Mental Retardation Definition and Types

1)Children who have a condition of incomplete or less than normal mental development so that they are unable to adjust in their day to day life, in usefully productive and harmonious manner are called mentally retarded children.

2)They are hence in constant need of care protection, supervision and help.

3) It creates a lot of learning problems before mentally retarded children.

4)According to Tredgold: “It is a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind so severe that patient is incapable of leading an independent life.”

5)People with mental retardation have significantly impaired intellectual abilities and deficits in adaptive behavior. The disability must have been manifested during the developmental period, from birth to age eighteen.

6)People with mental retardation are people first, with all of the emotions, motivations, and complexities of any human being. All attempts to provide education and habilitation to students with mental retardation must be based on the realization of the fundamental similarities of all people.

Levels and Categories of Mental Retardation

1)Mentally retarded children are classified in three different ways: medical, psychological and educational. 

2)The medical classification is based on the levels of severity of retardation. It was originally recommended by the American Association of Mental Deficiency.

3) The psychological classification is now used in special schools in India.

4) The educational classification was originally recommended by American educators. It is based on educability of retarded children. This classification has been recommended by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi for use in IED units in regular schools.

5)In terms of levels of severity mentally retarded children are classified into mild, moderate, severe, and profound.

a)Mild Retardation- IQ 55 to 70

b)Moderate Retardation-IQ 40 to 54

c)Severe Retardation-IQ 25 to 39

d)Profound Retardation-IQ below 25

6)In terms of educability, mental retarded children are classified as Educable, Trainable and Custodial. The IQ ranges of these three types of mentally retarded children are as follows:

a)Educable Mentally Retardation (EMR)-IQ 50 to 75

b)Trainable Mentally Retardation (TMR)-IQ 25 to 50

c)Custodial Mentally Retardation (CMR) -IQ below 25

 7)The educable mentally retarded children are those who can be taught the basic academic subjects. 

8)The trainable mentally retarded are those children who can be taught functional academics with emphasis on self-help and vocational skills. 9)The custodial mentally retarded are those children who require constant and special care especially in a residential institution.