Unfortunately there are people who are born less fortunate than other’s. Some are slower
than others, and there are some who pick up. Sadly some are made fun of because of the
condition. This is when mental retardation comes into place. In my report I will be talking about
mental retardation and the different kids of mental illnesses.
Mental retardation is often thought of a disease ( Mental retardation 1 ). Disease would be the
wrong term. Mental retardation is a term for wide range or conditions ( Mental retardation 1 ).
The meaning of mental retardation depends on what society demands of the individual in learning
skills, and social responsibility ( Mental retardation 1 ).
Mental retardation is most often appeared in children under the age of 18 ( Mental retardation
). A person is considered mentally retarded if they have an intellectual functioning level below
average and significant limitations in two or more adaptive skill areas ( Mental retardation 1 ).
The IQ score for mental retardation is below 70-75. Mental retardation occurs in 2.5-3% of the
general population, and about 6-7.5 million mentally retarded individuals live in the United States
alone ( Mental retardation 1 ).
Mentally retarded children learn to walk and talk much later than the general population (
Mental retardation 1 ). The symptoms may appear at birth or later in childhood ( Mental
retardation 1 ). About 85% of the mentally retarded population is in the mildly retarded category,
their IQ score ranges to 50-75, they often can reach up to a 6th grade level ( Mental retardation 2
). They can live independently with community and social support ( Mental retardation 2 ).
About 10% of the mentally retarded population is considered moderately retarded, with the IQ
scores that range from 35-55, they also carry communication skills as a child, they function okay,
but need to be with the community in a supervised environment such as a group home ( Mental
retardation 2 ). Also about 3-4% of the mentally retarded population is severely retardation with
IQ scores of 20-25. They may be able to develop self-care and communication skills with the
support and training, and they need a high level of supervision ( Mental retardation 2 ).
People who are mentally retarded often live with family or members of the family. People with
the most severe disabilities are often given support and government financial help ( Mental
retardation ). People with mental retardation who have no relatives, the state provides and
subsidizes care through traditional institutions, state schools, special homes, and nursing homes,
programs and intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded ( Mental retardation 2 ).
Sometimes for elderly parents it becomes to difficult to care for their child, therefore that’s when
the role of siblings and other’s come into place.
A new study finds that rearrangements at the end of chromosomes represent one of the most
common cause of moderate to severe mental retardation ( DNA furnishes tips to mental
retardation 1 ). Identified DNA rearrangements often run in families, including the need for
genetic screening for children who have mental handicaps unknown of ( DNA furnishes tips to
mental retardation 1 ). A study says that changes on chromosome is often occur in children
with unexplained mental retardation ( DNA furnishes tips to mental retardation 1 ). Also
Also researchers examined chromosome ends in 284 children with moderate to severe
unexplained mental retardation ( DNA furnishes tips to mental retardation 1 ).
All living things pass on traits from one generation to the next according to a systematic set of
“Blueprints.” Egg and sperm cells, are formed to carry only one set of 23 different chromosomes
that are found in the human body ( Genetics 1 ). Characteristics can only be inherited through
genes, and chromosomes. Characteristics are a result of both heredity and environment (
Genetics 1 ). The study of heredity started in the 1800’s ( Genetics 1 ).
Many conditions that can cause severe retardation can be diagnosed during pregnancy, and
some cases treatment can lesson or sometimes prevent retardation ( Mental Retardation 2 ). The
known causes fall into two main categories, genetic and acquired conditions ( Mental Retardation
2 ). Some types of mental retardation can be prevented, sadly others cant. About 35% of cases
the cases the cause mental retardation cannot be found. Factors include inherited genes, such as
fragile x syndrome, phenyliketonuria, accidents, or mutations in genetic development such as
development of an extra chromosome 18 ( tiresomely 18 ), ( Mental Retardation 1 ).
Most factors include cigarette smoking and drug abuse during pregnancy, and fetal alcohol
syndrome, in this case it affects one in six hundred children in the United States and is caused by
excessive alcohol drinking ( Mental Retardation 2 ). Women who are over 35 are at a high risk of
having a mentally retarded child, this also goes for men, the older they get or wait to have a baby
the higher the risk is ( Decreasing the chance of birth defects 2 ). Women who eat healthy have a
less chance of her baby to be mentally retarded. Living a healthy life style can also prevent birth
One nutrient known to prevent birth defects is folic acid ( Decreasing the chance of birth
defects 2 ). Folic acid is the chemical form of foliate, which is found in green leafy vegetables,
citrus fruits, and legumes ( Decreasing the chance of birth defects 2 ). A pregnant woman who
has a serious medical condition is at greater risk of having her baby have birth defects (
Decreasing the chance of birth defects 3 ). According to March of Dimes , alcohol is the most
common known cause of fetal damage in the country and the leading cause of presentable mental
retardation ( Decreasing the chance of birth defects 3 ).
Environmental toxins such as lead are best to avoid ( Decreasing the chance of birth defects 5
). Scraping paint, drinking water from a pipe covered with lead, or drinking out of decorative
pottery containing lead can all cause lead poisoning and mental retardation in a fetus ( Decreasing
the chance of birth defects 5 ). Radiation is also dangerous. Taking a hot bath, using saunas,
over exercising in hot humid weather can rise a woman’s core temperature and have the potential
to cause birth defects in the first trimester ( Decreasing the chance of birth defects 5 ).
Dealing with people who are mentally retarded, in the court of law is not easy. Mental
retardation must not be viewed as an excuse or defense for criminal behavior ( Dealing with
offenders who are mentally retarded 1 ). Some individuals with mental retardation, may warrant
serious sanctions by the criminal justice process for their criminal behavior ( Dealing with
offenders who are mentally retarded 1 ). The officer’s may still put the offender in jail, however
not in a cell with other’s who can abuse them ( Dealing with offenders who are mentally retarded
When interviewing, officers should make sure that the offender understands their Miranda
Rights ( Dealing with offenders who are mentally retarded 3 ). Officers also need to make sure
that the suspect understands the questions asked ( Dealing with offenders who are mentally
retarded 3 ). Interviews should be well documented. By documenting interviews, officers are
able to establish the fats regarding suspects criminal actions and their understanding of their
rights ( Dealing with offenders who are mentally retarded 3 ). Also just because a person is
mentally retarded doesn’t mean they can’t stand trial.
Perske is the name of one man who’s mission is to defend people with mental disabilities, he
fills they are being railroaded by the criminal justice system ( Preserving the rights of the mentally
retarded in the criminal justciesystem 1 ). Leigh Ann Reynolds a project associate at the
National Arc calls him ” the only person that I’m aware of, who’s been tracking this problem on a
national level “). Perske has collected data on more then 100 cases of people with mental
retardation who who have been convicted of capital crimes ( Reserving The Rights of The
Mentally Retarded In The Criminal Justice System 1 ). In some of his cases the defendants have
been concocted of crimes they did not commit ( Reserving The Rights of The Mentally Retarded
In The Criminal Justice System 1 ).
Perske bottom line is did that person receive equal justice? Whether guilty or innocent, did the
system treat that person as other citizens are treated when charged with the same crime? Often
the answer appears to be no ( Preserving The Rights of The Mental Retarded In The Criminal
Justice System 1 ).
For example, a case of Richard Lapointe was convicted of the 1987 rape and murder of his
wife’s eighty eight year old grandmother ( Preserving The Rights of The Mentally Retarded In
The Criminal Justice System 1 ). Lapointe waived his Miranda rights, but Perke doubts that he
Even understood what it meant ( Preserving The Rights of The Mentally Retarded In The
Criminal Justice System 1 ). Lapoinete had Dandy walker syndrome, this is a congenital brain
malformation that affects the ability to think, as well as eyesight, hearing in both ears, and balance
( Preserving The Rights of The Mentally Retarded In The Criminal Justice System 2 ). Lapointe
concerned about what happened to his wife’s grandmother, and was friendly with the officers who
came into his work ( Preserving The Rights of The Mentally Retarded In The Criminal Justice
System 2 ).
A question is always’s asked. Why would someone confess to a crime that someone else
committed ( Preserving The Rights of The Mentally Retarded In The Criminal Justice System 3 )?
People with mental retardation are thought to trust and obey authority figures, parents, teachers,
and the police, often times mentally retarded people who are convicted of a crime say they did the
crime even thought they didn’t, they say this because they don’t understand what’s going on and
they want to make people happy, so in their mind that’s the best thing to say.
As you can see just because a person is mentally retarded and commits a crime doesn’t mean
that they are going to get off easy. Unfortunately many women have children who have mental
retardation or some sort of a disability. There isn’t much we can do but watch and offer a hand
in need. When a child is mentally retarded they are sometimes made fun of, what to do? That’s
when tons of hugs and kisses and a little love and tender care comes into place.
Mental retardation is not the only disorder. There are millions out there today. Mental
illnesses is also one of the many. Mental illnesses are complex disorders that involve the way
people think, feel and act. Mental illnesses have a devastating impact on the people who have it
and their family.
Each year one in 10 Americans experience some disability from a mental illness ( Mental
Health 1 ). Five million American adults suffer from the most severe mental illnesses,
schizophrenia, affective mood disorders, manic-depressive illness, and major depression, anxiety
disorders ( Mental Health 1 ). These are just some of the many illnesses. Some mental illnesses
are diseases that are caused by a biological imbalance and disturbance, others are entirely mental
inorgin ( Mental Health 1 ).
Mental illnesses cost more then $150 billion per year in the United States, this includes the
cost of Social Service and disability payments to patients, and lost productivity and premature
death ( Mental Health 2 ). Anyone can suffer from a mental illness at any age. Manic depressive
illness and major depression are the two most server affective mood disorders ( Mental Health 2
). Each year almost 18 million Americans 18 years old and older suffer from these affective
disorders, according to the National Insatiate of Mental Health ( 2 ).
Depression is treatable, but many people are unable to function for weeks or months because
they do not get treatment ( Mental Health 2 ). By taking medication depression improves within
weeks. By taking treatment prevents people from becoming depressed again. Women are twice
as likely to suffer from depression as men are ( Mental Health 2 ). People who are seriously
depressed are more likely than others to have a heart attack or commit suicide ( Mental Health 2 ).
Major depression is the leading cause of mental illnesses in the United States and throughout
the world ( Mental Health 2 ). Depression is a genuine p psychiatric illness that affects both mind
and body ( Mental Health 3 ). They also have persistently depressed thoughts and moods along
with trouble sleeping and eating, and decreased energy ( Mental Health 3 ).
Mental illness is sometimes difficult to diagnose ( Mental Health 5 ). Severe mental illness need
to be evaluated within the context of the patient’s personal relationships, work and family life (
Mental Health 5 ). Diagnosis also rely heavily on patient’s description on how they fell and the
experience they had ( Mental Health 5 ). There is no standard test or methods of mental illnesses
diagnosis that are accurate ( Mental Health 5 ).
Research sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health has shown that mental illness
can be defined and treated and sometimes prevented ( Mental Health 5 ). Most people with a
mental illness have to see a physician or psychiatrist. A tranquilizer is a medication for mental
illness ( Mental Health 6 ). Tranquilizers have a calming effect ( Mental Health 6 ).
Mental illness can lead to confusion and chaos around the family ( The Bind That Tie And
Heal: How Families Cope With Mental Illness 3 ). Love ones suffer many times. There is always
tension because the illness can strike at any time. Family members loss their personal, social,
spiritual and economic lives ( The Binds That Tie And Heal: How Families Cope With Mental
Illness 3 ). Exhaustion is the natural result of living in such an atmosphere ( The Binds That Tie
And Heal: How Families Cope With Mental Illness 4 ). The symptoms that the family goes
trough because of a loved one has a mental illness, can be devastating.
As you can see there are different mental illnesses, and they can all come at any time. There
are many different medications to take for them. Not only does this illness effect the person who
has it, but also of the loved ones. This is why there are many support groups out there to help
anyone or any family that needs it.
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“Gentics.” Worlf of Health. Gale Group, 2001. Reproduced in Student Ressource
Center–Health Module. Farmington Hills, Mich.. Gale Group 2000.
Gravitz, Herber. “Psychology Today” The Binds That Tie And Heal: How Families Cope With
Mental Illness March 2001. March 2001. April 4 2001
Keigher, Sharon. “Health and Social Work ” Emerging issues In Mental Retardation.
August 2000. April 4, 2001 http://www.galnet.com/Servlet/SRCHealth/
Bowker, L ” Deling with Offenders Who Are Mentally Retarded .” FBI Law Enforcement
Bulletin 1994 July : Sirs Researcher. Madera High School Lib., Madera, Ca. 4 Apr.2001
“Mental health.” Gale Group 2000. Reproduced in Student Center–Health Module.
Farmigton Hills, Mich..Gale Group 2000
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