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PSYC 3850 (8)
Lecture

Chapter 1-2.docx

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 3850
Professor
Carol Anne Hendry

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Chapter 1- Understanding Intellectual Disabilities Historical Perspectives  Before 1800, having an intellectual disability was not an urgent problem because those with more severe disabilities were either killed or died of natural causes at an early age  Earliest written reference to intellectual disabilities was in 1552 B.C., in a time where severe head injuries were not uncommon (= abnormal behaviour)  Evidence that some surgical procedures were conducted on these skulls to “free” the evil spirits causing these behaviours  Primitive tribes viewed those with disabilities as an economic drain, as they consumed food/water but did not contribute  In the 6 century political authority determined that cripples should be helped, and distinguished between mental illness and intellecthal disparities  Early 20 century reproductive sterilization debate began; fear of disabilities promoted support for methods that would “control it” (sterilization and isolation) Disciplines and Professions  Disciplinary perspectives and contributions o People with intellectual disabilities are similar to those without in their need for love, independence, support and respect o Benefit to a greater degree from services like medicine, education, psychology, etc  Terminology o Characterization of intellectual disabilities has moved from a genetically determines and incurable condition to a more fluid conceptualization which includes biomedical causes as well as environmental and social o Only 20% of intellectual disabilities is caused by biomedical factors and incidence of milder forms of intellectual disabilities is much higher for people of low SES (support for environmental influence)  Contributions of biological and medical sciences o A physician is frequently the first professional to identify, diagnose and counsel parents of children with intellectual disabilities o Medical research is another important area, and as a result it has not become possible to implement procedures that prevent some forms of intellectual disabilities (ex: phenylketonuria) o Advances in genetics have allowed prospective parents who may be carriers of defective genes to undergo genetic screening and receive counseling regarding the likelihood of having a child with the defect o Psychiatry is also involved in dealing with intellectual disabilities  Contributions of the behavioural sciences o Three important areas in which psychology has contributed are  Intelligence theory and testing  Learning theory research  Interpersonal social aspects o This is partly a result of experimental psychology o Anthropology has focused little on these disabilities, but has added information about the adaptation of disabled people to their environment (observation= qualitative data) o Sociology has viewed these disabilities from concepts of social competence and deviance o The law has also been an important force, which operates in an adversarial role  Contributions of education o The role of education in intellectual disabilities is primarily one of providing effective research-based instruction o Contributions have been to  Identify needs  Stimulate research and theory  Coordinate and deliver instruction and related services o Identifying children with intellectual disabilities was one of the earliest efforts  IQ test was first developed, then it was recognized that social factors were also important in determining a child’s present and future performance levels o Educators act as a catalyst core, stimulating the efforts of the disciplines and then using their findings  Disciplinary collaboration o Lack of interdisciplinary collaboration results in les effective service delivery o 2 factors have prompted the progress of bridging the gaps among perspective  People with intellectual disabilities being served are the ultimate beneficiaries of improved cooperation  Realization that something can actually be done to promote interdisciplinary collaboration o Cooperation is also important at the practitioner level- the contact point between the service delivery system and the person with an intellectual disability o Inclusion (placing children in general education classes) requires collaboration between general and special educations and other team members (ex: psychologists) Intellectual Disabilities as a Concept  Intellectual disabilities always implies a reduced level of intellectual capacity and the concept of intelligence has always played a central role in defining intellectual disabilities  Social competence has also been an important aspect of the definition  Intellectual disabilities are studied from so many disciplinary perspectives that this too has caused a problem for creating one single definition  The lack of an effective genera concept of intellectual disabilities has impeded the overall prepress of service delivery Intellectual Disabilities: a Definition in Transition  The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) definition: o Mental retardation is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual function and in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual, social, and adaptive skills o Add to this definition are 5 assumptions  Limitations in present functioning must be considered within the context of community environment typical of the individuals age peers and culture  Valid assessment considers cultural and linguistic diversity as well as difference in communication, sensory, motor and behavioural factors  Within an individual, limitations often coexist with strength (possess gifts as well as limitations)  Important purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supports  With appropriate personalized support over a sustained period the life functioning of the person with mental retardation generally will improve  The importance of adaptive behaviour and inclusion in the community has been evident but the measurement has been a challenge  Concerns about assessment as ethnic minorities are overrepresented among those diagnosed  Individu
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