Teaching individuals with physical and mental disabilities the life skills needed to compensate for their disadvantages are considered to be the key factor to ensuring a relatively safe, functional, and happy life for those individuals. As it stands, many countries around the world do not provide accommodations for mentally disabled individuals, nor do they provide enough funding for the public school systems to encourage teaching DLS for these students. This paper will examine two articles dedicated to the subject and provide arguments and counterarguments, highlighting the issues surrounding DLS and its inclusion in the curriculum.
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Pros of Teaching DLS to Intellectually Disabled Students
Daily living skills are necessary to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities to facilitate a healthy standard of living. These include maintenance skills like cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene. Academic skills include time management, reading, writing, and using electronic libraries. Lastly, safety skills include being able to avoid various hazards, such as traffic, disease, and violence (Bouck, 2010). According to Ruteere, Mutia, Mwoma, and Runo (2015), it is a constitutional right of every intellectually-disabled individual to receive DLS instructions at schools. School-taught DLS is assumed to be the best way of improving the lives of individuals with learning disabilities.
Challenges of Teaching DLS to Intellectually-Disabled Students
There are many questions raised about the actual effectiveness of school-taught DLS. Ruteere et al. (2015) provide very little evidence to why such practices deserve the additional funding, aside from an appeal to the constitution. Bouck (2010) acknowledges that the academic data regarding the effectiveness of DLC is not sufficient. In addition, the use of specialized life skills-based curriculum contradicts many of the existing government initiatives aimed at encouraging disabled individuals to participate in general education (Bouck, 2010).
Bouck, E. C. (2010). Reports of life skills training for students with intellectual disabilities in and out of school. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54(12), 1093-1103.
Ruteere, R. K., Mutia, J. M., Mwoma, T., & Runo, M. (2015). Challenges experienced in teaching daily living skills to learners with mental retardation. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(18), 159-163.