An intellectual disability not only effects an individual’s abilities, but the label of ‘intellectual disability’ can also hurt a child, especially when using the terms ‘mental retardation’ to diagnose the student. Although intellectual disability is starting to readily replace mental retardation, there is still controversy. Here are some things to consider when labeling a child.
An intellectual disability is defined as
A broad concept encompassing various cognitive deficits, including mental retardation (MR), deficits too mild to properly qualify as MR, various specific conditions (such as specific learning disabilities), and problems acquired later in life through acquired brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. Intellectual disabilities may appear at any age.
Issues surrounding the definition and classification of students with Intellectual Disabilities:
- Look first at the individual
- Although labels are a predominantly a strong social factor, it seems that it not only hurts the children to label them, but also the words ‘mental retardation’ even intellectual disability can be harsh to parents and children
- The word ‘retarded’ is link with so many other negative things in our society making it hard for families to except this label
- Labels are needed to access not only where the child is at but also what is actually the reason for the child’s special services
- A label can help to find ways to better serve the child and better understand their development.
It is really hard to know how to appropriately address a child when you do not know the history of the child including their diagnosis, but at the same time the specific label ‘mental retardation’ seems to be the worst label in our social context because of how else those words are used.
Articles Related to ‘Intellectual Disability: Definition and Controversy of Students’