Definitions for mental retardation
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word mental retardation
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a developmental disorder characterized in varying degrees by a subnormal ability to learn, a substantially low IQ, and impaired social adjustment.
Origin of mental retardation:
retardation, mental retardation, backwardness, slowness, subnormality(noun)
lack of normal development of intellectual capacities
Mental retardation or general learning disability is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors. It has historically been defined as an intelligence quotient score under 70. Once focused almost entirely on cognition, the definition now includes both a component relating to mental functioning and one relating to individuals' functional skills in their environment. As a result, a person with a below-average intelligence quotient may not be considered mentally retarded. Syndromic mental retardation is intellectual deficits associated with other medical and behavioral signs and symptoms. Non-syndromic mental retardation refers to intellectual deficits that appear without other abnormalities. The terms used for this condition are subject to a process called the euphemism treadmill. This means that whatever term is chosen for this condition, it eventually becomes perceived as an insult. The terms mental retardation and mentally retarded were invented in the middle of the 20th century to replace the previous set of terms, which were deemed to have become offensive. By the end of the 20th century, these terms themselves have come to be widely seen as disparaging and politically incorrect and in need of replacement. The term intellectual disability or intellectually challenged is now preferred by most advocates in most English-speaking countries. The AAIDD have defined intellectual disability to mean the same thing as mental retardation. Currently, the term mental retardation is used by the World Health Organization in the ICD-10 codes, which has a section titled "Mental Retardation". In the future, the ICD-11 is expected to replace the term mental retardation with intellectual disability, and the DSM-5 has replaced it with intellectual disability. Because of its specificity and lack of confusion with other conditions, mental retardation is still sometimes used in professional medical settings around the world, such as formal scientific research and health insurance paperwork.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
Subnormal intellectual functioning which originates during the developmental period. This has multiple potential etiologies, including genetic defects and perinatal insults. Intelligence quotient (IQ) scores are commonly used to determine whether an individual is mentally retarded. IQ scores between 70 and 79 are in the borderline mentally retarded range. Scores below 67 are in the retarded range. (Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1992, Ch55, p28)
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