A-Z List

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Previously termed Mental Retardation (The designation Cognitive Disability is used in the state of Wisconsin in public school settings. Within the literature, the designation Cognitive Disability actually references any type of cognitive problem, regardless of age of onset, and is not necessarily developmental in nature.)

Internet Articles

Compiled by Ilsa Hillert
December 1999


C child; A adult; G geriatric; K knowledge; E eye contact; O motor skills; B social behavior; I social interaction; V vocalization; Z music terminology; N testing with music R music as a reinforcer; M music to communicate; U music and creative arts; P music and performing arts; L music implications; Y moderately mentally retarded; T trainable mentally retarded; S severely and profoundly mentally retarded.

Internet Address: http://www.specialchild.com/family.html

This site gives advice on how to deal with a death in the family. It offers pointers on how to understand and guide a mentally challenged child through the difficult time, along with the rest of the family. Through example the article shows that one can relate music to the situation and use it to express their emotions.

Internet Address: http://www.total.net/~aladdin/

“The Aladdin Project” provides disabled individuals the opportunity to perform. This project put on by the Center for the Arts in Human Development based in Montreal involves performance of a musical in which the disabled work together in song, dance, and acting. The target areas for this project are increased self-esteem and social interaction.

Internet Address: http://www.shriver.org/Research/Psychological/Projects/index.htm

This site gives a number of examples of research conducted with mentally retarded patients. In all the research given on this site it would seem applicable to use music as a positive reinforcer to aid in the progression of responses.

Internet Address: http://www.thegenesisfund.org/

This site is the home of a nonprofit organization that raises money to provide various forms of therapy to children with birth defects, mental retardation, and genetic diseases. They rely heavily on music and the performing arts as the basis for the therapy they offer.

Internet Address: http://www.amazingkids.com/


This site describes a constructed maze used as a team-building and social interaction tool for disabled children. The maze also stimulates creativity. A practical music application would include using musical cues to guide the patients through the maze.