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Mental retardation in children: Manifestation and treatment

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Intellectual retardation in children is always a worry of parents. The following information will help you recognize early signs of understanding and find effective treatment for your baby.

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What is mental retardation?

Mental retardation is a brain development impairment that typically occurs in children under 18 years of age. These babies often have some limitations in brain function and other abilities such as conversation, self-care, social behavior …

In addition, children also have a low IQ and often cannot control their aggressive behaviors. Therefore, the baby is easily agitated by simple situations.

Classification of diseases

Mental retardation is divided into 4 levels:

Mild intellectual retardation

  • About 80% of babies with mental retardation fall into this category.
  • A child’s IQ usually ranges from 50 to 75 and they can attend primary school.
  • Children with this disability often take a long time to learn communication skills. However, with the right education, children can completely communicate well with others.
  • Some common characteristics are that children have difficulty with writing and reading, and they are unable to make decisions.
  • When growing up, children can become independent with the support of family and community.

Moderate mental retardation

  • About 10% of children with dementia fall into this category.
  • Children’s IQ is from 35 to 55.
  • Children can perform personal tasks such as bathing, eating and going to the toilet with guidance from parents.
  • Children can learn to write, read and count the basics.
  • Children learn quite slowly but can still do some simple tasks.
  • As children grow up, they often live in community centers under supervision and supervision.

Severe mental retardation

  • About 3-5% of children with intellectual disabilities fall into this group with an IQ of 20-40.
  • Children can learn some basic skills for taking care of themselves and communication skills.
  • As children grow up, they can live in supervised group homes.

Exceptional mental retardation (very severe)

  • Only 1-2% of children with mental retardation fall into this group.
  • The child’s IQ is below 20-25.
  • Children can learn basic communication skills and self-care skills with adult support.
  • Children with nerve damage and need constant monitoring and help.

The cause to the illness

There are many causes leading to this condition, but up to 60% of them have not yet identified the cause. Here are some of the most common:


  • About 30% of children with mental retardation are hereditary.
  • In this case, abnormal anomalies are passed from a parent to the child and cause a disability.
  • Phenylketoneuria (a metabolic disorder) also causes intellectual disability.


  • Exposure to tobacco smoke also affects children later in life
  • Fetal alcohol poisoning syndrome is a common cause
  • During the first trimester of pregnancy, if pregnant women take drugs or drink alcohol, the baby can be born with this syndrome.
  • If the mother suffers from diseases such as rubella, toxoplasma infection, a disorder of the milk gland, or is infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), the fetus is at risk of falling into intelligence retardation.
  • During pregnancy, if you have high blood pressure, blood flow to your baby will be disturbed, leading to abnormal development of the fetus.
  • Some birth defects can also affect an infant’s head and central nervous system, leading to mental retardation.
  • Babies with a neural tube defect can also lead to this.

Injury or illness

  • Some childhood illnesses such as chickenpox, measles, whooping cough, and hyperthyroidism can also lead to mental retardation if not treated well.
  • Diseases associated with brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis can also damage the brain, causing mental retardation.
  • Brain injury caused by traffic accident or falling from above can also be the culprit causing mental retardation.

Environmental factors

  • During pregnancy, if you do not provide enough nutrients to the body, the fetus will not be able to develop fully, leading to intellectual defects of the back trace.
  • Children who are malnourished and do not receive adequate medical care are also at risk of this situation.
  • Overexposure to harmful chemicals such as lead or mercury also causes intellectual impairment

Expression of children with intellectual retardation

Some of the common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Children do not reach normal developmental milestones
  • Can sit, walk or crawl quite late
  • Don’t say it clearly
  • Can’t memorize
  • Can’t understand simple things
  • Can’t think logically
  • Have a hard time studying
  • Behave like a child to some even grown-up
  • Can’t decide for himself
  • Difficulty learning basic skills like dressing, going out or eating.

Children with mental retardation may also have some of the following behaviors:

  • Dependent
  • combative
  • Psychosis
  • Stubborn
  • Self-injury
  • Difficulty in social behavior
  • Can’t control yourself
  • Having trouble paying attention, concentrating
  • Unconfident
  • Passive
  • Low stamina.

Characteristics of mental retardation children

Difficulty in learning and poor cognitive function are common features of children with intellectual disabilities. These children often have poor memory, have difficulty concentrating and learn more slowly than their peers.

Poor memory

Children with intellectual disabilities often have difficulty remembering information such as names, phone numbers and small details.
Depending on the child’s developmental delay, the memory’s ability to remember will also be affected.
Children with intellectual disabilities have short-term memory and often fail to remember simple events that happened a few seconds or minutes ago.

Study slowly

Learning new skills and knowledge in children with mental retardation usually takes longer than healthy children.
Children need parental help to do everyday activities.
Parents need to repeat the instructions over and over until the child understands.

Can not concentrate

Children with mental retardation are often weak and cannot focus as much as they can.
Due to poor attention span, children cannot learn higher as they grow up.

Lack of interest

Developmental delay children often have no interest in problem solving.
Due to repeated failures, children often lose hope and dislike participating in social activities.

Treatment of mental retardation

Children with intellectual disabilities should be enrolled in special schools. This learning should begin at 3 months and there will be some early intervention at school. The content is mainly to provide children with some basic skills in life such as eating, recognizing alphabets and numbers and communication skills. Some social and extracurricular activities also help children feel more confident.

Depending on the degree to which your child can attend different programs. Children with mild symptoms may be supported to live independently and to do some simple tasks. Moderate to very severe children, meanwhile, have to live in community centers under supervision and supervision.

Parents also take some measures at home to improve this condition. You should create a friendly and cozy environment to give your child more courage and encouragement.

Problems faced by parents

Caring for and educating a child with a delay requires health and emotional strength. These children need to be given more attention to basic needs such as care, health, daily support, and educational responsibility.

Parents of children with mental retardation often experience trauma such as depression, hopelessness, and sadness.

Parents often feel exhausted because they have to work too hard to meet all the essential needs of their children. Children cannot do personal everyday tasks on their own, so parents always have to help.

Parents of a child with a delay in development also face complex problems related to their child’s learning.

Raising a child with mental retardation can be much more expensive than raising a healthy child.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.