Mental retardation

Source:  Mental retardation    Tag:  what causes mental retardation


Mental retardation is otherwise referred to as MR, cognitive disability or intellectual disability and it refers to a brain that fails to mature. This makes people rag behind others mentally thus making them appear abnormal. In this case, intelligence levels are low and this makes it hard for people to perform simple day-to-day activities. Some of the daily life activities that get thoroughly affected include school activities, social situations, communications, and self-care. Mental retardation is characterized by slow growth of mental ability and though these children get to learn new things, it takes them a long time. This kind of disability is experienced at different levels and the effects may be either mild or profound.

Mental ability is measured using IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and the lower the score the higher the retardation. If people have an IQ of between 85 and 100, they are considered as normal. Those with an IQ of between 70 and 85 are considered as normal but not retarded. Those with an IQ of between 50 and 70 are said to have mild retardation. Those with an IQ between 35 and 50 are categorized as moderate while those with between 20 and 35 are categorized as severe. Below 20 is regarded as profound. The causes of mental retardation include infections that occur at birth or later, chromosomal abnormalities, environmental factors, genetic abnormalities, metabolism, nutrition, toxic substances, trauma either before or after birth as well as other unexplained causes.

The symptoms of mental retardation include low curiosity, low performance at school, low learning abilities, infant like behavior, and a low Intelligence Quotient result that is below 70. The exams and tests performed to unearth mental retardation include screen tests. Treatment of mental retardation includes special education to help the patient live their live to the fullest. They will also be trained right from infancy on the basics of daily life. This training will include social skills, which prepare them for their everyday life. This condition can be overcome if people have the right opportunities where they can learn life skills. Personal motivation is vital when it comes to recovery and the more people want to recover the higher their chances of living a normal life.

The type of treatment administered also influences the recovery process as well as other conditions. Some of the complications that characterize mental retardation include social isolation, inability to take care of self, as well as inability to socialize with others. It is important to contact a physician anytime children exhibit development disorders and fail to accomplish some milestones in their growth. These include delayed speech and motor skills. Mental retardation can be prevented if people get screened to rule out genetic defects, which may be passed down to their young ones.

Social factors may also help prevent this disorder and this includes proper nutrition, as malnutrition is a major cause of mental disabilities. Toxic causes may be altered through environmental programs, which educate people on how to dispose toxic waste such as mercury and lead. Creating public awareness on the effects of toxins is a step towards preventing mental retardation. Taking care of infectious diseases such as congenital rubella syndrome, which is a major cause of mental retardation is another step forward.