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Mental Retardation: Frequently Asked Questions

What is mental retardation?

People with mental retardation show delays in learning, a slower pace of learning, and difficulty in applying learning. Approximately 200,000 people in New York are thought to have mental retardation. Mental retardation can result from a variety of factors, among them premature birth, genetic abnormalities, malnutrition, exposure to toxic agents, and social deprivation. ...
According to the new definition by the American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR), an individual is considered to have mental retardation based on the following three criteria: intellectual functioning level (IQ) is below 70-75; significant limitations exist in two or more adaptive skill areas; and the condition is present from childhood (defined as age 18 or less) (AAMR, 1992).

How common is mental retardation?

As many as 3 out of every 100 people in the country have mental retardation (The Arc, 2001). Nearly 613,000 children ages 6 to 21 have some level of mental retardation and need special education in school ( Twenty-fourth Annual Report to Congress , U.S. Department of Education, 2002). In fact, 1 out of every 10 children who need special education has some form of mental retardation. (This response prepared by the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, formerly NICHCY.

Is Mental retardation curable?

No, Mental retardation is a condition which cannot be cured. But timely and appropriate intervention can help the mentally retarded person to learn several skills. 3

Is mental retardation hereditary?

It is not always that mental retardation is hereditary. However, where the cause of mental retardation is genetic it is hereditary. In such case parents are advised to go for genetic counseling before they plan for another child.

What Causes Mental Retardation?

Doctors have found many causes of mental retardation. The following are most common: 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). Problems during pregnancy . Mental retardation can result when a 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. ...

What is the prevalence of mental retardation?

According to test standards and studies about 2.7 percent of the Texas population falls at or below an IQ score of 70.
According to test standards and studies about 2.7% of the Texas population falls at or below an IQ score of 70. Persons with mental retardation can be divided into three groups, mild, moderate and severe/profound, for evaluation of their needs for services. Persons within the mild range of mental retardation comprise about 2.34 percent of the total population. Persons within the moderate range of mental retardation comprise about 0.28 percent of the population. ...

What is mental retardation (M. R.)?

The American Association on mental deficiency states that mental retardation is a "significantly sub-average general intellectual function existing concurrently with deficit in adaptive behaviour, and manifested during the development period". From a biological point of view, M.R. is a state of incomplete mental development of a kind and degree such that the individual is incapable of adapting himself to the normal environment as to maintain existence independently of supervision, control or external support.

How is this different from mental retardation?

The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), formerly called American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR), defines mental retardation as a disability that occurs before age 18, characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills. It is diagnosed through standardized tests of intelligence and adaptive behavior. ...

Can a person with mental retardation vote?

If they have not been legally, through a probate court of jurisdiction, declared incapacitated (unable to make decisions for themselves), they have all their rights and may vote just as any other citizen.

How many people are affected by mental retardation?

The Arc reviewed a number of prevalence studies in the early 1980s and concluded that 2.5 to 3 percent of the general population has mental retardation (The Arc, 1982). Based on the 1990 census, an estimated 6.2 to 7.5 million people have mental retardation. Mental retardation is 10 times more common than cerebral palsy and 28 times more prevalent than neural tube defects such as spina bifida. It affects 25 times as many people as blindness. ...
Various studies have been conducted in local communities to determine the prevalence of mental retardation. The Arc reviewed many of these prevalence studies in the early 1980s and concluded that 2.5 to 3 percent of the general population has mental retardation (The Arc, 1982). A recent review of prevalence studies generally confirms this distribution (Fryers, 1993). Based on the 1990 census, an estimated 6.2 to 7.5 million people have mental retardation. ...

What population groups experience mental retardation?

Mental retardation can be found in men and women of all ages, cultures and economic conditions.

Is mental retardation always present?

Usually, ranging from mild to profound. The majority fall in the mild to moderate range.

Who qualifies for mental retardation services?

Any person, who is 18 years of age, and has been properly diagnosed as having mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder, or autism qualifies for services.

Is mental retardation an infectious disease?

No, many people think that on allowing normal children to mix, eat or play with mentally retarded children, the normal children also develop mental retardation. This is wrong. Interaction between mentally retarded children and normal children on the other hand, helps in the improvement of mentally retarded children. Also normal children will understand the problems of the retarded children and will accept them. 6

Is mental retardation a permanent condition?

Typically, mental retardation is a lifelong condition.

What is the relation of mental retardation and epilepsy?

About 3% of all children can be defined as mentally retarded. Mental retardation may be due to genetic, developmental, peri-natal, or environmental causes. Epilepsy occurs in up to 50% of patients with mental retardation.

What is Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities?

An individual is determined to have mental retardation based on the following three criteria: intellectual functioning level (IQ) is below 70-75, significant limitations exist in two or more adaptive skill areas, and the condition is present from childhood (defined as age 18 or less).

How many levels of mental retardation are there?

Mild mental retardation - IQ level 50-55 to approximately 70 - Moderate mental retardation - IQ level 35-40 to 50-55 - Severe mental retardation - IQ level 20-25 to 35-40 - Profound mental retardation - IQ level below 20 or 25

What is the responsibility of the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD)?

The Division of MRDD is one of three Divisions within the Department of Mental Health. There are several state-operated residential facilities for adults and children who have developmental disabilities. Access to services is obtained through regional offices located throughout the state. They provide eligibility determination and referral to contract agencies which specialize in services to persons with developmental disabilities. ...

Can anyone review a mental retardation jacket?

Mental retardation cases are confidential. All hearings are closed to the public. Only the parties involved may see the case file.

How does mental retardation affect individuals?

The effects of mental retardation vary considerably among people, just as the range of abilities varies considerably among people who do not have mental retardation. About 87 percent will be mildly affected and will be only a little slower than average in learning new information and skills. As children, their mental retardation is not readily apparent and may not be identified until they enter school. ...
The effects of mental retardation vary considerably among people, just as the range of abilities varies considerably among people who do not have mental retardation. About 87 percent will be mildly affected and will be only a little slower than average in learning new information and skills. As children, their mental retardation is not readily apparent and may not be identified until they enter school. ...

How many older people with intellectual disabilities/mental retardation are there?

Current estimates for adults age 60 and over with intellectual disabilities/mental retardation and other developmental disabilities (e.g., cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy) range between 600,000 and 1.6 million. This population is growing rapidly, and although many persons are unidentified and the true number is not known, we can expect that by 2030, there will be several million.
Source: www.aamr.org

What is the difference between Mental Illness and Mental Retardation?

The Mentally Retarded have a diminished intellectual capacity usually present since birth. Those with Mental Illnesses are usually of normal intelligence although they may have difficulty performing at a normal level due to their illness.

What are the other causes of having a child with mental retardation?

• If the pregnant woman is in pain for 24 hours without the baby being born (prolonged labour) • Wrong position of the baby • Large size of the head of the foetus • Excessive bleeding during pregnancy • Any injury to the head of the foetus or wrong use of instruments during delivery • Premature delivery • Bleeding inside the head of the foetus • If the baby does not cry after birth or its face or body turns white or blue. • Umblical cord around the neck of the baby • Use of medicines to accelerate labour

How does mental retardation differ from mental illness?

Mental retardation and mental illness are not the same condition, although they can occur in the same person. Unlike mental illness, mental retardation is always associated with limited intellectual and functional skills, and is evident before age 18.

How does an individual pay for mental retardation services?

You cannot be refused services due to an inability to pay. Non-Medicaid services are provided by community centers on a "sliding scale" basis, as determined by center staff using prescribed guidelines. In order to receive Medicaid services, individuals must first be determined to be eligible. If it is determined that you may be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits, and you are not currently enrolled in Medicaid, staff at your local mental retardation authority will assist you in applying for Medicaid. ...
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