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PSYC 356 (3)
Chapter 9

PSYC 356 - Chapter 9.docx

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 356
Arlene Young

Chapter 9 - Intellectual Disability Intellectual disability appears on Axis II in the DSM-IV-TR because it is considered a stable condition rather than a clinical disorder Modern definitions take into account a person’s intellectual functioning within the context of what is typical for that individual’s peers and culture. Includes not only subaverage intellectual functioning but also a subaverage level of adaptive functioning (how effectively individuals cope with ordinary life demands and how capable they are of living independently and abiding by community standards Intelligence and Mental Retardation ● early history plagued by ignorance and blame ● intellectual disability refers to limitations in both intelligence and adaptive behaviour. Many with this disorder are capable of learning and of living fulfilling lives ● IQ has become principal standard for diagnosis (despite controversy) along with other skills and abilities Features of Intellectual Disabilities ● considerable range of abilities and interpersonal qualities ● experience limitations that involve most areas of daily living ○ most obvious difficulties: learning to communicate effectively, due to their limited speech and language skills ● diagnostic criteria: ○ significantly subaverage intellectual functioning (IQ score of approximately 70 or below) ○ concurrent deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning - ability to perform daily activities. Must also show significant limitations in at least two areas of adaptive behaviour ■ communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety ○ below-average intellectual and adaptive abilities must be event prior to age 18 ■ developmental disorder evident during childhood and adolescence ■ age criterion rules out persons who may show mental deficiencies cause by adult-onset degenerative diseases ● definition somewhat arbitrary and inaccurate ● degrees of impairment, based primarily on IQ scores: ○ mild mental retardation ○ moderate mental retardation: delays in reaching early developmental milestones. Many persons with DS function at this level ○ severe mental retardation: most have one or more organic causes. Identified at a very young age because they have substantial delays in development and visible physical features or anomalies ○ profound mental retardation: typically are identified as infants because of marked delays in development and biological anomalies. Considerable impairments in sensorimotor functioning. Require lifelong care and assistance. Many have severe co-occurring medical conditions. ● another classification system as a result of criticism is that of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). This one is based on needs for supportive services: ○ intermittent ○ limited ○ extensive ○ pervasive ● occurs more often among children in lower SES and minority groups Developmental Course and Adult Outcomes ● chromosome abnormalities are the single most common cause of severe intellectual disability ● Down syndrome (DS) most common disorder resulting from these abnormalities ● developmental-versus-difference controversy: do all children - regardless of intellectual impairments - progress through the same developmental milestones in a similar sequence but at different rates? ○ similar sequence hypothesis: differ only in their rate and upper limit of development ○ similar structure hypothesis: same behaviours and underlying processes as typically developing children at the same level of cognitive functioning ○ difference viewpoint: qualitatively different reasoning and problem-solving strategies ● development follows a largely predictable and organized course ● important differences in language development ● considerable delay in expressive language development ● significant number may have problems in developing a secure attachment because they express less emotion than other children
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