- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Mental Retardation in American Society

Essay by review  •  December 6, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,094 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,430 Views

Essay Preview: Mental Retardation in American Society

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Research Paper:

Mental Retardation in American Society

Mental retardation is a very serious illness, and most of the American population is ignorant regarding the subject. Approximately 3 percent of people in the U.S. are considered mentally retarded. With a percentage like this, the ignorance on the subject is bizarre. The nation has adopted slang terms such as "retard", to insult others. Using this term is a way to call someone stupid. But there is a lot that people do not understand about mental disabilities. The study of the illness is actually a very complex topic. There are many parts that build up the subject. The definition of mental retardation is: significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Mental retardation is a term used when someone has limitations in their mental functioning. They also are limited in skills such as communicating, self-care, and social skills. These limitations cause a child to learn and develop slower than an ordinary individual. Children with mental retardation may take longer when learning to speak, walk, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. They are likely to have trouble learning in school. They will learn, but it will take them longer. There are usually things they cannot learn.

There are many causes of mental retardation. They include; genetic conditions, pregnancy troubles, birth difficulties, and health problems. In some cases irregular genes inherited from the parents can cause mental retardation. Mental retardation can be the cause of baby not developing properly when in the womb. This could be the effect of the mother consuming alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. At birth, if a newborn does not receive enough oxygen, the result could be mental retardation. Many health problems are the basis for mental retardation. Numerous illnesses cause mental retardation. Also malnutrition and insufficient medical care are grounds for mental retardation. If a child is not receiving ample nutrition then negative effects will result. In addition, if an adolescent does not receive proper medicine, they could in result, develop a mental illness. Despite popular belief, mental retardation is not a disease. It is also not a mental illness. It cannot be cured, however, people with mental retardation can learn.

Diagnosis of mental retardation comes from two main points. One is the ability of someone's brain to think, learn, solve problems, and their intellectual functioning. The other is whether someone has the talents they need to survive on their own. Intellectual functioning is calculated from the scores of the IQ test. An average IQ score is 100. If someone scores below 70, they are considered mentally retarded. Also a child's skills are compared to that of other children in the same age group. The skills evaluated are living skills, communication skills, and social skills. Living skills involve dressing, using the bathroom, and self-feeding. Communication skills include understanding and responding to others. Social skills contain interaction with peers, family, and others. Adaptive skills are an important item to look at as well. Mental retardation is very common in the Unites States. Almost 613,000 individuals from ages 6 to 21 are diagnosed with mental retardation. 1 out of every 10 children in special education classes has a form of mental retardation.

There are numerous signs of mental retardation. Examples consist of learning to walk later than other children, learning to talk later than other children, having trouble speaking, finding it difficult to remember things, having problems understanding social rules, having trouble seeing consequences for actions, having difficulty solving problems, having trouble thinking logically. About 87 percent of individuals with mental retardation are a small amount slower than average when it comes to learning new information and skills. Mental retardation is difficult to diagnose when a child is very young. It is sometimes not detected until a child reaches school. Many people with mild mental retardation are able to live independently. The other 13 percent of mentally retarded individuals score below 50 of IQ tests and have much more difficulty in school, at home, and in the community.



Download as:   txt (6.9 Kb)   pdf (100.1 Kb)   docx (11.4 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 12). Mental Retardation in American Society. Retrieved 12, 2010, from

"Mental Retardation in American Society" 12 2010. 2010. 12 2010 <>.

"Mental Retardation in American Society.", 12 2010. Web. 12 2010. <>.

"Mental Retardation in American Society." 12, 2010. Accessed 12, 2010.