Mental Retardation in Adolescents

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According to research, "Its history dates back to the beginning of man's time on earth," (Biasini et al. 2010). Early Egyptian documents refer to brain damage being seen later in life, becoming especially prominent as individuals began the transition into adilescence (Biasini et al. 2010). Then much later in more modern times, Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard did amazing work with individuals who were mentally retarded in the early nineteenth century in France. He originally worked with an adolescent boy named Victor, and from his experiences and observations, Itard made remarkable findings about the capabilities of the mentally retarded mind and possible causes, before the age of genetic testing. In 1908, Henry Goddard established a training school in New Jersey, and translated "newly developed test of intelligence," (Biasini et al. 2010). Since the adoption of intelligence rating scales in the United States, mental retardation has been easier to diagnose, providing more ample treatment strategies. The condition itself affects thousands of Americans, and much more across the globe. Research states that mental retardation affects somewhere between one and three percent of people in the United States (Sebastian 2008). These individuals suffer not only from learning disabilities, but also from overall lags in development. Additionally, many of these individuals can also suffer from psychiatric disorders; in fact forty to seventy percent of individuals with mental retardation have additional psychiatric problems (Sebastian 2008). This prevalent condition in our society has driven new research to focus on how to best provide for such individuals, especially as hey begin their journey into adulthood.

There are several commonly used diagnostic criteria which can help diagnose a case of mental retardation. Simple observation of behavior has always been relied upon as a way to begin an investigation into further diagnoses. According to research individuals with mental retardation have very short attention spans and can have trouble with acting out (Sebastian 2008). This behavior does not go unnoticed by the people around them. Adolescents are especially open for observation, based on their close interaction with parents and teachers. The observations of these individuals can then prompt a more serious investigation into the condition; "Parental and teacher reports of skills and behaviors are reviewed in conjunction with a thorough history and psychical…[continue]

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"Mental Retardation In Adolescents" (2010, March 17) Retrieved July 4, 2015, from

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