Mental retardation or mental disability is a brain development disorder in which a person’s intelligence or mental ability is below average.
Mental retardation is a brain development disorder in which a person’s intelligence or mental ability is below average. This condition is better known to the layman as mental retardation or mental disability. This can be marked by an IQ score that is below expected standards. People with mental disabilities can learn new skills and things, it’s just that the process will be slower.
Problems in intellectual and adaptive functioning can identify this condition of mental retardation. The occurrence of disturbances in the state or development of the brain, it can be the cause of a person suffering from mental retardation. Handling also requires time and several options to help patients adapt to their condition.
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Criteria for mental retardation according to the American Intellectual and Development Association:
- IQ below 70-75
- There are significant limitations in several adaptive areas, such as skills for activities, work, communication, and play.
- Memory impairment
- Lack of curiosity
- Age-inappropriate childish behavior
- This condition appears before the age of 18.
The way to a diagnosis of mental retardation is done with three stages of evaluation, starting with interviews, observing the person, and carrying out tests. When making a diagnosis, the doctor will thoroughly examine the patient’s condition starting with interviewing the patient and his parents to intellectual tests and the patient’s adjustment to the environment.
A person with mental retardation (mental disability) has limitations in two areas, namely:
- Intellectual function
This disorder is related to IQ which refers to a person’s ability to learn, reason, make decisions, and solve problems.
- adaptive behavior
adaptational behaviors are a necessary skill for everyday life such as being able to communicate well, interact with others, and take precautions for yourself.
Types of mental retardation
Types of mental retardation (mental retardation) can be grouped based on several skills. The most striking type of cognitive impairment is in terms of reading, writing, or arithmetic abilities. If the sufferer goes to school, the delay can be identified from the way he speaks, and the development of motor skills. Here are the types:
- Intellectual disability in reading
This causes a person to experience difficulties in understanding the relationship between letters, sounds, and words. Signs can be recognized when it is difficult to recognize letters and words, is unable to understand words and ideas, has a slow reading speed, and has poor vocabulary skills.
- Intellectual disability in counting
If a person is difficult and slows at memorizing and organizing numbers, he or she may have an intellectual disability in mathematics. This causes sufferers to find it difficult to tell time and abstract thoughts.
- Intellectual disability in writing
This type of disability can involve the physical activity of writing. Sufferers will have problems forming letters, words, and written expressions. Signs you can spot include messy writing, difficulty copying words accurately, and problems with spelling.
- Motor skills defects
A person with a motor skills disability has problems with gross and fine motor skills. They appear uncoordinated with age and have significant problems with movements that require hand-to-eye coordination.
- Defect with language
This type of mental retardation involves the ability to speak and understand spoken words. The signs can be seen in the difficulty of telling an incident, not being fluent when speaking, not being able to understand the meaning of words, and not being able to carry out directions.
Causes and factors that increase the risk of mental retardation
There are many causes of mental retardation that may affect children. This risk can also be related to genetic syndromes, such as Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.
Diseases such as meningitis, whooping cough, measles, and head trauma, as the result of exposure to poisons such as lead or mercury, can also be one of the causes.
Other factors that can cause mental retardation also include brain malformations and environmental influences or diseases that the mother has, such as alcohol and drugs.
Various birth-related events such as infections during pregnancy and problems during the delivery process can also be a risk factor for mental retardation.
Solution for mental retardation
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for individuals with intellectual disabilities as they can range in severity and impact on an individual’s daily life. However, there are various approaches and interventions that can help individuals with intellectual disabilities lead fulfilling lives, including:
- Early intervention: Early identification and intervention can make a significant impact on a child’s development. Early intervention programs can include specialized therapies, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy, that aim to enhance a child’s cognitive, social, and physical abilities.
- Education: Education is critical for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special education programs can provide tailored instruction to meet the unique needs of each individual. These programs can help individuals with intellectual disabilities develop life skills, such as communication, self-care, and socialization.
- Assistive technology: Assistive technology can be used to enhance an individual’s communication, mobility, and independence. Examples include communication devices, wheelchair ramps, and adapted tools and equipment.
- Support services: Support services such as counseling, vocational training, and job coaching can help individuals with intellectual disabilities overcome barriers and achieve independence. Community-based services, such as group homes and day programs, can also provide support and assistance for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
It’s important to note that the approach to supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities should be individualized and based on the unique needs and strengths of each person. Collaboration between healthcare providers, educators, and families is key to developing a comprehensive and effective plan for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
If you want to read more articles similar to Mental Retardation Types, Causes, and Solutions, we recommend that you enter our Mental Disorders category.