Clinical and psychoeducational profile of children with borderline intellectual functioning
To document the clinical profile and academic history of children with borderline intellectual functioning (“slow learners”); and to assess parental knowledge and attitudes regarding this condition.
From November 2004 to April 2005, 55 children (35 boys, 20 girls) were diagnosed as slow learners based on current level of academic functioning and global IQ scores (71–84) done by the WISC test. Detailed clinical and academic history; and physical and neurological examination findings were noted. The parents were counseled about the diagnosis and the option of special education.
The mean age of slow learners was 11.9 years (±SD 2.3, range 8–17). Eighteen (32.7%) children had a significant perinatal history, 15 (27.3%) had delayed walking, 17 (30.9%) had delayed talking, 17 (30.9%) had microcephaly, 34 (61.8%) had presence of soft neurologic signs, and 10 (18.2%) were on complementary and alternative medication therapy. There were no differentiating features between the two gender groups. Their chief academic problems were difficulty in writing (92.7%), overall poor performance in all subjects (89.1%), and difficulty in mathematics (76.4%). Forty-six (83.6%) children had failed in examinations, 34 (61.8%) had experienced grade retention, and 32 (58.2%) had behavior problems. Most parents (83.3%) were reluctant to consider the option of special education.
Slow learners struggle to cope up with the academic demands of the regular classroom. They need to be identified at an early age and their parents counseled to understand their academic abilities.
Key wordsAcademic performance Borderline intelligence Grade retention Scholastic backwardness Slow learners
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