Intellectual Disabilities

Topics: Mental retardation, Down syndrome, Fetal alcohol syndrome Pages: 5 (1805 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Intellectual Disabilities
Throughout the history of mankind it has been noted that no person is the same. Everybody is unique in their own way shape or form. However some people differ from the average humans from rare disorders or illnesses which separate them from living a normal life. Did you know one in five Americans experienced some sort of mental illness in 2010, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration? About 5 percent of Americans have suffered from such severe mental illness that it interfered with day-to-day school, work or family. My mother who has mentoring an intergraded classroom for nearly 14 years as an early child hood educator has assisted many children who were diagnosed with many disorders and disabilities. There are many disabilities and they come in many forms that can affect the person physically, mentally, or even both depending on the type of disorder. An Intellectual disability, also known as mental retardation, is a term used when there are limits to a person’s ability to learn at an expected level and function in daily life. Levels of intellectual disability vary greatly in children from a very slight problem to a very severe problem. Children with intellectual disability might have a hard time letting others know their wants and needs, and taking care of themselves. Intellectual disability could cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than other children of the same age. It could take longer for a child with intellectual disability to learn to speak, walk, dress, or eat without help, and they could have trouble learning in school. Intellectual disability can be caused by a problem that starts any time before a child turns 18 years old as well as even before birth. It can be caused by injury, disease, or a problem in the brain. For many children, the cause of their intellectual disability is unknown. Some of the most common known causes of an intellectual disability like Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, fragile X syndrome, genetic conditions, birth defects, and infections all can occur before birth. Others happen while a baby is being born or soon after birth. Still other causes of intellectual disability do not occur until a child is older. With the alteration of the original term mental retardation to intellectually disable this changed the way the mentally ill were viewed. This term came to be in 2010 due to Obama’s ratification of the Rosa’s law which changed the reference of the mentally ill. Intellectual disabilities can be identified within a child in several ways such as observing their intellectual functioning. Their functions are measured through IQ tests. The average score is 100. People scoring below 70 to 75 are thought to have an intellectual disability. To measure adaptive behavior, professionals look at what a child can do in comparison to other children of his or her age. Certain skills are important to adaptive behavior such as daily living skills, getting dressed, going to the bathroom, and feeding one’s self also communication skills, understanding what is said and being able to answer and social skills with peers, family members, adults, and others. During the 1930s when our knowledge on the world differed from today we didn’t have a fair understanding of those intellectually disabled. People were treated unfairly. People were treated like they were absolutely different. For example, if a baby was born with Down syndrome, they would have been treated like slaves, and sold and bought for entertainment. Mentally challenged children were either kept at home or brought up within "poor homes" or in Hospitals. Many were adopted out. The Volunteers of America served thousands of individuals with disabilities across the nation with specialized programs for mental retardation, autism, age-related problems and other challenges. Services include in-home support, case management, day programs and supportive employment,...
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