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64 Pages

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PSYC 3850
Carol Anne Hendry

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Chapter 1Understanding Intellectual DisabilitiesHistorical Perspectives o The concept of intellectual disabilities is continually influenced by economic social and political climates of various cultures throughout historyDisciplines and Professions o Disciplinary Perspectives and ContributionsIn many ways people with intellectual disabilities are similar to the individuals without disabilitiesDuring their lifetime those with intellectual disabilities will receive a broader range of professions than those who are not disabledNo single discipline has the breadth and depth of expertise and resources necessary to fully support people who have intellectual disabilities o TerminologyThe term intellectual disabilities is an encompassing one that includes a wide range of behaviourBoth a label of fact and a label of conjectureThe orientation of a discipline affects its view of people with intellectual disabilities Physicians look for medical causes psychologists seek psychological factors etc o Contributions of Biological and Medical SciencesMedical professionals have long been involved with intellectual disabilitiesAdvances in medical research have had a dramatic impact in several areas related to intellectual disabilitiesAdvances in genetics have opened avenues that will allow professionals to prevent many forms of intellectual disabilitiesAt present some forms of intellectual disabilities are preventable before conception Psychiatry has a lengthy history of dealing with intellectual disabilities o Contributions of the Behavioural SciencesEach field has generally operated independently and within the confines of its own terminology and parametersPsychology has been the behavioural science most directly involved in the scientific study of intellectual disabilitiesThree important psychological contributionsIntelligence theory and testingLearning theory researchInterpersonal social aspects Anthropology is a discipline that has not been broadly involved in intellectual disabilities but one that may make substantial contributions in an interdisciplinary effortThe law has been an important force in the area of intellectual disabilities o Contributions of EducationEducation has been integrally involved with the challenges associated with intellectual disabilitiesThe contributions of education in aiding the understanding of intellectual disabilities has been toIdentify needsStimulate research and theoryCoordinate and deliver instruction and related servicesThe measurement of intelligence has been influenced largely by educational needs rather than by the interests of the discipline o Disciplinary CollaborationTo better support individuals with intellectual disabilities professionals must coordinate efforts and involve the familyThe different professions are making progress towards bridging the gap among their perspectivesThe acquisition of enough information to understand another perspective broadens professional viewpoints and focuses effort on the person needing servicesSimilar cooperative efforts are essential in state services and political arenasImplementing the principle of inclusion for all children with disabilities involves placing a significant number of such children in general educational classroomsConcepts Definitions and Classification o Intellectual Disabilities As A ConceptThe concept is made more complex because the varying professions that deal with it hold widely divergent viewpointsIntellectual disabilities always implies a reduced level of intellectual capacity and the concept of intelligence has played a central but variable role in defining intellectual disabilitiesPart of the difficulty in defining intellectual disabilities relates to the notion of performance and measurement of intelligenceThe central focusthe individual with the intellectual disabilityis in danger of being ignoredHuman development is an excellent framework for examining intellectual disabilities o Intellectual Disabilities A Definition in TransitionThe definition of intellectual disabilities is currently in a transition periodThe AAMR 2002 definition of intellectual disabilities states thatMental retardation is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behaviour as expressed in conceptual social and practical adaptive skills This disability originates before age 18Add to this definition 5 essential assumption that are key in applying the definitionAssumption 1 Limitations in present functioning must be considered within the context of community environments typical of the individuals age peers and cultureAssumption 2 Valid assessment considers cultural and linguistic diversity as well as differences in communication sensory motor and behavioural factorsAssumption 3 Within an individual limitations often coexist with strengths Assumption 4 An important purpose of describing limitations is to develop a profile of needed supportsAssumption 5 With appropriate personalized supports over a sustained period the life functioning of the person with mental retardation generally will improveThe measurement of adaptive behaviour has always been a challenge not achieving the desired precision despite significant and continuing research effortsOne perspective of a person with intellectual disabilities is a person who relies on some protection and support from the family or communityTwo factors come into play o The deficits or level of functioning of the individual with intellectual disabilities o The threshold of community tolerance o Incidence and PrevalenceTwo terms frequently have been confused in the field of intellectual disabilitiesincidence and prevalenceIncidence refers to the number of new cases identified during a given time period often 1 yearPrevalence refers to all cases existing at a given time including both newly identified cases and cases still labeled as having intellectual disabilities from some earlier diagnosisIt is important to distinguish between incidence and prevalence and to consider other factors such as socioeconomic status SES severity and age when determining how frequently intellectual disabilities occurThose with a more mild disability represent by far the largest proportion of the intellectual disabilities populationFor intensity levels of supports are outlined in the following mannerIntermittentthe supports are provided as needed which is characteristically periodic and for short durationLimitedSupports are provided more consistently but they are not typically intenseExtensiveregular assistance perhaps daily is provided in some environments such as work and is not limitedPervasivesupports are of high intensity constant and needed across environments and may be life sustaining in natureResearch has indicated that the incidences of intellectual disabilities is highest during the school years 5 to 18 yearsThe prevalence of intellectual disabilities also varies a great deal as a function of ageIntellectual disabilities prevalence also varies across different levels of Socioeconomic status o ClassificationBefore the 1990s the AAMR classification focused primarily on two major parametersSeverity of the disability Causation or etiologyFour degrees of severity are employed with a fifth category reflecting situations in which the persons intelligence is untestableMild intellectual disabilitiesModerate intellectual disabilities
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