Study Guide

Field 056: Cognitive Impairment
Sample Multiple-Choice Questions

Expand All | Collapse All


Objective 001
Understand typical, atypical, and delayed human growth and development.

1. Which of the following 36-month-old children is demonstrating characteristics associated with a significant delay in language development?

  1. Luke uses more nouns than verbs in his speech. His use of "wh-" questions is limited to "what," "when," and "where."
  2. Cristina has an oral expressive vocabulary of 20 words. She does not combine words in her speech.
  3. Mario combines words into short sentences. He tends to simplify the production of multisyllabic words, and he sometimes repeats words.
  4. Tamika uses a new word only after hearing it several times. She can produce similar sounds such as /p/ and /b/ and /s/ and /z/.
Correct Response: B.

Objective 002
Understand factors that affect development and learning.

2. Erik is a third-grade student who was diagnosed with autism at an early age. His teachers should be aware that Erik will likely experience the most difficulty with which of the following tasks?

  1. working cooperatively with other students on class projects
  2. following classroom routines and procedures
  3. focusing attention on an activity of interest to him
  4. using a computer program that has colorful graphics
Correct Response: A.

Objective 003
Understand types, characteristics, etiologies, and prevention of cognitive impairments.

3. Which of the following has been shown to be a leading prenatal cause of cognitive impairment?

  1. exposure to food additives
  2. low levels of calcium in the bloodstream
  3. exposure to substance abuse
  4. high levels of potassium in the bloodstream
Correct Response: C.

Objective 004
Understand the effects of cognitive impairments on human development, learning, and transition to postsecondary/adult life roles.

4. Mr. Washington teaches fourth- and fifth-grade students with mild and moderate cognitive impairments. He is planning to teach his students the following steps for crossing the street safely.

1. Stop

2. Look

3. Listen

4. Walk

Mr. Washington wants to enhance his students' ability to remember and apply these steps. Which of the following strategies is likely to be most effective in achieving this goal?

  1. having students rehearse the steps aloud several times each day
  2. providing students with tangible reinforcements each time they perform the steps correctly
  3. providing students with extended practice sessions in performing the steps
  4. having students practice the steps as often as possible in the actual setting where they will use the steps
Correct Response: D.


Objective 005
Understand types and characteristics of various assessment instruments and methods.

5. In a standardized adaptive behavior assessment of a student with a cognitive impairment, normative data should be used to provide which of the following types of information?

  1. a comparison of the student's conceptual, social, and practical abilities with those of students without cognitive impairments
  2. the level of supportive interven­tion needed based on the student's individual cognitive abilities
  3. a prediction of the student's future success in acquiring various daily living skills
  4. an indication of the ages at which students without cognitive impair­ments reach various developmental milestones
Correct Response: A.

Objective 006
Understand procedures for conducting assessments to address the individual strengths and needs of students with cognitive impairments.

6. Ms. Yu is a teacher of students with cognitive impairments who has received a referral to evaluate Germaine. Germaine is a first-grade student who is experiencing difficulty in all academic areas and demonstrates inappropriate social behavior. As part of her evaluation, Ms. Yu is planning to interview Germaine's parents to gather more specific information. During the interview, which of the following questions asked by Ms. Yu would likely provide her with the most useful information?

  1. "When did you first notice Germaine using language to communicate his needs?"
  2. "Does Germaine follow a daily routine at home?"
  3. "Is Germaine involved in any community activities with other children?"
  4. "What kinds of toys and games does Germaine like to play with at home?"
Correct Response: A.

7. Mr. Latour teaches elementary school students with moderate cognitive impairments. Tanya, one of his students, has mild spastic cerebral palsy affecting the left side of her body. Mr. Latour would like to determine the most appro­priate instructional materials for teaching Tanya to use assistive technology devices to feed herself independently. Which of the following assessments would likely be the most useful for Mr. Latour to conduct before making this decision?

  1. a standardized assessment of Tanya's sensory-motor and percep­tual abilities as an indicator of how successful she will likely be in using various assistive devices
  2. an informal assessment during lunch to introduce Tanya to various assistive technology devices and observe which is the easiest and most effective for her to use
  3. an informal assessment of Tanya's interest and motivation in learning to function independently as an indicator of how well she will learn to use various assistive devices
  4. a cognitive reevaluation to assess Tanya's readiness and ability to learn the necessary skills for incorporating assistive technology into her activities of daily living
Correct Response: B.

Objective 007
Understand procedures for interpreting and communicating assessment results to all stakeholders.

8. A teacher of students with cognitive impairments is preparing for a multi­disciplinary evaluation team (MET) meeting to present the results of a comprehensive assessment for a third-grade student. The student and his parents recently moved to the United States, and their primary language is not English. Which of the following would be the most effective way to communicate the test results to the student's parents?

  1. Present all information to the parents in their native language using a professional educational interpreter and translator.
  2. Have the student attend the meeting to demonstrate some sample test items, then explain to the parents how the assessment results reflect the student's performance.
  3. Provide the parents with a summary of the written report that focuses on numerical scores rather than a narrative description.
  4. Encourage the parents to invite a friend or family member who is bilingual to attend the meeting with them to explain the assessment results.
Correct Response: A.

Objective 008
Understand procedures for developing, implementing, and amending Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs), and transition plans for students with cognitive impairments.

9. Derek is a fifth-grade student with a moderate cognitive impairment. He is currently placed in a general educa­tion classroom with pull-out special education services for functional living instruction. Derek was recently diagnosed and placed on medication to treat a complex partial seizure disorder that affects his memory and motor movements. Derek's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is meeting to discuss if changes need to be made in his placement. Which of the following steps would be most important for the team to take as it decides on an appropriate placement for Derek?

  1. Identify possible alternative educational settings for Derek in which staff members are more experienced in providing services to students with multiple disabilities.
  2. Determine what kinds of assistive technology devices Derek will require in order to meet his goals and objectives.
  3. Consult with the school's administration about any additional costs that will be needed to provide services and accommodations for Derek.
  4. Determine the least restrictive environment within the school's continuum of services that meets Derek's learning needs.
Correct Response: D.


Objective 009
Understand strategies for planning and managing the learning environment for students with cognitive impairments.

10. Which of the following strategies is likely to be most effective in preparing high school students with cognitive impairments to live productively in a culturally diverse community environment?

  1. ensuring that the students have regular opportunities to work with students, employers, and coworkers from a variety of cultural back­grounds in both school and on-site vocational-training settings
  2. planning schoolwide cultural celebrations featuring food, music, and other key external elements of culture from a variety of different cultural groups in the community
  3. helping the students identify cultural stereotypes in various contexts and talking with the students about how the use of stereotypes can dis­courage positive relations between members of different cultural groups
  4. integrating both literary and informational texts written by diverse authors throughout the functional academic, living skills, and vocational curricula
Correct Response: A.

Objective 010
Understand principles, methods, and collaboration for individualizing instruction for students with cognitive impairments.

11. Mira, an eight-year-old student with a moderate cognitive impairment, has trouble speaking clearly, which limits her ability to participate in class discussions. Mira's most recent Individualized Education Program (IEP) states that she will use a picture communication device with speech output. The teacher's best strategy for teaching Mira how to use this device would be to:

  1. provide Mira with sufficient time to explore and master the device on her own.
  2. read the directions to Mira several times slowly and clearly, prompt­ing her to ask questions if she needs clarification.
  3. model the use of the device and monitor Mira as she imitates what has been modeled.
  4. have Mira practice the actions required for using the device, such as pointing or pressing, before she works with the actual device.
Correct Response: C.

Objective 011
Understand strategies for enhancing the communication skills of students with cognitive impairments.

12. Charles is a third-grade student with a moderate cognitive impairment. He currently attends an inclusion class that is co-taught by a general education teacher and a teacher of students with cognitive impairments. Charles has difficulty following simple two-step directions and correctly answering basic questions that require him to name common objects and actions. His teachers have implemented direct instruction and modeling techniques to address Charles's instructional needs, and they would like to conduct an ongoing assessment of his progress in learning these targeted skills. Which of the following steps should his teachers take first in conducting such an assessment?

  1. Compare Charles's performance of each skill with that of his class­mates.
  2. Create task analysis goals for Charles based on each of the skills.
  3. Develop instructional objectives for Charles that address each of the skills.
  4. Collect base-line data of Charles's performance of each of the skills.
Correct Response: D.

Objective 012
Understand strategies for enhancing positive self-concept, social interactions, and self-advocacy skills in students with cognitive impairments.

13. Janine is a 16-year-old student with a mild cognitive impairment. She has a limited attention span and related difficulties with generalizing previously learned information to new tasks. During her upcoming Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, her team will be discussing transition services. The teacher of students with cognitive impairments would like to prepare Janine to advocate for herself during this meeting. Which of the following strategies would likely be most effective for Janine's teacher to use?

  1. helping Janine identify her own postsecondary interests and discussing with Janine how her interests can be linked with employment opportunities and adult living options
  2. reviewing with Janine state and federal regulations regarding post-secondary options for students with cognitive impairments and how these regulations may affect decisions regarding her future
  3. discussing with Janine her current academic and functional performance levels and how they will likely affect her employment and community living options
  4. sharing with Janine sample goals from the transition plans of previous students with cognitive impairments and discussing how the other students participated in transition planning
Correct Response: A.

Objective 013
Understand strategies for enhancing students' acquisition of functional academic skills.

14. A teacher of students with cognitive impairments teaches Robert, a middle school student with a mild cognitive impairment, to skip-count by tens and fives, using dimes and nickels respec­tively. Working with actual money, Robert uses skip-counting to solve a variety of problems such as how to make a dollar using all nickels, all dimes, and combinations of dimes and nickels. Which of the following would be the most appropriate and effective strategy for the teacher to use next with Robert to reinforce his mathematical skills related to skip-counting?

  1. arranging for Robert to observe or shadow an actual cashier as the cashier uses skip-counting and other strategies to make change
  2. teaching Robert to skip-count by other common multiples, such as by twos and threes
  3. providing Robert with opportu­nities to use skip-counting with money in authentic settings, such as buying his daily lunch ticket
  4. introducing Robert to pennies and having him practice adding ones to a sum he has skip-counted
Correct Response: C.

15. A teacher of students with cognitive impairments helps Maya, a 17-year-old student with Down syndrome and an associated moderate cognitive impairment, use clip art to develop a picture schedule for each of her daily scheduled activities. For example, Maya's picture schedule for her functional academic skills class begins with a picture of a person putting home­work in an "in" box, while her picture schedule for lunch begins with a picture of a person washing her hands. The use of picture schedules is most likely to promote Maya's organizational skills by:

  1. developing her understanding ofa variety of time-management strategies.
  2. helping her interpret other types of schedules she encounters such as bus schedules and store hours.
  3. providing her with specific directions to follow when she does not know how to do a new task.
  4. encouraging her to use self-monitoring to move through an activity with greater independence.
Correct Response: D.

Objective 014
Understand strategies for developing students' acquisition of functional living skills.

16. Alton, a student with a mild cognitive impairment, is preparing for graduation from high school. Accompanied by his vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor, Alton recently had a job interview at a hardware store. The store owner and the VR counselor agreed that Alton could learn to perform the job successfully, but he would need extra assistance and supervision at first in learning specific tasks. Which of the following would likely be the best type of program to set up to help Alton make the transition to this employment situation?

  1. arranging for Alton to have a job coach who will teach him the tasks on-the-job and then gradually fade his or her assistance
  2. asking Alton's new coworkers to offer him natural support until they feel he is capable of performing the tasks alone
  3. providing Alton with a videotape of someone performing the tasks and prompting him to view it repeatedly at home during the transition
  4. having Alton's immediate supervisor set aside time from his or her daily schedule to give Alton one-on-one training in the first week or two
Correct Response: A.

Objective 016
Understand strategies and procedures for supporting students' life transitions.

17. Andre is a 14-year-old student with a moderate cognitive impairment who attends Ms. Egan's self-contained class. Andre's functional living skills goals include grooming and hygiene tasks that he is expected to perform at home in the morning and evening. Andre's parents report that, although he has mastered the skills, Andre often forgets to do the tasks or does not fully complete them. They ask Ms. Egan for help in increas­ing Andre's ability to perform self-care tasks indepen­dently. Ms. Egan could most effectively address this goal by:

  1. working with Andre to create a notebook for his own personal reference that contains pictures of the sequence of steps involved in each of his home self-care tasks.
  2. using direct instruction to reteach the targeted self-care skills to Andre in the school setting and providing him with corrective feedback as necessary.
  3. helping Andre's parents establish a system with Andre whereby he will receive negative conse­quences for performing self-care tasks incom­pletely or forgetting them entirely.
  4. doing a task analysis of Andre's most important self-care tasks and having Andre work on each of these tasks step-by-step until he can per­form them flawlessly every time.
Correct Response: A.


Objective 017
Understand strategies for communicating and collaborating with students with cognitive impairments and their families to help students achieve desired learning outcomes.

18. Mr. Watson, a teacher of students with cognitive impairments, will be working with students and families from diverse cultural backgrounds. Mr. Watson wishes to interact effectively with all of his students' families to help their children reach their greatest potential. In working toward this goal, Mr. Watson should be most aware of which of the following?

  1. When educators demonstrate sensitivity to a family's cultural background, the family is more likely to develop a positive attitude toward their child's exceptionality.
  2. Stress levels related to a child's exceptionality tend to be greater in families whose cultural backgrounds differ from the majority of the school population.
  3. When making educational decisions about a child with an exceptionality, families tend to rely most on the advice of educators, regardless of cultural background.
  4. A family's cultural background is likely to have a profound effect on the family's perception of and attitude toward their child's exceptionality.
Correct Response: D.

Objective 019
Understand the historical, social, and legal foundations of education for students with cognitive impairments.

19. A teacher of students with cognitive impairments is documenting her observations of a particular student who has been diagnosed with autism and an associated cognitive impairment. The notes are intended for the teacher's personal use in determining the student's instructional needs. According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which of the following teacher actions would be a violation of the student's confidentiality rights in this situation?

  1. sharing the notes privately with the classroom's parent volunteer who will be working with the student on a weekly basis
  2. discussing the student's behavior and information in the notes with the school principal
  3. mailing a copy of the notes to the student's parents/guardians with suggestions on how to meet the student's needs at home
  4. placing the only copy of the notes about the student in the teacher's private classroom file
Correct Response: A.

Objective 020
Understand the professional, ethical, and legal roles and responsibilities involved in the education of students with cognitive impairments.

20. Ms. Poschman, a teacher of students with cognitive impairments, is an active member of a professional organization for educators in her field. Through member­ship in this organization, Ms. Poschman has the opportunity to attend workshops, network with other teachers, and educate the community about students with cognitive impair­ments. Which of the following is likely to be the greatest benefit of Ms. Poschman's active membership in this type of organization?

  1. earning the respect of other professionals in fields related to her own
  2. maintaining high standards for professional practice
  3. gaining a better understanding of the philosophical foundations of the field
  4. increasing her prestige within the school system
Correct Response: B.