What is mild mental retardation?

Mental retardation is a disorder in which a person's intellectual development and function are below average; Mild mental retardation means that the effects of this disorder are less severe than the average case. For example, a person with mild mental retardation may have the same symptoms as someone diagnosed with mental retardation, but her symptoms may be less noticeable or affect her life in less obvious ways. He could also function at a higher level than someone with moderate or severe mental retardation.

An individual diagnosed with mild mental retardation has below average intellectual ability and function. In general, however, their intellectual function is still better than that of a moderately or severely retarded person. In most cases, people diagnosed with mild mental retardation are able to perform self-care tasks and become self-sufficient as adults. Although their academic skills may be impaired, people with mental retardation can usually develop academic skills up to sixth grade.

It may be easier to understand the differences between mild, moderate, and severe retardation by considering the intelligence quotients (IQs) of each. An individual with severe mental retardation might have an IQ between 20 and 35. If someone is moderately retarded, they might have an IQ that ranges from 36 to 51. However, a person with mild mental retardation is likely to have a Highest IQ: In many cases, a person who fits this description has an IQ of about 52 to 69.

Symptoms of mild mental retardation usually include learning difficulties. For example, a person with this diagnosis might have a harder time acquiring academic skills, or might learn at a significantly slower rate. Typically, a person who falls into this category can successfully complete academic levels up to the sixth grade, although this may take many years.

Compared to a person with moderate or severe retardation, a person with mild mental retardation generally has a much easier time communicating and developing social skills. You may experience impaired motor skill development, but often this symptom is mild. In many cases, the symptoms of mild retardation are subtle enough to go unnoticed for many years.

Fortunately, having mild mental retardation does not mean that a person cannot live a fulfilling and productive life. With help, a person who fits this description can usually develop the skills he needs to live independently as an adult. This includes having a job and her own residence.

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