Mental retardation is a term used when a person has certain limitation 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 long to learn 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 can not learn.
Doctors have found many causes of mental retardation. The most common are:
Generic condition , some times mental retardation is caused by abnormal genes inherited from parents, errors when genes combine or other reason, examples of genetic condition are Down Syndrome, fragile x syndrome and phenyliketonuria (PKU).
Problems during pregnancy. Mental retardation can result when baby does not develop inside the mother properly. For example, there maybe a problem with the way the baby's cell divide as it grows. A woman who drinks alcohol or gents an infection like rubella during pregnancy may also have baby with mental retardation.
Problems at birth. If a baby has problems during labor and birth, such as not getting enough oxygen, she may have mental retardation.
Health problems. Disease like whooping cough, 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 being exposed to poison like lead or mercury.
Mental retardation is not a disease. You can not catch mental redaction from anon. Mental retardation is also not a type of mental illness like depression. There is no cure for mental retardation. However, most children with mental retardation can learn to do many things. It just takes them more time and effort than other children.
Mental retardation is diagnosed by looking at two main things. These are
The ability of a person's brain to learn. Think, solve problems and make sure of the world (called IQ or intellectual functioning): and
Whether the has the skill he or she need to live independently (adaptive behavior or adaptive functioning).
Intellectual functioning or IQ is usually measured by a test called an IQ test. The average score is 100.People scoring below 70 to 75 are taught to have mental retardation. To measure adaptive behavior, professional look at what a child can do in comparison to other children of his or her age. Certain skills important to adaptive behavior. These are
Daily living skills such as getting dresses, going to the bath room and feeding one's self:
Communication skills such as understanding what is said and being able to answer.
Social skill with peers, family members, adult and others.
The diagnose mental retardation, professional look at the person's mental retardation IQ and his or her adaptive skills. Both of these are highlighted in the definition of mental retardation provided between the lines below. This definition comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The IDEA ids the federal law that guides how schools provide early intervention and special education and related services to children with disabilities.
Providing services to help individual with mental retardation has led to a new understanding of how we define mental retardation. After the diagnose of mental retardation is made, we look at a person's strength and weakness. We also at how much support or help the person needs to get along at home, in school and in the community. This approach gives a realistic picture of each individual
There are many signs of mental retardation. For example children with mental retardation may:
Sit up, crawl or weld later than other children
Learn to talk later, or have trouble speaking,
Find it hard to remember things,
Not understand how to pay for things,
Have trouble seeing the consequence of their action,
Have trouble understanding social rules,
Have trouble solving problems and /or
Have trouble thinking logically.
About 87% of people with mental retardation will only be a little slower than average in learning new information and skills. When they are children, their limitations may not be obvious. They may not even be diagnosed as having mental retardation until they go to the school. As they become adults many people with mild retardation can live independently. Other people may not even consider them as having mental retardation.
The remaining 13% of people with mental retardation score 50 on IQ tests. These people will have more difficulty in school, at home and in the community. A person with more severe retardation will need more intensive support his or her life. Every child with mental retardation is able to learn, develop and grow. With help all children retardation can live a satisfying life.