Understanding Different Types Of Mental Retardation

By Nadia Khan

Updated December 06, 2018

Source: publicdomainpictures.net

Retard. Mentally retardate. Moron. These are the negative terms used to call persons who are developmentally challenged or delayed. Calling them with such negative names is not acceptable as it can do more ridicule and degrade the person. Gratefully enough, this has been changed already to promote a positive culture towards these group of the population. Today, the new name is Intellectual and Developmental disabilities.

Dr. Steven Taylor is part of the team that initiated this change. He stated, "The term intellectual and developmental disabilities is simply less stigmatizing than mental retardation, mental deficiency, feeble-mindedness, idiocy, imbecility, and other terminology we have cast aside over the years." Nonetheless, it's not only the name that needs to be changed. There should also be the relevance on how we accept their limitations and capabilities as they continue to interact with the rest of the community.


Intellectual disability is defined as a below-average intelligence or mental ability coupled with lack of basic skills necessary for daily interaction and activities. There are varying degrees of intellectual disability which are identified according to their level of intelligence quotient.

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Mild - Having an IQ score of 50-55 to approximately 70-75. Individuals at this degree would require minimal to no assistance in their daily functioning. They go to school and even excel in the academic and athletics. When they become adults, they can go find a job and support themselves.

Moderate - IQ score between 30-40 to 50-55. Individuals at this degree will need intermittent and extensive support and assistance as necessary.

Severe - IQ score between 20-25 to 35-40. Extensive supports are provided, usually involving assistance on a daily basis in a number of settings.

Profound - IQ score below 2-25. Constant assistance is needed as the individual lacks the mental and physical capacity to take care of himself, to include life-sustaining measures.

What Parents Can Do

It would be devastating for parents to know that their child will have difficulties in cognition and management of affect and emotions as they grow up. As much as possible, education and awareness of the condition should be the first step of the parents to equip them on how to handle the foreseeable changes. Learn everything about intellectual disabilities. This way, you become better advocates for your children.

Encourage independence and boost their self-esteem. Allow your child to try new things and experience rediscovering or new adventures. Parents tend to be overprotective sometimes in cases like this and would not permit their children to take risks. Provide guidance if needed and offer positive feedback in their good deeds. Don't criticize as this can prevent from developing their sense of self-confidence and will hinder their chances of taking actions in the future.

Don't limit your child's socialization circle. Introduce them to group activities like participating in art classes or community activities for children to build and enhance their social skills.

Join support groups or interact with other parents of intellectually disabled children as they can be good source of advice and emotional support.


Source: en.wikipedia.org

Mental retardation is a commonly misconstrued label. For the purposes of this discussion, let's define it as an intellectual disability that results from varying degrees of impairment in one or more areas of functioning. Essentially, it describes any health condition that involves changes in thinking, emotion, or behavior, which are often associated with distress or dysfunction in social, work or family contexts.

This can come in the form of professionals at BetterHelp can help you to better understand the status of your mental health or normality. Recognize that normal is in the eye of the beholder, and those disabilities don't have to change your life drastically. For most people, it is simply a process of identifying which kind of different that they are, rather than a matter of being normal or not.

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