Mental Retardation :-

Mental retardation refers to significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, resulting in or associated with concurrent impairments in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period. General intellectual functioning is assessed through intelligence tests developed for purpose and adopted to the conditions of the region. Sub average mental capacity refers to the intelligence quotient of 70 or below. Adoptive behavior refers to ability of personnel independence, and social responsibilities expected to ones age group and cultural group.

The change in adoptive behavior is as follows:-

1. During infancy and childhood:
* poor motor and sensory skill development.
* altered self help skills.
* defective socialization.

2. During childhood and adolescence:
* Poor academic skills.
* low reasoning and judgment capacity.
* less social skills.

Causes of Mental Retardation

a) Genetic factors:

* chromosomal abnormalities such as
– Turner’s syndrome.
– Down’s syndrome.
– Trisomy x syndrome.

b) Prenatal factors:
* maternal infections like rubella, syphilis, cytomegalovirus infection, and toxoplasmosis.
* Physical damage to the mother.
* Drug intoxication.
* endocrine disorders such as diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism etc.
* exposure to harmful radiations.

c) Intranatal causes:
* Instrumental delivery.
* Damage to the baby during delivery.
* Birth asphyxia.
* Premature birth.
* Instrumental delivery, kernicterus, prolonged birth, cyanosis of the baby, etc.

d) Post-natal causes:
– Central nervous system infection to baby such as encephalitis, measles, meningitis, septicemia etc.

e) Social and economical causes:
– Poverty, child born with low birth weight, child abuse, etc.

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