Mental retardation in children: the gift that we have to understand and accept

retarded child

Starting a conversation about mental retarded children, I want to place special emphasis on the words of the great pathologists of Lev Vygotsky, who proposed «to find that healthy, intact, high-quality that is each mentally retarded child, and on this basis to carry out correctional and pedagogical work.» After all, each person given by God certain abilities that you need to find and develop.

So, mental retardation relates to mental abnormalities in the child’s development. This notion implies an organic lesion of the Central nervous system, in which there is a decrease in cognitive activity. Mental retardation does not mean literally that the person is a little crazy, just a mentality develops differently, personality is different. Significant deviations are observed in intelligence, physical development, behavior, the possession of emotions and will.

Characteristics of children with mental retardation

The main signs of a retarded child are:

  1. Cognitive activity low so he does not want to know anything.
  2. Poorly developed motor skills.
  3. Observed underdevelopment of all types of speech wrong pronunciation of words, the impossibility of constructing sentences, poor vocabulary, etc.
  4. Slow thought processes, and often their absence. As a result, the child is not formed abstract thinking, he can not afford to perform a logical operation generalization holds only elementary.
  5. Productive activity is imitation, because all of the game is elementary. Preference for easy work, as the efforts may be missing.
  6. The emotional-volitional sphere infantile, subject to extreme mood changes without any reason. Anxiety is quite high or conversely, low.
  7. In the perception of the world, there are considerable difficulties, due to the fact that these children are unable to identify the main, do not understand the process of composing a whole from parts that are placed inside. It is difficult to imagine. Therefore, they are poorly oriented in space.
  8. Concentration continued, switching to other objects, and the operation delayed.
  9. Memory random. More focused on the external features of the subject, than on the inside.

Mental retardation and dementia form of the disease

At the time of onset of mental retardation define two forms of the disease:

  • mental retardation;
  • dementia.

Mental retardation is a lesion of the cerebral cortex in the prenatal, Natal and postnatal (only up to 3 years of age) periods, which occurs in mental or intellectual underdevelopment.

Unlike physical defects mental disabilities such as mental retardation, to identify the child at an early age is difficult. Signs of the disease begin to manifest in the process of further development of the baby.

Causes of mental retardation are:

  • transferred by the mother to infectious diseases during pregnancy;
  • asphyxia (birth trauma);
  • mental retardation of the parents or at least one of them;
  • blood incompatibility of RH factor of the child and the mother;
  • the use of parents, alcohol, drugs.

Dementia organic brain damage as the result of illness or injury after a period of normal development of the CNS. The child’s impaired memory, attention, skadet emotions, disturbed behaviors.

Causes of dementia are:

  • brain injury;
  • schizophrenia;
  • meningitis;
  • epilepsy, etc

The degree of mental retardation: idiots, Imbeciles, debility

Mental retardation is classified not only according to the time of the manifestation, but the depth of the lesion. Also of importance and place of brain damage. Therefore, the degree of mental retardation, according to many scientists, is affected by:


On this basis, there are degrees of mental disability:

  • idiocy;
  • imbecility;
  • debility.

Idiocy: characteristics of the disease

Idiocy is a heavy (deep) form of mental retardation. These children are unable to comprehend the world around us. Speech function is very limited.

These children have abnormal:

  • coordination of movements;
  • motor;
  • behavior;
  • emotions.

They desire only the satisfaction of their physiological needs. These children are unteachable. The main task is to teach them basic self-help skills. The behavior of such children is observed lethargy, confusion, sometimes it is possible restlessness. Idiocy is of 3 types:

  • full (lying deep) idiots;
  • typical idiots;
  • language idiots.

Have profound idiots are completely absent sensation. They resemble animal behavior: shouting, jumping, give an inappropriate response to any stimuli. To take care of themselves can not.

Typical idiots in contrast to the deep instincts are expressed. To meet their physiological needs, make the individual sounds. But we have not developed.

Language idiots react to the world. Can pronounce some words. But cognitive activity there is no. Learn to walk very late. While the movement is uncertain, coordination is low, there are compulsive movements in the form of swinging of the torso.

Stay children (with parental consent) is possible in special orphanages.

Imbecility: main features and possible measures

The imbecile – moderate degree of mental retardation.

Children with this diagnosis:

  • understand the request to his speech;
  • can possess certain simple labor skills;
  • can repeat the automatic action after a lengthy study;
  • have a relatively well-developed speech.

While they have a delicate attention, there are significant disturbances in the behavioral sphere. These children almost no learning. They care about the results of their work, because they don’t understand what is its meaning. Very attached to people who raise them.

Such children can be taught:

  1. To behave correctly.
  2. Elementary all possible labor actions.
  3. Self to the best of their capabilities.
  4. Orientation in everyday life.

Great attention must be paid to development in children of such mental functions as well as educational activities to the extent possible. So remedial classes – the Foundation of their learning, where some children master the basic skills of reading, numeracy and writing, knowledge of self and the surrounding world. Studying these children (with parental consent) in special orphanages. Are incapable.

Debility: types, characteristics, possible correction

Debility is mild mental retardation. Children with this diagnosis are characterized by:

  • specific visual-figurative thinking;
  • observation;
  • stubborn;
  • inability to deceive;
  • a well-developed phrase speech.

With this poor vocabulary, writing, and fine motor skills, broken, poorly oriented in space, do not always understand on the clock, the mental processes suspended, perform only such acts, the emotional-volitional sphere of the poor.

Debility is:

  • uncomplicated;
  • complicated disorders of different analyzers;
  • complicated by violations of neurodynamics;
  • with severe frontal failure;
  • with psychopathic behaviors.

Uncomplicated debility is characterized by the fact that the emotional-volitional sphere almost saved. There is only a reduced level of cognitive activity.

Debility complicated with disorders of various analyzers, accompanied by the fact that the main defect of the secondary deviations in the form of reduced vision, hearing or speech impairments.

Debility complicated by violations of neurodynamics, accompanied by poor coordination, rapid fatigue, as it struck the bark of the hemispheres of the brain.

Debility, which has a frontal lobe deficiency, characterized by weakness of the hands, bad orientation in space, unmotivated behavior. Speech is formulaic, repetitive.

The most severe debility is complicated psychopathic forms. These children are very irritable, restless, whiny, fussy, can’t learn to play with other children, is aggressive, no self-control. In this case, there is underdevelopment of the individual as such.

Children with this diagnosis, as debility, in school in a special program. The main objective is:

  • learning to read, write, count;
  • increasing knowledge about the world;
  • training perform basic work activities;
  • conducting remedial classes, which are designed to develop their cognitive interests, intellectual capacities, respectively.

The education of children with mental retardation

Uncomplicated debility

The child quietly takes possession of the software at a special school (General not), efficient, adaptable socially. In a comfortable environment, always good-natured, balanced nervous processes, emotional and volitional stored.

Debility complicated with disorders of various analyzers

Development of the child is hindered due to mental retardation, and secondary defect. Social and labor adaptation is very limited. Life prospects little.

A retard with severe frontal failure

Children, as a rule, listless, helpless, inactive, do not like to work. They observed impaired motor skills. It verbose, but vapid. The development of cognitive processes is very slow.

Debility with psychopathic behavior

Such children of the emotional-volitional sphere are not stable. Personal components are underdeveloped. Subject to constant unpredictable action. Such children tend to run away.

The education of children with mental retardation

The upbringing of children due to certain difficulties. But the main thing in their life is not the amount of knowledge they must master. On the foreground there are absolutely other values. They need warmth, love and understanding of their loved ones. Growing up in a comfortable environment, they can learn certain skills that will fulfill with pleasure. People who for a lifetime will remain good if he is not able to lie to children. They are good helpers on the farm and the house. They are easy to teach needlework, which they will perform with great pleasure. Systematically spending time with them in conversations, talking and reading informative books, watching TV shows, they will continue to develop and not to degrade.

Of course, children who have a deep and a moderate degree of mental retardation, no training can not be. But they also feel love. These kids love when you play with them, read them books, listen to music, do. They understand everything, but in their own way.

Clearly, the parents in the upbringing of such child cannot cope. They need the assistance of a speech pathologist who will explain the characteristics of the child, will help parents to understand the process of child development, will be able to establish a difficult family relationship.

An important role at the initial stage plays a correction of the psychological state of the mother, which should be for a child to all. It depends on the future of the baby: calm, comfortable, interesting and carefree. A specialist will help you in this matter, and then demonstrate the methods and techniques of working with children.

Over time, parents will be able to be not only passive observers, but active participants in the educational process. They themselves will come up with activities that their child will be informative and useful.

Returning to the words of the scholar L. Vygotsky, I want to remind you that you need to find in mentally retarded children that are brought, and develop it as much as possible.

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