Guided Response: Respond to peers who were assigned a different intellectual disability than you.

1. In your peer responses, evaluate whether or not the academic and adaptive modifications your peers made to their lesson plan will be effective.

2. Make sure to justify your thoughts with evidence.

3. Provide at least one other academic and adaptive modification for their lesson.


Intellectual Disability: Fragile X

Grade Level: Elementary

Academic Skill: Math

Lesson Plan: 10 Sparkling Fireworks from

Fragile X syndrome is an intellectual disability that results from changes to the genetic code on a fragile area of the X chromosome. This defect leads to abnormal brain development (Powell & Driver, 2013). The syndrome causes delays in speech or intellectual functioning. In some cases, there are physical characteristics that comes with fragile X, like a long face with a wide forehead (Powell & Driver, 2013). People with fragile X tend to be extremely social. The classroom of a student with fragile X should be filled with hands-on activities that involve a plethora of senses to be stimulated, quiet and active activities, and the understanding and flexibility that the student may not be able to sit still when demanded to be. Based on the child’s frustration or anger at not being understood, the emotional, sensory and social behaviors that go along with fragile X are usually seen in the classroom (The National Fragile X Foundation Education Project, 2004).

The lesson plan I chose was the 10 Sparkling Fireworks lesson plan. This lesson is to teach the students counting and being able to determine how many are left if one is subtracted. The lesson is sung to the tune of ’10 Fat Sausages’. It begins like this: “10 sparkling fireworks ever so bright, 1 went bang in the dark, dark night. 9 sparkling fireworks ever so bright, 1 went bang in the dark, dark night.” And so on until you get to the last sparkling firework and then you say “1 sparkling firework, ever so bright, it went bang, have a good night” ( The lesson plan comes with a Powerpoint Presentation that has a countdown of the numbers from 10 to 1. One modification to better meet the academic needs of the student with fragile X syndrome would be to record the song with music and play it while we sing. Students with fragile X syndrome respond very well to music and use music as a way to express themselves (The National Fragile X Foundation Education Project, 2004). I feel that this student would remember and respond better to this lesson if it is pre-recorded and we sang along to that recording. Another modification to better meet the academic needs of the student with fragile X syndrome would be to write the numbers after the song using a template (The National Fragile X Foundation Education Project, 2004). It is extremely difficult for students with fragile x to master simple math concepts like counting. Therefore, this modification will provide the student with a variety of practices to master counting skills and number recognition.

One modification I would make to this lesson plan to include social skills as a part of the lesson is to put children in groups and give them different parts of the song after we’ve sang the song together many different times. It’s extremely beneficial for a student with fragile X to interact and work with normal developing students. This modification is also beneficial because people with fragile x are extremely social and thrive in socialization (The National Fragile X Foundation Education Project, 2004). Another modification I would make to this lesson plan to include social skills as a part of the lesson is to add different instruments that the children have to play together during the 10 fireworks sparkling song, like a drum, or triangle. This modification is beneficial because it gives the students the socialization aspect by having to work together to play one instrument and it gives the student with fragile x an aspect of musical therapy. Musical therapy is used a lot with students who have this intellectual disability (The National Fragile X Foundation Education Project, 2004).

Lesson plan: (Links to an external site.)


Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual Disability – Down Syndrome

Grade Level – Elementary

Academic Skills – Reading

Lesson Plan Resource – Lesson Plans for Teachers

Down Syndrome is “a genetic disorder, associated with the presence of an extra chromosome 21, characterized by mild to severe mental impairment, weak muscle tone, shorter stature, and a flattened facial profile (“Down syndrome”, 2018).” Down syndrome is caused by chromosome 21 being present in the cells. The actual cause of that happening is unknown, but it comes from the mother or the father. “The additional partial or full copy of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome can originate from either the father or the mother. Approximately 5% of the cases have been traced to the father (NDSS, 2018).”

Students with Down syndrome have typical classroom behavior. They wander or run off, oppositional which cause them to stubborn, short attention span, and obsessive behaviors. Care givers should approach this behavior by ruling out that there could be a medical problem, consider the child’s stress level at the time because that may impact their behavior, work with a professional counselor to help you develop a behavioral plan, and possible medication prescribed by a doctor. It is important to become familiar with the types of behaviors and a solution to control them.

There are 5 Reading Comprehension Worksheets w/free songs. To better meet my student’s academic needs, I will use one new worksheet every week for five weeks. Instead of trying to teach Reading Comprehension in such a hurry, I would spend more time on each story to make sure the child understands what he or she is reading. Before I introduce the song, the children will read together in groups and then we will read together as a class. This gives a chance to observe everyone’s progress. The song will be a treat for the students. This will give them something to look forward to at the end of every lesson. Even though a test is given at the end of every worksheet, I will ask the test questions to the entire class. This way no one will not feel ashamed if they cannot give an answer. “The general and special education teachers work together to develop appropriate modifications for the student with ID (Powell and Driver, 2013)”

I will allow the children to work in pairs of two. The child with Down syndrome has an obsessive behavior of ownership. With only two working together, the child will not be reluctant to share. Children love to sing and dance whether they are disabled or not. I will also allow each group to sing and act out their part this will eliminate the short attention span. These both will help their social skills and life skills. They will learn that it is alright to share things. This is at home, school, and everyday life in general.  “Students with Down syndrome generally demonstrate good social skills, which can be utilized to increase learning and teaching opportunities (Quad Cities IL/IA, 2013).”

Lesson Plan Link (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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