- Intellectual Disability
The term mental retardation is often misunderstood and seen as derogatory. Some think that retardation is diagnosed only on the basis of below- normal intelligence (IQ), and that retarded persons are unable to learn or to care for themselves. Actually, in order to be diagnosed as mentally retarded, the person has to have both significantly low IQ and considerable problems in adapting to everyday life. However, most children who are retarded can learn a great deal, and as adults can lead at least partially independent lives. Most importantly, they can enjoy their lives just as everyone else.
(Added: Wed Jul 18 2001)