Basing on the analysis and generalization of the scientific research results on children’s mental developmental delay (MDD) carried out in the post-Soviet countries, we have determined the general principles of psychological support for MDD children, in particular, the principles of MDD diagnosing, the content of corresponding psychological assistance and age of children needed for it.
Attention has been drawn to weakened interest to this issue in Ukraine because of its controversial nature and insufficient study of some MDD aspects; in particular, determination of assistance recipients and the age of children needed such psychological assistance should be studied more deeply.
The article author proposes differentiate MMD as clinical and psychological diagnoses. Thus, a psychological diagnosis determines a set of a child’s psychological problems, as well as positive signs of his/her development, which can become a basic for corrective assistance; this psychological diagnosis is considered as an integral part of a functional diagnosis along with its medical component and is revealed during a comprehensive assessment of a child’s development to determinate necessary psychological support applied during education and social adaptation.
The benefits and disadvantages of two approaches to the examination of children’s mental development were identified: the testing approach determining a child’s actual development and a learning ability criterion as the most important principle used in the national diagnostics to assess a child’s potential. Our attention was focused on the fact that developmental delay as a relatively mild ontogenetic violation was determined due to the used learning ability criterion.
The expediency of combination of a child’s testing and qualitative assessment of their intellectual activity was considered, such approach would allow significant expanding of knowledge about examined children, which would help to develop individual programs for inclusive education and development.
MDD is polymorphic in terms of its stability and the structure of cognitive impairments, so children’s needs in psychological support should be differentiated.
The studies examining social adaptation and deviant behavior prevention for children with developmental delay were analyzed and summarized, in particular, in adolescence and senior school age, which allowed the article author to conclude about necessary uninterrupted psychological support for such children during their education at basic school and social/labor self-determination.
The cardinal issues included into psychological support for such children were highlighted, namely, the formation of their self-image, their life or professional prospects, social and auto-psychological competence.
The examined issues of the modern studies on MMD are a starting point for development of a psychological assistance program for MMD children. Its implementation helps further development of individual techniques relevant for children of different ages with the aim to their integration into society.
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