Essay on Mental Retardation in American Society

1111 Words 5 Pages
Mental Retardation in American Society

Mental retardation is a very serious illness, and most of the American population is ignorant regarding the subject. Approximately 3 percent of people in the U.S. are considered mentally retarded. With a percentage like this, the ignorance on the subject is bizarre. The nation has adopted slang terms such as “retard”, to insult others. Using this term is a way to call someone stupid. But there is a lot that people do not understand about mental disabilities. The study of the illness is actually a very complex topic. There are many parts that build up the subject. The definition of mental retardation is: significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with
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One is the ability of someone’s brain to think, learn, solve problems, and their intellectual functioning. The other is whether someone has the talents they need to survive on their own. Intellectual functioning is calculated from the scores of the IQ test. An average IQ score is 100. If someone scores below 70, they are considered mentally retarded. Also a child’s skills are compared to that of other children in the same age group. The skills evaluated are living skills, communication skills, and social skills. Living skills involve dressing, using the bathroom, and self-feeding. Communication skills include understanding and responding to others. Social skills contain interaction with peers, family, and others. Adaptive skills are an important item to look at as well. Mental retardation is very common in the Unites States. Almost 613,000 individuals from ages 6 to 21 are diagnosed with mental retardation. 1 out of every 10 children in special education classes has a form of mental retardation. There are numerous signs of mental retardation. Examples consist of learning to walk later than other children, learning to talk later than other children, having trouble speaking, finding it difficult to remember things, having problems understanding social rules, having trouble seeing consequences for actions, having difficulty solving problems, having trouble thinking logically. About 87 percent of individuals with mental
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