1. What are developmental disabilities (DD)? 757 – 758
Any lost, absent, or impaired physical or mental function occurring before 22 years of age.
2. List the possible causes of DD. 757; Box 47-1, Causes of Intellectual Disabilities
Abnormal genes from parents. Drug use, problems at birth (prematurity, low birth weight, head injury, lack of O2 to the brain), childhood diseases (whooping cough, chicken pox, measles), malnutrition, and poor health care.
3. Why was the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation changed? 758, Focus on Communication.
Mental retardation is an offensive and outdated term so it was changed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2003. It was changed to improve the image of people with intellectual disabilities, reduce discrimination against them, and to reduce confusion between “mental illness” and “mental retardation.”
4. What is the Arc of the US? 758
The Arc of the United States is a national organization focused on people with intellectual and related developmental disabilities.
What are the beliefs of the Arc, regarding 758 – 759
a. Quality of life?
As adults, intellectually disabled people can function in society with some support while others need constant support in all areas of their lives. The severity of their disability will affect how poor their quality of life may be.
Children are slow to learn in school, will have a significant limit in at least one adaptive behavior, and their learning ability will be less than normal.
Some people with intellectual disabilities have life partners, others marry and have children. Some can control their sexual urges, but others cannot.
d. Basic rights of those with DD?
Develop friendships and personal relationships. Dignity and respect. Privacy and confidentiality. Freely choose associations. Decide about having and raising children. Have control over their own bodies.
5. Describe several characteristics of the following:
a. Mental Retardation 758: IQ score of about 70 or lower, slower learning rate, limited communication, social, or practical skills.
b. Down Syndrome 759: Small head, eyes that slant upward, flat face, short, wide neck, large tongue, wide, flat nose, abnormally shaped ears, short stature, poor muscle tone. People with DS tent to have heart defects and thyroid problems. They also tend to be overweight.
c. Fragile X Syndrome 760: Teenagers and adults may have long ears, faces and jaws. Joints may be loose and flexible. People with FXS have fear and anxiety in new situations. Boys are aggressive and have attention problems. Girls are shy around new people. People with FXS also have problems speaking clearly, stuttering, leaving out parts of words, and understanding voice tone and body language.
d. Autism 761; see also Box 47-2: An autistic child has problems with social skills, verbal and nonverbal communication problems, repetitive behaviors,
narrow interests, wants to be alone, no smiling or social responses, may not talk, and cannot control voice volume.
e. Cerebral Palsy 760-61: Muscle weakness or poor muscle control. Abnormal movement, posture, and coordination.
Diplegia 761: Similar body parts are affected on both sides of the body. Both arms or both legs are paralyzed. The legs are commonly involved.
Spastic 761: Uncontrolled contractions of skeletal muscles. Muscles stiffen and cannot relax. Posture, balance, and movement are affected. When arms are affected, there are problems with eating, writing, dressing, and other activities of daily living.
Athetoid 761: The person cannot control movements. They have constant, slow, weaving, or writhing motions that occur in the trunk, arms, hands, legs, and feet.
f. Spina Bifida 761-762: Vertebrae do not form properly which leaves the spinal column unprotected. Nerve damage or paralysis may occur. Bowel and bladder problems are common.
g. Hydrocephalus 763: Cerebrospinal fluid collects in the cranium causing the head to enlarge and put pressure on the brain. Intellectual disabilities and neurological damage can occur without treatment. Vision problems, seizures, and learning disabilities can occur. Often accompanies spina bifida.