Doctor insights on: Mental retardation

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Dr. Kathryn Akin
51 Doctors shared insights

Mental Retardation (Overview)

Mental retardation is an old fashioned term now replaced with the term “Intellectual Disability”. It is defined as a measured intelligence below the normal range (less than 70) combined with inability to perform activities of daily living. For this designation a person must, in addition to having low measured ability, be significantly limited in at least two of the following areas: self-care, communication, home living, social/interpersonal skills, self-direction, use of community resources, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety. The four degrees of intellectual disability are mild, (IQ between 55-70) moderate, (between 35 and 50), severe and profound. In the severe and profound ranges individuals have language, communication and motor impairments and cannot be tested. Profound disability, is usually associated with a neurological condition. In addition to the categories of mild, moderate, severe, and profound, categories are sometimes used to designate those intellectually disabled persons who can benefit from some degree of academic training. Those designated "educable” can handle academic work at a third-to sixth-grade level, and usually have IQs that fall between 50 and 75. The designation “trainable” refers to those who can progress as far as second grade work and can live in a sheltered string without one on one constant care. It is important to know that a measured IQ is not as important as the access to and ability to respond to emotional, educational and social support.


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Interested to know if people with mental retardation know that they are retarded?

Interested to know if people with mental retardation know that they are retarded?

Some do some don't: Most older kids and adults will be aware of their learning and performance difficulties when they have milder forms of intellectual impairment. The more profound the impairment, the less likely they are aware of the ramifications. ...Read more

Dr. Kathryn Akin
51 Doctors shared insights

Mental Retardation (Overview)

Mental retardation is an old fashioned term now replaced with the term “Intellectual Disability”. It is defined as a measured intelligence below the normal range (less than 70) combined with inability to perform activities of daily living. For this designation a person must, in addition to having low measured ability, be significantly limited in at least two of the following areas: self-care, communication, home living, social/interpersonal skills, self-direction, use of community resources, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety. The four degrees of intellectual disability are mild, (IQ between 55-70) moderate, (between 35 and 50), severe and profound. In the severe and profound ranges individuals have language, communication and motor impairments and cannot be tested. Profound disability, is usually associated with a neurological condition. In addition to the categories of mild, moderate, severe, and profound, categories are sometimes used to designate those intellectually disabled persons who can benefit from some degree of academic training. Those designated "educable” can handle academic work at a third-to sixth-grade level, and usually have IQs that fall between 50 and 75. The designation “trainable” refers to those who can progress as far as second grade work and can live in a sheltered string without one on one constant care. It is important to know that a measured IQ is not as important as the access to and ability to respond to emotional, educational and social support.


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How does mild mental retardation sompare to moderate?

How does mild mental retardation sompare to moderate?

Level of severity: Mr is divided into mild, moderate, severe, and profound. A 10 year old with mild mr would function at the 5-7 yo level; for moderate mr at the 3-5 yo level; for severe mr, at the 2-4 yo level, and for profound mr at the 1-2 yo level. Unfortunately, not only does mr slow learning; but, the more severe the mr the more quickly a child reaches maximum function. ...Read more

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Please tell me the symptoms of mental retardation in a toddler?

Definitions: Generally, global developmental delay is the term used at that age. If testing shows a toddler's overall functioning to be < 50% of what it should be for his age, he is at risk for intellectual disability (formerly mental retardation) when tested at age 6. Another clue is lack of significant progress over time, despite having early intervention services to increase his rate of development. ...Read more

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What are the tests for mental retardation?

Observation: Testing for mr is a matter of formal or informal observation of how a child is functioning compared to other children the same age. Approaches vary by age and circumstance. For young children, doctors may ask a series of questions about milestones that the child should be making at each check-up. There also are highly standardized formal tests that look at the child's ability directly. ...Read more

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How does long term alcohol or drug use cause mental retardation?

How does long term alcohol or drug use cause mental retardation?

Not quite the same: The term mental retardation is an old term that refers to brain problems present at birth or in early development. Alcohol and drug use can and do cause a loss of cognitive function in adults. Alcohol kills brain cells; some drugs deplete certain neurotransmitters. ...Read more

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How to treat with a little mental retardation left as after effects of bacterial meningitis? How can I help myself? Any therapy? Any medication?

How to treat with a little mental retardation left as after effects of bacterial meningitis? How can I help myself? Any therapy? Any medication?

Time will tell: Even after the best therapy, bacterial meningitis may leave some permanent or long term effects which may improve over time. The key is to have patience, and to optimize your health with a diet and exercise. After all, your body has been affected by what one may consider to be a "typhoon" or "tornado". In such areas of the world, it will take time to rebuild- this goes the same for your brain. ...Read more

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Possible neurological effects to baby breastfed during mother's stomach-cancer treatment? (chemo etc.?) obvious mental retardation only or subtle too?

Possible neurological effects to baby breastfed during mother's stomach-cancer treatment? (chemo etc.?) obvious mental retardation only or subtle too?

Difficult to answer: Many things make a difference here - what chemo is being used, how long exposure, etc. Remember, your baby is going through tons of development of every organ system and chemo will harm this. While I applaud your wanting to breast feed, I can't imagine risking your child's development, intelligence and risk for cancer in the future just to continue breast feeding. Effects could be devastating. ...Read more

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Can you tell me the top five treatments for mental retardation?

Mental retardation: Unfortunately, there is no treatment for mental retardation, but there are many ways to improve functioning. Depending on the cause and severity of MR, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other programs can be extremely beneficial in improving functioning. ...Read more

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Is it possible to cure mental retardation?

Interesting question: As defined, retardation is a permanent level of diminished intellectual performance pared with poor performance on self help tasks. Most people affected by mr are in a mild range and may integrate into society as functional adults with a relatively normal life. You cannot boost the intellect but can identify stronger areas of function within their impairments. ...Read more

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Is there anything that can be done to prevent mental retardation in a child during pregnancy?

Is there anything that can be done to prevent mental retardation in a child during pregnancy?

Stay healthy+ PNC: The baseline mental capacitity of a newborn starts with the genetic contribution of both parents. Maternal eggs are effected by her health & exposures from her birth until delivery. Dads contribution less so, (poor swimmers don't fertalize as often).Then it depends on factors you may not control. The best you can do is stay fit, avoid toxic exposures & follow a good prenatal monitoring program. ...Read more

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Interested to know if people with mental retardation know that they are retarded?

Some do some don't: Most older kids and adults will be aware of their learning and performance difficulties when they have milder forms of intellectual impairment. The more profound the impairment, the less likely they are aware of the ramifications. ...Read more

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What is the difference between being mentally retarded and mentally handicapped?

What is the difference between being mentally retarded and mentally handicapped?

One is slang: Handicapped covers a whole spectrum of developmental disabilities where retarded is vulgar and no professional uses that term anymore ...Read more

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What causes mental retardation?

There are several: 100's of causes of Intellectual Disability beginning with inherited mutant genes & genetic accidents that occur during egg & sperm formation; epigenetic factors like viruses that alter function but not sequence or structure of genes; teratogens like alcohol, tobacco & drugs from 3 weeks after conception till term & beyond; maternal illnesses, , etc. See pediatrics.med. Nyu. Edu for much more. ...Read more

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What constitutes mental retardation?

Legal definition: According to the individuals with disabilities education act, intellectual disability (formerly mr) is "significant subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance." idea 2004, public law 108-446. ...Read more

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What are the tests for mental retardation?

Observation: Testing for mr is a matter of formal or informal observation of how a child is functioning compared to other children the same age. Approaches vary by age and circumstance. For young children, doctors may ask a series of questions about milestones that the child should be making at each check-up. There also are highly standardized formal tests that look at the child's ability directly. ...Read more

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Is it possible to cure mental retardation?

Interesting question: As defined, retardation is a permanent level of diminished intellectual performance pared with poor performance on self help tasks. Most people affected by mr are in a mild range and may integrate into society as functional adults with a relatively normal life. You cannot boost the intellect but can identify stronger areas of function within their impairments. ...Read more

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How to determine if I have mental retardation?

How to determine if I have mental retardation?

Intelligence: This is actually very straight forward. A licensed psychologist can administer an iq test as well as a test of adaptive functioning such as the vineland. If the iq score and adaptive scores fall at or below 70, then the person qualifies. Average iq is 100. ...Read more

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Mental retardation incidence in us--up or down?

Unchanged: Mr is relatively constant, partly because it is defined as a percentage of the population. One big change that has occurred over the past 10-15 years, though, is that many previously labeled as severe or profound mr now are called autistic. Mr is a less popular term--enough so that there the term is being dropped in favor of intellectual disability. ...Read more

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Please tell me the types of mental retardation.?

Several levels: Broadly, mr is divided into mild, moderate, severe, and profound, contrasting actual function to chronological age. For a 10 yo, mild mr is 5-7 yo; for moderate mr, 3-5 yo; for severe mr, 2-4 yo; and for profound mr, 1-2 yo. This is not always precise--some may be stronger is some areas an weaker in others. Also, the more severe the mr, the quicker the child reaches maximum performance levels. ...Read more