Can you give me suggestions for teaching a student who is mentally retarded, please?

Question:The boy is nine years old and I have been contracted to help him with math. I am a private tutor in Jamaica, and there are no resources here. We've had two sessions that went very well. I see I need a lot of patience, a lot of repetition, hands on, colors. He does know his numbers, but not much more and the writing is very bad. I'd appreciate any suggestions or pointers. Thanks.

The biggest thing when teaching kids with mental disabilities is consistency--lots and lots of repetition. Another thing that may help is the Model, Prompt, Check approach. It is basically what it is called. First you model the task (whether it is just writing a number or adding)--you show the student how to do it. Alot of times, you would also speak out loud explaining why you are doing it the way you are. Next, you prompt the student (walk them through the process or help them with a problem--giving them tips if they need them) Finally, you check the student's understanding of the task/activity by having him complete the task/activity on his own. Often, with students with mental disabilities, you will have to model and prompt and check often to see exactly what he understands and what he doesn't. Another thing you may consider is a task analysis--breaking the task or activity down into it's smallest components--and teaching each component one at a time--this will help in writing and math.
To improve handwriting, get a tablet that has letters and numbers on it that he traces over, that will help teach him how to correctly form the numbers and letters. For math skills, use colored candies such as m&m's or some cookies to learn addition and subtraction and if he does the problem well, he can eat the treats. You just have to be patient and encourage him, and when he does well reward him. That will motivate him. Good luck =)
Try using something tangible to count if you are starting to teach addition and subtraction. Anything will do: marbles, rocks, crayons, pencils, etc.
well first of all, dont refer to him as retarded, that is an offensive term. you can say he is mentally handicapped or he has a mental disability, but dont call him retarded.

you need to repeat things over and over again. try to speak slowly and eloquently.
You have to use more of your patience.Try to be creative in the materials that you can use in form of recycling like using old newspaper, cutting letters from them and make them colorful but not much on red.Give him direct instruction especially in writing like assisting him even holding his hand to be able to write each big and small letters.You can also tell simple stories of how a certain boy learn how to write.
first, what is the degree of his mental retardation? mild, moderate or severe? coz techniques will vary on the these degrees. well, for basics let us use mental retardation-mild as model for teaching math.

1. since he knows his numbers that this mean, reciting them or has knowledge with the one on one correspondence of these numbers?

-start with 1 to 10 for mastery; gradually increase when mastered;

-use sand paper as number cut-outs tactile learning is better for them, using lots of colors and drawings (but beware! not to complex as to crowd their visuals);

-for handwriting' observe his grasps with the pencil, is he having a difficulty holding it? it is necessary that the child develops a good pen grasps before expecting a presentable handwriting;

-use pencils that are bigger than the usual, teach him the proper way of holding pencil if its hurting his fingers try to have the pencil grasps (rubbers you put on pecils or you can improvise);

-yes repetitions is necessary, as well as PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING, CARE and MOST OFALL LOVE! you are teaching a child with special needs, nothing beats a good learning than sharing a piece of your heart.

good luck, gob bless you and your student.

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