Mental Retardation

What is mental retardation (M. R.)?
The American Association on mental deficiency states that mental retardation is a "significantly sub-average general intellectual function existing concurrently with deficit in adaptive behaviour, and manifested during the development period". From a biological point of view, M.R. is a state of incomplete mental development of a kind and degree such that the individual is incapable of adapting himself to the normal environment as to maintain existence independently of supervision, control or external support.

What is non-specific M.R.?
It is not always possible to precisely pinpoint the cause of M.R. even in the presence of laboratory diagnostic facilities with DNA and molecular studies. Some cases may show dysmorphic features, which only help in identifying the inherent condition or syndrome. It is not uncommon that a child with subnormal intelligence shows normal findings on medical, neurological and laboratory examinations and such cases of M.R. are referred to as non-specific or unknown M.R.

What is pseudo-M.R.?
Some children with mild to borderline retardation give no evidence of brain damage on any of the above - mentioned medical, family or laboratory parameters. Most of them belong to the lower socio-economic status, thus assuming that their poor adaptive function is likely due to adverse socio-cultural influences like lack of a stimulating environment, rather than any of the organic or genetic factors. Such pseudo-retardation should be clearly distinguished from true mental retardation.

What do we define the degree of M.R.?
Depending on the I.Q., the degree of mental retardation, according to the DSM IV is as below:

Degree of M.R.
Mild M.R.
50 – 55 to 70
Moderate M.R.
35 – 40 to 50 - 55
Severe M.R.
20 –25 to 35 – 40
Profound M. R.
Below 20 to 25

What are the causes of M.R.?
Mental retardation is not a disease; it's an expression of many symptoms. The underlying problem in M.R. is an aberration of brain function. The causes of brain dysfunction could be environmental and/or genetic factors.

Can a baby who is born normal become mentally retarded after birth?
All the characteristics of M.R. can appear long after birth due to injury to the brain anytime during the development period upto 18 years of age. Injury to the brain can be caused by the following factors:
Severe malnutrition in the child especially upto 2 years of age.
Infection to the child such as meningitis or encephalitis.
Repeated episodes of epileptic fits.
Injury to the brain from accidents or falls.
Strangulation, smoke inhalation or near drowning.
Accidental poisoning.
Genetic disorders etc

What are the various options available for educating M.R. individuals?
There are 3 ways to educate the mentally retarded: Special schools meant exclusively for M.R. individuals. Integrated schools wherein M.R. children are trained along non-handicapped students Home based training programmes wherein parents are taught how to train their M.R. children.

What facilities does Clinic provide for MR children?

Clinic focuses on prevention, early diagnosis and early intervention for theses conditions.
We also refer to therapy, special education, Counselling as well as Homoeopathic medications
Homeopathy mainly helps to:

  • Bring about moderation in sensitivity disturbances
  • Control the behavioural problems
  • Control the emotional disturbances
  • Manage underlying neurological, genetic, metabolic disorders
  • Promote the growth process and general resistance of the system
  • Do not have nay adverse or depressing neurophysiological side effects.

How does special education and rehabilitation help the mentally retarded? The field of mental retardation is a meeting point for all biological and behavioural sciences. Physical and mental development forms its basis. Since mental retardation can be prevented but not cured in the customary sense of the word, the special training to the mentally retarded gives them the opportunity to develop and to improve if detected early. A major objective of training or education is to attain some degree of vocational competence and economic productivity. Vocational education refers to the preparation of the process of the persons for all aspects of life. The effectiveness of vocational training or specific education is largely controlled by certain environmental factors besides the degree of disability inherent in the child. The ultimate goal should be to make the mentally retarded person socio-economically independent