A mentally child has some limitation and if the training involves on concentrating on what he can do rather than what he cannot do, half the battle is won.
People always ask me what they can possibly teach a mentally challenged child?
Training is important; this has helped not only the child but also made the caretakers’ task easier.
The child has to be trained to be independent. He should be toilet trained and be able to take care of himself. For normal kids, many of the activities come easy, they learn by aping the adults. But for mentally challenged child, things are different. He/she has to be trained even to do simple task such as combing the hair, brushing teeth, and buttoning up his/her shirt. For girls, when they get their periods, they have to be trained to use the sanitary pad in proper way and learn to keep themselves clean.
It becomes easier if the child is admitted to the school at an early age. With the help of professionals, teachers and parents, the child shows great improvement.
Many parents don’t allow their children to help in the kitchen. They are afraid that child may hurt himself. But a simple task such as chopping and cleaning vegetables is not dangerous if they are allowed to work under supervision.
On my last visit to school, I decided to spend an afternoon with MR children in the pre-vocational unit. There was an activity of cutting vegetables. Each child has his own chopping board and a knife.
Before beginning an activity child is asked to wash his/her hands. The child is shown the correct way to hold a knife and shown how to cut. While the instructor supervises, the child chops carefully, keeps them aside and later packs it in the plastic bag.
Many women in the neighborhood send the vegetables to be chopped at school.
Once the students are confident, they begin to help their parents at home too.