Paper: An Analysis of the Factors of Mental Retardation in the Human Society

Factors of Mental Retardation Mental retardation is below average intelligence and abilities which are present before the age of 18. This is determined by an IQ below 70 - 75, significantly limited in two or more skill areas such as. school, work, social, and communication, and this condition has to have been present since childhood (18 years of age or younger). There are four categories of mental retardation. 1. Mild -80% of all people diagnosed as mentally retarded are in this category. They have an IQ of between 50 - 70. 2. Moderate -10% of all people diagnosed as mentally retarded are in this category. They have and IQ between 35 - 50. 3. Severe - 3-4% of all people diagnosed as mentally retarded are in this category. They have serious language and motor impairment. 4. Profound - 1-2% of all people diagnosed as mentally retarded are in this category. They have severe sensor and motor difficulties. 1. Genetics - 5% of mental retardation is caused by genetics. This is when chromosomes are not normal and cause Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome. 2. Problems during pregnancy & birth - poor nutrition for the mother, toxemia, infections such as rubella, maternal phenylketonuria (even if the fetus does not have the condition), use of drugs or alcohol, an injury to the mother, low birth weight, or lack of oxygen at birth. 3. Medical conditions after birth - metabolic disorders, severe malnutrition, prolonged high fever, autism, and meningitis. 4. Environmental conditions after birth - near drowning, lead poisoning, pollutants, and lack of physical and emotional stimulus. Altogether there are hundreds of possible causes of, or factors contributing to, mental retardation. Mental retardation can be prevented by: 1. Genetic counseling - determining the risk of a couple having a mentally retarded baby by checking to see if either parent have relatives who are mentally retarded. 2. Prenatal care - good nutrition for the mother under the care of a doctor. 3. Testing for disorders - testing for hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria (PKU), and galactosemia. In early 1998 Congress passed the Birth Defects Prevention Act of 1998, which became Public Law 105-168. This bill authorized CDC to 1) collect, analyze, and make available data on birth defects; 2) operate regional centers for applied epidemiologic research on the prevention of birth defects; and 3) information and educate the public about prevention of birth defects. Birth Defects and PediatricGenetics is charged with carrying out the mandates of the Act. ...