What Is Mental Retardation Management?

Erin J. Hill

Mental retardation management refers to the process by which the physical and mental symptoms of mental retardation are dealt with by parents, medical workers, and therapists. A management plan can include medical care for any physical problems as well as early intervention educational programs. The extent of intervention will depend on the individual person and his or her disabilities. Those with mild retardation will obviously require fewer interventions than those with more severe cases.

Individuals with mental retardation may possess distinguishable facial features.
Individuals with mental retardation may possess distinguishable facial features.

There are various factors which may play a role in mental retardation management. Mental retardation is not a specific condition or illness in itself. It's a symptoms of certain other conditions, usually genetic ones, that a person has. Factor X is one example of a genetic abnormality that leads to mental retardation. Most individuals who are mentally retarded have slowed development in most areas of cognitive function, although some are more severely affected than others.

Parents should begin mental retardation management as soon as it becomes apparent there is a problem. Children with severe delays will typically show signs almost immediately after birth. Many will have physical as well as mental handicaps, and treatment may be necessary to stabilize them. For instance, children with Down syndrome often have heart and liver problems at birth, as well as and other issues. In these children, mental retardation therapy begins shortly after birth and continues for the rest of their lives.

At birth, many children with this and related conditions will also show certain physical characteristics or traits. These can include a small size, lack of muscle tone, and marked facial features. For example, those with Down syndrome often have upward slanting eyes or flattened faces.

Some kids who are only mildly retarded or "slow" in development may not be diagnosed with a problem until they are older. Issues may become apparent when they fail to reach certain developmental milestones, or even when they reach school and fail to thrive in a typical classroom environment. In these cases, mental retardation management will begin later.

Amongst all these children, no matter which physical condition they have, mental retardation management will include educational tutoring and assistance to help these kids reach their full academic potential. This can include one-on-one tutoring sessions, after-school programs and therapy, and spending lots of time with them to engage them in physically and mentally stimulating activities. How far each child progresses will depend on the individual. Some kids may never progress out of an infantile state of being, while others can grow up to lead productive and independent lives.

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?