General information on Mild Mental Retardation

Learn more about Mild Mental Retardation with our article

Mental retardation is a state of delayed or incomplete development of the intellect, characterized by a violation of skills that arise in the process of development and give their share in the formation of the general level of intelligence, ie. cognitive, speech, motor, and social skills. The retardation may be combined or not with other mental or physical disorders. However, mentally retarded people can be taken ill with the whole spectrum of psychiatric disorders and, compared to the general population, the illness of other psychiatric disorders is at least three to four times higher. Also, the mentally retarded people are at greater risk of exploitation and physical and/or sexual abuse. Adaptive behaviour always suffers, but in a safe social environment where they find available support, those with mild mental retardation may not notice at all. Over time, intellectual ability and social adaptation can change and slightly improved, as a result of training and rehabilitation. Diagnosis should be made based on current levels of functioning. Mental retardation – Retardatio mentalis (olygophrenia) is mental retardation of the child in the first years of life. It is the result of permanent damage to the nervous system during intrauterine life, birth trauma, central nervous system (CNS) inflammation (meningitis and encephalitis), metabolic and chromosomal diseases. Assessment of intellectual level should be based on all available information about the child, his or her adaptive behaviour and the results of psychometric tests.

Mental retardation is:

• intellectual functioning significantly under the general normal level (measured by age-specific standardized intelligence test),

• lack of adaptive behaviour – social skills, practical skills in daily life, skills in dealing with concepts, etc.

• beginning before the age of 18.

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