Table 1

Recommendations for Interviewing and Providing Treatment for Individuals with ID

Use simple language.
Speak slowly, clearly, and calmly.
Use concrete terms and ideas.
Avoid questions that give part of the answer within the question (leading questions).
Ask open-ended questions, as relying on yes–no responses may lead to the assumption that the individual understood the answer when they may not have understood the question.29
Repeat questions from different perspectives to avoid parroting.
Proceed slowly, and provide praise and encouragement.
Avoid frustrating questions about time, complex sequences, or reasons for behavior.
Highlight important information to improve memory retention.
Repeat information to improve retention.
Cut down on distractions.
If a response is ineffective or inappropriate, provide direct, explicit feedback.
Be careful not to provide nonverbal cues that may aid in responding accurately.
Take short breaks, as individuals learn best with multiple, short sessions rather than a few, long sessions.
  • These recommendations were derived from the Slater method.28