MENTAL RETARDATIONMental retardation(MR) is a generalized disorder, characterized by significantly impairedcognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors with onset before the age of18. It has historically been defined as an Intelligence Quotient score under 70. Once focusedalmost entirely on cognition, the definition now includes both a component relating to mentalfunctioning and one relating to individuals' functional skills in their environment.The American Asociation of Mental Deficency refers to “mental retardation as significantlysubaverage in general intellectual functioning existing currently with deficits in adaptivebehaviour and manifested during the developmental period”. Mental retardation has merely beenconsidered as a symptom by Robinson and Robinson that may result from a variety of physicallyand socially based disorders, all of which manifest themselves in reduced intellectual functioningand hampered abilities to adapt to the requirements of everyday life. Thus, mental retardation notonly refers to intellegence, but also capacity to adjust and adopt with the needs and necissities ofeveryday life.A retarded child is very hyperactive. He is constantly on the move, has short memory and poorconcentration. He has frequent mood changes. He may be laughing at one moment and crying atanother moment. Anxiety makes him ritualistic. He wants to do everything exactly in the sameway. Change of any kind puzzles him and he gets angry.Alternative termsThe term "mental retardation" is a diagnostic term denoting the group of disconnected categoriesof mental functioning such as "idiot", "imbecile", and "moron" derived from early IQ tests,which acquired pejorative connotations in popular discourse. The term "mental retardation"acquired pejorative and shameful connotations over the last few decades due to the use of"retarded" as an insult. This may have contributed to its replacement with euphemisms such as"mentally challenged" or "intellectual disability". While "developmental disability" and"developmental delay" (for people under the age of 18), are generally considered moreacceptable terms than "mental retardation".Signs of Mental RetardationChildren with mental retardation may learn to sit up, to crawl, or to walk later than otherchildren, or they may learn to talk later. Both adults and children with mental retardation mayalso exhibit the following characteristics:·Delays in oral language development·Deficits in memory skills·Difficulty learning social rules·Difficulty with problem solving skills·Delays in the development of adaptive behaviors such as self-help or self-care skills·Lack of social inhibitorsThe limitations of cognitive functioning will cause a child with mental retardation to learn anddevelop more slowly than a typical child. Children may take longer to learn language, developsocial skills, and take care of their personal needs such as dressing or eating. Learning will takethem longer, require more repetition, and skills may need to be adapted to their learning level.