The field of mental retardation is quite broad, and the full range of disorders, treatment, and related diagnostic issues (e.g., assessment) cannot be realistically addressed within the confines of a single article. We have endeavored, however, to address many of the key issues inherent in this field, with a particular focus on historical foundations, definitional issues, etiological factors, and considerations such as comorbidity and treatment approaches. We also devoted significant discussion to several specific disorders, and it is believed that much of the future work in this field should address more homogeneous groupings of individuals with mental retardation. It is likely that this approach will be more informative for educators, clinicians, therapists, caseworkers, employers, and families. Even with its rich clinical and research history, this field holds great promise for future scientific advancement and improved clinical practice.
See Also the Following Articles
AUTISM • BRAIN DEVELOPMENT • CEREBRAL PALSY • INTELLIGENCE • LANGUAGE AND LEXICAL PROCESSING
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Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.