Mental Retardation in Adolescents

Length:  5 pages (1777 words) | Sources:  7  | Subject:  Psychology - Adolescent | Type: Term Paper | Paper: #64628334 | Author:  

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Mental retardation has long been known to the scientific community, but more recent advancements have opened up new ways of handling it through the toughest years of adolescence. According to research, "Its history dates back to the beginning of man's time on earth," (Biasini et al. 2010). Early Egyptian documents "Although somewhat vague due to difficulties in translation, these documents clearly refer to disabilities of the mind and body due to brain damage," (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 approximately 1-3% of the population in developed countries," (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; "Of individuals with mental retardation, an estimated 40-70% have diagnosable psychiatric disorders," (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 "often are restless and hyperactive and have a short attention span," (Sebastian 2008). This behavior does not go unnoticed by the people around them. Adolescents are especially open…[continue]



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