The article presents the results of an experimental study of the educational motivation of first-graders with intellectual disabilities, discusses the age characteristics of attitudes towards school and learning, determines the dominant motives of learning, the specificity of attitudes towards the content of learning, participants in the educational process (teachers, parents and classmates), emphasizes the differences in motivational readiness for learning of children with mental retardation and mental insufficiency in comparison with poorly performing normally developing first graders. The obtained results of the study indicate a positive attitude towards school among the majority of first-graders and about significant differences in the motivation for learning among subjects of all groups, about the dominance of game motives for learning. Educational motivation of normally developing children is characterized by more conscious motivation, they understand their difficulties in educational activities. The positive attitude towards school among first-graders with intellectual disabilities often hides a lack of understanding of the essence of educational activity; school breaks, vacations and games with classmates turn out to be attractive for them at school. Game motives of educational activity remain the leading ones for children with intellectual disabilities beyond preschool age, which is important to take into account when working with them during educational activities in school.
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