Children that are intellectually challenged, previously referred to as mentally retarded because they have challenges in the areas of cognitive abilities. It is harder for these children to adapt to the norms of society, and even harder as they reach their teenage years. A great deal of testing is completed before such a diagnosis can be determined. For most parents, it is overwhelming to care for such a child. They need to have some help along the way and that is where a residential treatment program can be introduced.
It isn’t a matter of the family not wanting to care for a mentally retarded child. However, they often don’t have the skill necessary to deal with certain issues. One of them that can be very difficult is in regards to their emotional needs. They can be very different from those emotions expressed by normal children. As a result, everyday things that most of us take for granted can become quite a challenge.
Why a Residential Treatment Program?
Through assistance at a residential treatment program, any mentally retarded children are able to learn some basic areas of self-sufficiency. They are taught ways to deal with the emotions that are more positive for them. Depending on the level of retardation, some academics may be taught at the facility too. One of the most effective areas of learning occurs in the area of problem-solving. It can be implemented in so many areas of their lives.
One of the reasons why academics for mentally retarded children can be successful in a residential treatment program is due to the fact that the strengths and weaknesses of a child can be evaluated. From there an individualized plan can be designed to promote learning. It can progress at the rate of the child, rather than the child being left behind if they aren’t able to grasp all of the material.
Language programs are implemented as many mentally retarded children struggle to understand what is being said to them. When improvements can be made in this particular area, then it can also help the child to become more effective by reciprocating such communication.
With the self-care part of a residential program, the child can learn how to take care of some basic things. The level of self-care they may be at when they enter the residential treatment program depends on their age, level of retardation, and the environment they have been a part of. They may need help learning to use the bathroom on their own, brush their teeth, tie their shoes and get dressed, and comb their hair.
What is very interesting about mentally retarded children is they seem to be extremely happy. They also can push the limits when it comes to socialization. It isn’t beyond them to hug complete strangers or other acts that aren’t socially acceptable. They can also become quickly frustrated when they aren’t able to accomplish something on their own. Such emotional outbursts aren’t accepted in society either.
It is natural for parents to want to do everything they can for a child, especially one that has some mental challenges. However, the fact that parents don’t have the right training to effectively assist their special needs child in all areas means that they may be holding them back. The decision to allow them to go to a residential treatment program is one that lovingly shows you want them to have a life that is happy, fulfilling, and that they are able to enjoy to the fullest.
How Long does Residential Treatment Take?
The level of retardation affects how long residential treatment takes to be successful. There are many children that can learn to feed themselves, good hygiene, to control their emotions in positive ways, and to learn some basic academics. In time, they may be ready to move into another setting which can include returning home.
For other children though their needs are too great. They can make some improvements but they do require around the clock care. They won’t be able to function on their own and in most instances, it is too difficult for the family to meet their level of need. Medical professionals can help you to determine where your child fits into this.
Selecting a Residential Treatment Program
It can be difficult for parents to make the decision to place a mentally retarded child into a residential treatment program. Taking the time to carefully explore what a particular program offers is important. Parents need to know that their child will be safe and be able to learn a variety of things that can help them to become more self-sufficient.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in:
What You Need To Know About Mental Health Residential Treatment Centers