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Maggiedoll
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18 Dec 2009, 9:53 pm

Superficially, this seems kinda obvious, but really, it's not.
Defining it by IQ doesn't really work because IQ tests aren't particularly accurate, and as far as I know, can't distinguish between types of retardation.
Technically, "retarded" would just mean "slowed." We see an awful lot that children who are diagnosed as mentally retarded when they are young (especially those with ASDs) will later test into an average or above average range. And even then, those tests are likely to underestimate their intelligence if they've been educated as though they have low intellectual potential.
Although it would be almost impossible to diagnose initially, I think that there really needs to be a recognized difference between low intelligence and slowed intellectual development. If someone actually has low intelligence, that wouldn't change. But if they have slow intellectual development, their scores on intelligence tests should rise as they develop.
There's also the problem of distinguishing the difference between what can be processed/intellectualized, and what can be communicated. Inability to communicate doesn't mean inability to understand.. Inability to communicate only means inability to communicate.

We get a lot of this here, people asking if IQs can rise, or people who have been diagnosed as mentally retarded and we discover later that they're not. I can think of one particular member here who was diagnosed as mentally retarded, educated as though she were mentally retarded, and now tests to an average level, not to mention contributing an awful lot to this forum and giving us a rather unique view of somebody who would be overlooked by most people. (Even without having received the education that an "average" child would have received.)

Simply put.. there's no established, official difference between slowed intellectual development, low intelligence, and communication difficulty. But the way I see it, they're three very different things, and there really needs to be some way to distinguish them. Acting as though they're the same thing only causes even more problems for people with any of those issues.



18 Dec 2009, 10:09 pm

I know mental retardation is 70 or below and if the kid scored that low and then his IQ shot up, he was never retarded in the first place.



Meadow
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18 Dec 2009, 10:17 pm

I don't know what you mean by slowed intellectual development. I've never heard of that before. I for one learn everything incredibly fast, and always have, but when I open my mouth to speak, many times, it gives a much different impression.



tweety_fan
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18 Dec 2009, 10:27 pm

I have seen records from the 60's and 70's (its part of my job at a law firm, we are suing the government for child abuse suffered by people who were wards of the state) where they use the word retarded to describe a child who is behind in their development or in their school work. eg a kid who is in grade 2 yet is at the level of grade 1 intellectually.



Meadow
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18 Dec 2009, 10:32 pm

tweety_fan wrote:
I have seen records from the 60's and 70's (its part of my job at a law firm, we are suing the government for child abuse suffered by people who were wards of the state) where they use the word retarded to describe a child who is behind in their development or in their school work. eg a kid who is in grade 2 yet is at the level of grade 1 intellectually.


Wow, I was one of those kids so that's really awesome to hear about. They came about a hairs breath from having me institutionalized but there was a lot of other things they did to me that they deserve to be sued for, as well.



Age1600
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19 Dec 2009, 12:22 am

honestly my personal belief that there is no such thing as mental retardation, how does anybody know how somebody is inside a person brain unless they opened it and peaked around, somebody could be deemd mentally retarded, drooling 247, rocking, jus staring into space, seem like nothing there, yet how do u know they cant physiclaly show u how smart they are let u know that there is intellegence in there? I'm around kids who brain damaged or mentally retarded, and they define both on how well one speaks, if they do speak, how they can function in this world, how much of a person u see basically do they even show any sign of life, and basic iq has to be below 70 which they test iqs by communication, how they appear, do tests on knowledge see where they are, and so forth. why was i labelled it? maybe cuz i couldnt speak, in diapers, couldnt even look at u, blew bubbles all day, no interaction, was def devleopmentally behind, but my little turn tables were turning my head, jus nobody saw it, until many years later. Idk am i making any sense haha, i always wonder if i jus wrote stuff that makes no apparent sense at all haha, either way i dont thik there is a real answer is to waht mental retardation is, but thats jus my opinion.


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Danielismyname
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19 Dec 2009, 2:06 am

Depends.

In "NT" people, it's a global retardation in mental capacity, whether academic or self-help skills.

It's similar in people with an ASD, but it's rarely as global, i.e., there'll often be an area of strength out of proportion to all other tested areas that are retarded.

3/4 of those with Autistic Disorder have some form of mental retardation ("form" just means mild, moderate or profound); the other 1/4 are similar to those with AS in regards to such.



Almandite
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19 Dec 2009, 9:29 am

I work with Intellectually Disabled kids and adults. I use the term Intellectual Disabilities because it's more accurate, as far as I can tell--none of my students have ever seemed just "slow"--and because it doesn't have the baggage that comes with "retarded". That word is hard for me to even type.

There's a movement to, when describing the profoundness of an intellectual or developmental disability, move away from the focus on often inaccurate IQ scores and instead describe the level of systematic support needed.

Some links from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities:

Definition of Intellectual Disability

This brings out the point that the main problem with an intellectual disability is adaptive behavior.

Quote:
Standardized tests can also determine limitations in adaptive behavior, which comprises three skill types:

* Conceptual skills—language and literacy; money, time, and number concepts; and self-direction.
* Social skills—interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté (i.e., wariness), social problem solving, and the ability to follow rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized.
* Practical skills—activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, use of the telephone.


I find this focus and definition interesting, because at my College intelligence is commonly defined as adaptivity or the ability to problem solve quickly, accurately and with ease. This definition is also the most useful one I know of.

Some FAQs:

FAQ on Intellectual Disability

Is that helpful?



Maggiedoll
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19 Dec 2009, 10:03 am

Meadow wrote:
I don't know what you mean by slowed intellectual development. I've never heard of that before. I for one learn everything incredibly fast, and always have, but when I open my mouth to speak, many times, it gives a much different impression.

No, I meant slowed development. Like, when they measure IQ in children, it's the ratio of mental age to actual age. So if a six-year-old has the mental ability of a 9-year-old, then they have an IQ of 150. If a six-year-old has the mental ability of a 3-year-old, then they have an IQ of 50. It's just mental age over chronological age.
I'm not completely sure how they measure it in adults.. obviously a 40-year-old who is mental an 80-year-old isn't a super-genius.. LOL.

Spokane_Girl wrote:
I know mental retardation is 70 or below and if the kid scored that low and then his IQ shot up, he was never retarded in the first place.

But in the case of slowed development, it would be. Especially in people with ASDs. A lot of people have talked about simply maturing more slowly, getting to actual adulthood later. Someone could be considered "retarded" if they developed more slowly so that they were at a level below that of their chronological peers, but if their brain were simply developing more slowly, and continued to develop for longer, then by the time their brain reached adulthood, their intelligence would have caught up or surpassed those that had matured more quickly.
Just like how some kids grow quickly and then stop growing by age 12. They're the tallest in their class in elementary school, but by high school, they're short. While others grow slowly and are considered short, but when other kids stop growing, they don't, and end up being tall as an adult. Why couldn't that happen with brain development too?

But what Age is saying is the other piece of the whole thing.. Her IQ was considered low not because of her own intellectual development at all-- they decided that she had a low IQ simply because they couldn't communicate with her to find out what she knew.

I also think she may be right as to their being no real answer as to what mental retardation is, because when we say "mental retardation," there are at least three separate things that we could be referring to. "Mental retardation" is an umbrella term for low intelligence, slow development, and inability of the tester to communicate with the person being tested.
Obviously there ARE different levels of intelligence, but not everybody who gets the label "mentally retarded" has low intelligence. I'm also not sure that "mentally retarded" would even mean "low intelligence" rather than "slowed intellectual development." If somebody is behind their age mentally when they're young, but ends up being intelligent, then they're "mentally retarded" in that their mental maturation and development was slowed, but they're not intellectually disabled. Usually I see "mentally retarded" and "intellectually challenged" used as synonyms (or "intellectually challenged" used as the PC term for "mentally retarded") but I think they're separate things.
And both of those are separate from inability to communicate. Just because others can't see what's going on inside somebody's head doesn't mean that nothing is going on. That's really difficult to differentiate, though, because how do you tell? Well, maybe brain scans... But it would still be difficult to tell if the person's brain were stimulated by different things than other people. Although certainly better than assuming that if it's not being communicated, it's not happening...



lucky0979
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19 Dec 2009, 10:16 am

I'd imagine mental retardation is more down to simple physical appearance than anything else. :?



Callista
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19 Dec 2009, 11:10 am

Atypical neurological development often involves large changes in IQ as someone develops. IQ needs to be taken with a grain of salt... uh, make that a whole saltshaker... when you're using it in the case of atypical development.

Maggiedoll wrote:
Meadow wrote:
I don't know what you mean by slowed intellectual development. I've never heard of that before. I for one learn everything incredibly fast, and always have, but when I open my mouth to speak, many times, it gives a much different impression.

No, I meant slowed development. Like, when they measure IQ in children, it's the ratio of mental age to actual age. So if a six-year-old has the mental ability of a 9-year-old, then they have an IQ of 150. If a six-year-old has the mental ability of a 3-year-old, then they have an IQ of 50. It's just mental age over chronological age.
I'm not completely sure how they measure it in adults.. obviously a 40-year-old who is mental an 80-year-old isn't a super-genius.. LOL.
They no longer use the "mental age" variant of IQ, though that is how it was initially measured. Nowadays, they put you on a normal curve (Bell curve) with 100 in the middle of the curve and a standard deviation of 15 or so (depending on the test). If you're exactly average for your age, you get a score of 100. If you're two standard deviations behind the average for your age, you get a 70. Two ahead, and you're at 130. Most people will be within one standard deviation of 100, which is what is termed "the normal range". However, because the vast majority will score within two standard deviations (70 to 130), there aren't very many people outside of that range for norming the tests; and the higher or lower you are outside that range, the less the IQ test means. Of course, that's not the only way the overall IQ score can mean very little; there are many obstacles to getting a proper measurement (expressive/receptive language difficulty, so common among autistics, is one such obstacle), and even if you can get a valid measurement, the overall IQ score won't mean much if your subtests are scattered within a wide range.


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Last edited by Callista on 19 Dec 2009, 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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19 Dec 2009, 11:12 am

i am sorry i am not in the spirit of the thread but:

my psych(iatrist/ologist) discussed with me, the basic attributes of the "levels of intelligence" when i was young, and i remember her descriptions.

she started at "genius"
she said genius was when someone knew without any external tuition, a completely valid and correct set of realities. some of these realities may never have been seen by other people, and the genius person is a pioneer of experience that they may communicate to the rest of the world that never thought of it.

under "genius" is "gifted", and gifted people have an almost instantaneous appreciation of whatever they see or hear. they can recreate in alternative ways what they see, and they can explain their observations in a way that many people can benefit from. they are creative of solutions in a way that makes others transfixed.

under "gifted" is "superior". "superior" people are extremely efficient in thought, and they consider nothing that is not facilitative to their mental aim.
they voraciously learn all that they need to know to be very efficient in managing their thoughts and actions.

under "superior" is "bright".

"bright" people (110-120) are enthusiastic listeners, and are also very keen to learn. they are curious about things, and they are very grateful for instruction.

under "bright" is "high normal, and normal, and low normal" . they are average people who consider things mainly from a perspective of self maintenance. they seek entertainment and other products of society that they can not really contribute to. they pay for what they get.

under "low normal" is "dull". "dull" people are concerned primarily with their own desires.
if they had a chance to listen to einstein talking and they were also very hungry, they would go and eat instead. they usually relegate all the technology that they use to the "inventions of boffins" that are like aliens to them.
they have many opinions about things that affect their lives like taxes, but their protests are simple gutteral rebuttals to a circumstance, rather than a dissemination of it.

under "dull" is "moron" and that is 60-80 iq. a "moron" is in the realm of retardation, but many are never detected. they seem impulsive and ebullient sometimes, and they cut across the grain of expectation. they can garner support from others because of their "simple straight forward" thinking. their impulse however is based upon a foundation of extreme mediocrity.

mostly, "morons" have jobs like laborers or store men.
they can be expected to perform instructions adequately, but they can not formulate a successful plan of action on their own.

under "moron" is what was termed "imbecile".

"imbeciles" have an IQ of 40-60.
they can be taught repetitive tasks and can work in sheltered workshops. they remain living with their parents or in group care. they are not able to live by themselves.

"imbeciles" seem happy and even excited about things that are very mundane to people with average intelligence.
they can help with domestic duties like setting the table etc.
they still perceive reality, although only the simplest aspects of it.

under "imbecile" is "cretin" (i know "cretinism is a disease, but at that time "cretinism" was still used as a description of the second lowest level of intelligence).

"cretins" have an IQ of 30-40.
they must be managed, and they can not contribute meaningfully to any process. they can sometimes walk and eat and toilet themselves, but they can not talk in a way that is decipherable except with extreme effort (on the part of the listener). they report no observations, but just react to stimulus in physical ways.

under "cretin" is "idiot".
"idiots" are between 5-29 IQ.

idiots can not eat without help, and they can not toilet themselves, and they can not walk. they do not control the direction their eyes point in because they have no curiosity even on a crude scale.

a 29 IQ person may be able to follow your finger motion with their eyes for a small while, but if you point at something for them to look at, they will not look there no matter how much you try to tempt them.

under 20, there is no evidence of any attachment to outer reality, and they will not look at anything you thrust in their face.

i hope they are not alive inside because it would be torture to be a normal person in the brain of an idiot for life.


anyway i suspect this post will be lambasted.
it is just about what i learned and not what i judged on my own.



Callista
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19 Dec 2009, 11:15 am

Heh. Yeah, your psychologist needs to lose his license for that kind of thinking.


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b9
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19 Dec 2009, 11:34 am

Callista wrote:
Heh. Yeah, your psychologist needs to lose his license for that kind of thinking.

what kind of thinking?
(and it was a "she").

what can you tell me is incorrect about that IQ ladder description? the archaic labels?

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19 Dec 2009, 11:57 am

The archaic labels are only annoying. No, I'd say it's the universally positive descriptions of high IQ and universally negative descriptions of low IQ. There's no way your psychologist can say that and not have a horribly bigoted attitude.


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