Last Updated 11 Oct 2020

Mental Retardation in an Individual

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70. 55. 40. 25. These are the four degrees of mental retardation. These numbers represent the severity of mental retardation in an individual. Each degree is categorized under Mild, Moderate, Severe and Profound. Severity Unspecified is also a term used when there is a strong presumption of Mental Retardation but the standards test cannot conclude the severity therefore the person’s intelligence is not sustained by the standard test. In diagnosing mental retardation, there must be three criterion’s met a IQ below 70 and significant limitations in two or more areas of adaptive behaviors.

In example, communication, self help, interpersonal skills, self-directions, resources, functional academic skills, work, home living, health and safety (American Psychiatric Association. 2000). A more common symptom for an individual with mental retardation is adaptive functioning. A persons background is also taken into consideration during the test analysis social cultural background, motivation and education. Genetic screening takes place before the child is born. There are a few common tests that can help in diagnosing. Prenatal testing is offered to detect any changes in the fetus.

This testing is offered if there is a increase risk’s that the fetus will have a chromosomal or genetic disorder. However, this cannot detect all birth disorders. Diagnostic testing is put into use when there is suspicion of a particular condition based on physical signs and symptoms. Newborn screening is used right after birth to identify any genetic disorders (Undefined. 2013). Among children, the cause is usually unknown for one-third to one-half of cases (Daily, Ardringer, and Holmes. 2000). Mental Retardation is diagnosed before eighteen years of age.

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A few common causes of Mental Retardation are genetic conditions, problems during pregnancy, and problems at birth, exposure to toxins or diseases, and malnutrition. Genetic conditions can occur when genes are combined or the parents inherit abnormal genes. A fetus not developing properly in the womb can also lead to Mental Retardation. Problems at birth can lead to brain damage when a child is unable to get enough oxygen. Exposure to toxins and diseases such as lead, mercury or contracting whooping cough, measles or meningitis can cause mental disability.

Malnutrition has also been a cause of reduced intelligence. Mild Mental Retardation used to be referred to as an educational category or “educable”. About eighty five percent of individuals with Mental Retardation are diagnosed with Mild Mental Retardation. A typical individual can usually develop social and communication skills during his or her preschool years, zero to five years of age. Though they have minimal impairment in sensorimotor areas they are not often distinguishable from other children until they have reached a later age.

During their late teen years they have acquired academic skills equivalent to a sixth grader. Social and vocational skills for minimal support are achieved during the their adult years. A few individuals may need supervision, assistance or guidance. This is more common during unusual social or economic stress. However, as adults they have proven to be successful in the community under independent or supervised settings. Moderate mental retardation is referred to in the education category as “trainable.

” This term is generally not used nor should be used since it implies that people with Moderate Mental Retardation do not benefit from an education program (American Psychiatric Association. 2000). Out of the entire population of people diagnosed with Mental Retardation, only ten percent are constituted as Moderate. People diagnosed with Moderate Mental Retardation acquire communication skills early in childhood and often benefit from vocational training or moderate supervision. Individuals with Moderate Mental Retardation are able to attend to their personal care and have the capability to travel independently in familiar places.

Training in social and occupational is beneficial, however persons diagnosed are unlikely to progress beyond the second grade level in academic subjects. During the adolescent years social conventions can interfere with peer relationships. In adult years, the individual is able to perform skilled or semi skilled tasks under minimal supervision in the general workforce. Persons with Moderate Mental Retardation adapt well to life in the community usually under supervision (American Psychiatric Association. 2000).

Severe Mental Retardation occurs in three to four percent of the population. The individual may learn little to no communication but can be trained to adapt to elementary skills. An extension in pre academic subjects is highly profited. This can lead to familiarizing themselves with the alphabet, survival words and simple counting tasks. A person is capable of adapting well to life in the community unless another handicap is associated. One percent to two percent is diagnosed with Profound Mental Retardation.

A child who displays a considerable impairment in sensorimotor functioning is diagnosed with Profound Mental Retardation, however most are identified through neurological conditions accounting for Mental Retardation. High development can occur in a very structured environment of supervision and reoccurring aid. An individualized relationship between the caregiver and diagnosed individual is best suited. Clinically, Mental Retardation is only a subtype of intellectual deficit; a broader concept and includes intellectual deficits but are too mild to accurately pin point and qualify as Mental Retardation.

In contrast, this can also be too specific (as in Specific Learning Disability) or something acquired later in life through acquired brain injuries or neurodegenerative disease like dementia. Intellectual deficits can appear at any age unlike Mental Retardation, which is primarily diagnosed before the age of eighteen. However, Developmental Disability is a disability due to problems with growth and development (Lawyer. 2010). The term Development Disability encompasses various congenital medical conditions that are not related to mental or intellectual components, though it is at times used as a euphemism for Mental Retardation.

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