Mental Retardation

Topics: Mental retardation, Intelligence quotient, Down syndrome Pages: 7 (1682 words) Published: March 31, 2012
Mental retardation:


Mental retardation (MR) is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors. It has historically been defined as an Intelligence Quotient score under 70.Once focused almost entirely on cognition, the definition now includes both a component relating to mental functioning and one relating to individuals' functional skills in their environment. As a result, a person with a below-average intelligence quotient (BAIQ) may not be considered mentally retarded. It is a term used when a person has certain limitations in mental functioning and in skills such as communicating, taking care of him or herself, and social skills. These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child. Children with mental retardation may take longer to learn to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. They are likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer. There may be some things they cannot learn.


Mental Retardation(MR) is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood characterized by significantly impaired cognitive funtioning and deficit in two or more adaptive behaviors.


Doctors have found many causes of mental retardation. The most common are:

· Genetic conditions.
Sometimes mental retardation is caused by abnormal genes inherited from parents, errors when genes combine, or other reasons. Examples of genetic conditions are Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and phenylketonuria (PKU).In the rarest of cases, abnormalities with the X or Y chromosome may also cause disability. 48, XXXX and 49, XXXXX syndrome affect a small number of girls worldwide, while boys may be affected by 47, XYY, 49, XXXXY, or 49, XYYYY.

·Problems during pregnancy.
Mental retardation can result when the baby does not develop inside the mother properly. For example, there may be a problem with the way the baby's cells divide as it grows. A woman who drinks alcohol or gets an infection like rubella during pregnancy may also have a baby with mental retardation.

· Problems at birth.
If a baby has problems during labor and birth, such as not getting enough oxygen, he or she may have mental retardation.

·Health problems:
Diseases like whooping cough, the measles, or meningitis can cause mental retardation. Mental retardation can also be caused by extreme malnutrition (not eating right), not getting enough medical care, or by being exposed to poisons like lead or mercury.


· Failure to meet developmental milestones such as sitting, crawling, walking, or talking, in a timely manner · Persistence of childlike behavior, possibly demonstrated in speaking style, or by a failure to understand social rules or consequences of behaviors · Lack of curiosity and difficulty solving problems

· Decreased learning ability and ability to think logically · Trouble remembering things
· An inability to meet educational demands required by school.

Levels of mental retardation:
Mental retardation varies in severity. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , fourth edition, text revision ( DSM-IV-TR ), which is the diagnostic standard for mental health care professionals in the United States, classifies four different degrees of mental retardation: mild, moderate, severe , and profound . These categories are based on the person's level of functioning.

·Mild mental retardation
Approximately 85% of the mentally retarded population is in the mildly retarded category. Their IQ score ranges from 50–70, and they can often acquire academic skills up to about the sixth-grade level. They can become fairly self-sufficient and in some cases live independently, with community and social support.

·Moderate mental retardation...
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