Mild mental retardation is a lifelong disability that limits both the intellectual function and the adaptive behavior during the period of development. It first appears in children under the age of 18 and occurs in 2.5-3% of the population. There are a number of factors that cause mental retardation and most of the causes are chromosomal, metabolic and environmental. Symptoms appear once the child is born and later in childhood, it becomes easier to specialist to identify the severity of the retardation. In addition, mental retardation can be categorized into mild, moderate, severe and profound based on the intelligent quotient. The intelligence quotient has to be at least 2 standard deviations less than the mean.. The roughly 80% of retarded persons who are classified as mildly retarded have an IQ between 50 or 55 and 70 (Mental Retardation, 2001). In general, MMR is often diagnosed in preschool and causes children learning problems. They face problems in making decisions, they are afraid of changes, and are sensitive to emotions. However, early intervention is based on the principle that with intensive help, retarded children can come closer to meeting the milestones of childhood development at the same time as their normal peers (Dolce, 1994). According to his information, children are reaching their full potential due to all the help that’s provided to them. MMR populations, in some of the cases, live independently with support. They have the capacity of being self-sufficient due to the academic skills being acquired throughout their treatment.
Speech and language characteristics of the disorder
Language is very important in a person’s life because this is how we communicate with each other. Some individuals have difficulty with learning language or even producing language. It is harder for a person that has a disorder to acquire language and also produce it. A person that is mentally disabled has trouble with receptive and expressive language. Most individuals that have this disorder have trouble with communication skills (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2006-2012). Some of the characteristics of a person that is mentally disabled include: slower pace of learning, lack of age-appropriate adaptive behavior and social skills, and below-average language and academic skills (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2006-2012). A person that has this disorder also lacks of motor skills, but it can be improved with therapy. On the other hand, some students with mild and moderate mental retardation have the ability to learn to read, write, and do mathematics up to the sixth-grade level or higher in some cases (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2006-2012). This shows that even though they have a disability, they can learn basic academic skills. Although they can learn basic skills they are usually below grade level. Various cognitive processes associated with mental retardation explain the learning disabilities and difficulties in children. Some explanations include localized deficits in memory, attention deficits and defects in the processing of information (Dermitzaki, 2008). Those with mental retardation need to assist to special education classes and receive special attention. Their speech and language needs to be treated skillfully and with patience. Based on their functioning level, MMR populations are placed in special classes or in regular classes. This is done after a various of assessments are administered to them which will determine what level they are at. The three most common tests used for determining a child’s abilities are the Bayley Scales, the Stanford-Binet Scale, and the Wechsler Scales (Garell,71). Stanford-Binet Scale and Wechsler Scales test a child’s verbal development and measure their performance. Depending on the results, MMR children are enrolled into programs in school where additional help will be provided to them.