PSYC 3850 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Intellectual Disability, Developmental Disability, Etiology

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PSYC 3850
CHAPTER 2
DEFINITION AND CLASSIFICATION
OF COGNITIVE INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES
Naming, Defining and Classifying
Naming
In this context, naming involves the assignment of a specific term or label to a
condition or disability. The term chosen to represent it can impact persons
perceptions and attitudes. For example, the label “mental retardation” has resulted
in teachers lowering their expectations and poor self-concept. Another issue is that
identifying a person by a label provides a narrow description in many ways
devaluing the person. Names change as perceptions and attitudes change. Use the
following questions to be considered – page 39.
Lukasson in the AAMR Manual states that mental retardation is not like having blue
eyes or a bad heart, it is a particular state of functioning that begins in childhood
and it is more specific than “developmental disability” as the level of functioning is
related to the intellectual limitation. They suggest using the following 8 questions
when considering a definition – page 40.
Schalock, has identified 6 factors that he felt have affected and continue to impact
the concept and definition of the term “mental retardation”. Among these were the
population of persons with CID’s and biochemical advances. He was able to
accurately predict that the search for new definitions will follow three paths:
- The fundamental terms, concepts and practices will continue to be
questioned
- The potential conflict between the requirements of science and the needs of
persons with CID’s will need to be resolved
- Sensitivity to disability culture and pride must be instilled and the
acceptance of a strong self-advocacy movement must continue.
Classifying
It has to do with identifying subgroups of persons within the defining group
according to certain criteria. The goal should be to provide more precision so that
persons with the same classification have similar attributes or characteristics.
William W. identified 10 categories for classification while Luckasson offered
questions related to the issues of naming. – Found of pages 41 & 42.
The current system is based on their needs of levels of support rather than their IQ
emphasized in the AAIDD.
Evolution of the Definition
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It began as early as 1500 BC in Ancient Greece and they attempted at a definition in
the 16th century (found on page 42).
19th Century
Recap of information from Chapter 1
20th Century
Attitudes were still very negative as shown by the trends of the Eugenics movement.
The predominant term used was “mental defective or mental deficiency” known as a
state of incomplete development where they are not capable of adaptive themselves
to the normal development of their fellows needing external support. Doll had
established 6 criteria – found on page 44. Do not forget about Tredgold.
AAMD/AAMR/AAIDD Definitions
Te first manual was published in 1921 followed by new editions every 10-15 years.
In 1957, a classification manual was developed based on etiology leading to the dual
classification system: medical and behavioral. Heber suggested the use of the mean
and SD of an intelligence to help determine the IQ level required for identification.
He established the IQ cut-off at one SD below average (85) and introduced what is
known as “Adaptive Behavior” referring to a persons ability to deal effectively with
personal and social demands/expectations.
Definition of mental retardation on page 45 – has stayed constant. It
establishes three characteristics of CID’s:
Intellectual deficit
Adaptive behavior deficit
Manifestation during the developmental period
He made minor changes but this wasn’t until 1973 and the decision was to lower the
IQ cut off from one SD below average to two SD below average. Those who were
previously defined did not have a CID anymore. The estimated average of persons
having a CID went down from an estimated 16% to 2%.
The next AAMR definition was published in 1977. At that time the issue of “Clinical
Judgment” was able to provide more flexibility and changed the definition from a
pure quantitative perspective. The last definition responsible by Grossman was in
1983 where there was encouragement to use IQ limits in a cautious manner. The
upper limit became intended as a guideline reemphasizing that IQ was only one
criterion for a CID and that there was no single score that could result in the
diagnosis. One noticeable change in the manual was that they acknowledged
prenatal causes.
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Document Summary

In this context, naming involves the assignment of a specific term or label to a condition or disability. The term chosen to represent it can impact persons perceptions and attitudes. For example, the label mental retardation has resulted in teachers lowering their expectations and poor self-concept. Another issue is that identifying a person by a label provides a narrow description in many ways devaluing the person. Use the following questions to be considered page 39. They suggest using the following 8 questions when considering a definition page 40. Schalock, has identified 6 factors that he felt have affected and continue to impact the concept and definition of the term mental retardation . Among these were the population of persons with cid"s and biochemical advances. He was able to accurately predict that the search for new definitions will follow three paths: The fundamental terms, concepts and practices will continue to be questioned.

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