Mental Retardation: Definition

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					Chapter 8: Mental Retardation
           Mental Retardation: Definition

AAMR (1983)- Mental retardation refers to
 significantly subaverage general intellectual
 functioning existing concurrently with deficits in
 adaptive behavior and manifested during the
 developmental period. [IDEA added “…that
 adversely affects a child’s education
    Key Elements of the 1992 AAMR Definition

• Capabilities (competencies)
• Environments (home, work, school)
• Functioning (within the community)
          Mental Retardation: Classifications

    AAMR 1983 Classifications     IQ Range
•   Mild Mental Retardation       • 50-55 to 70
•   Moderate Mental Retardation   • 35-40 to 50-55
•   Severe Mental Retardation     • 20-25 to 35-40
•   Profound Mental Retardation   • Below 20-25
        Mental Retardation: Characteristics

Intelligence- IQ score of 70 to 75 or below
Limitations:                     Remediation
Attention          Physical proximity, use of cue
Short-term         Rehearsal strategies to practice
   memory          tasks
Generalization     Using varied modalities and
Motivation         Learn to attribute success to hard
        Mental Retardation: Characteristics

Limitations in Adaptive   Skills:
  * communication          * functional academics
  * self-care              * leisure
  * home living            * work
  * social skills          * health and safety
  * community use          * self-direction
          Examples of Intensities of Support

•   Intermittent- as needed
•   Limited- time-limited
•   Extensive- usually ongoing
•   Pervasive- possibly lifelong
             Mental Retardation: Causes

• Two types of causes of mental retardation are
  those that refer to timing and those that refer to
• Timing- refers to the onset of disability

  Prenatal           Perinatal           Postnatal
  *Down syndrome     *Premature labor    *Head injuries
  *Phenylketonuria    *Meningitis     *Lead intoxication
  *Maternal            *Head trauma       *Child abuse,
  malnutrition           at birth            neglect
            Mental Retardation: Causes

• Causes by Type-
  – Biomedical: causes develop within the individual,
    including biological processes such as genetic disorders
    or nutrition.
  – Social: factors that relate to social and family
    interaction, such as stimulation and adult
  – Behavioral: factors that relate to potentially causal
    behaviors, such as dangerous activities or maternal
    substance abuse.
  – Educational: factors that relate to the availability of
    educational supports that promote mental development
    and adaptive skills.
           Mental Retardation: Prevention

• Primary Prevention
   – Vaccines
   – Educational programs
   – Prenatal testing
• Secondary Prevention
   – Early intervention programs
   – Medical control
• Tertiary Prevention
   – Special education
   – Physical, vocational, or occupational training
           Mental Retardation: Prevalence

• Prevalence
  – less than 1 to 3% of the general population
  – 8.9% of all children/ youth receiving special education
• Trends
  – African Americans are still disproportionately classified
    as having mental retardation.
  – During the 1999-2000 school year, 614,433 students
    with mental retardation, ages 6-21, received special
    education services.
            Mental Retardation: Evaluation

  Determining the Presence of Mental Retardation
• Intellectual Functioning
• Adaptive Skills
   – limitations in two or more adaptive skill areas
   – exist concurrently with limitations in intellectual
• The AAMR Adaptive Behavior Scale is frequently
  used to assess school-aged children’s adaptive
• The Supports Intensity Scale is a standardized
  measure of a student’s level of support needs.
         Progress in the General Curriculum

• Long-term Curricular goals
   – enhance self-determination
   – enhance quality of life
• Curriculum Focus
   – achieving high expectations within standard curriculum
   – adapting curriculum to include a life skills focus
• Instructional Strategies
   – community-based instruction (enhance motivation and
   – authentic learning activities (create meaningful
         Progress in the General Curriculum

• Research documents that students with mental
  retardation achieve higher academic and social
  gains when they are included in general education
• Curriculum alteration can be achieved by teaching
  students functional skills and carrying out the
  instruction in community settings.
• Instructional augmentation can occur by teaching
  students self-determination skills through the self-
  determined model of instruction.
      Mental Retardation: Programs in Practice

• Early Childhood Years- Granville County Child
  Development Center- early intervention,
  prevention, and a collaborative support system
• Elementary Years- Cordley Elementary School-
  functional curriculum that is community-based
• Middle and Secondary Years- Jody’s School Day-
  authentic activities within an inclusive school
• Transitional and Postsecondary Years- Project
  TASSEL- quality of life goals and self-
  determination training

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