. According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration, positive behavioral intervention strategies such as reinforcement, prompting, task analysis and multiple repetitions should be used to teach children with intellectual disabilities.
Repetition is a valuable tool when teaching because it allows children to form habits or routines that become second nature. It also helps your child become familiar with their environment, which can help them learn better. For example, if you regularly repeat instructions during activities like getting dressed in the morning or before going to bed at night, your child may increase their independence and be less likely to forget tasks.
Multiple repetitions are also important for reinforcing knowledge. Encouraging kids with intellectual disabilities to practice repeating words or phrases multiple times can help them commit things more easily to memory. Research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that practicing certain activities several times helps strengthen neural connections responsible for learning new information and behaviors more quickly.
Practicing new skills can also have a powerful impact on self-confidence. Dr. Megan Karr-Lilienthal of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center explains: “The effects of learning through repetition cannot be understated—practice leads not just to mastery but increasing confidence as well…Positive reinforcement is one of the single most important elements in helping foster successful outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities”
When it comes to teaching kids with intellectual disabilities, repetition and practice are essential components of success. Through consistent repetition you can form positive habits, reinforce knowledge and bolster self-esteem —thus demonstrating that practice really does make perfect!