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Mental Retardation Symptoms

(Also Known As: Retardation Symptoms, Down Syndrome Symptoms, Learning Disability Symptoms, Mentally Retarded Symptoms, Borderline Mental Retardation Symptoms, Autism Mental Retardation Symptoms)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What are the Symptoms of Mental Retardation?

It would be difficult to make an assessment for mental retardation for very young children. Usually, clinicians would not provide a definitive diagnosis of mental retardation if the child is below two years old and their symptoms are not extremely severe or do not have mental conditions related to mental retardation such as Down’s syndrome 2.

Here are the symptoms of mental retardation:

  • The patient did not meet the intellectual development markers
  • The patient did not satisfy the developmental milestones such as sitting, walking, crawling, or talking, in a timely fashion.
  • The childlike behavior of the individual persists, which is exhibited in the speaking style of the individual, or they fail to understand proper social rules and consequences of their behavior.
  • The child lacks curiosity and has trouble solving problems
  • The child has difficulty recalling things.
  • The child cannot cope with the educational requirements set forth by their school

Children suffering from mental retardation have difficulty learning and adjusting to their environment. At a very young age, the child seems to be living in their own world. Skills development and developmental milestones are reached at later stages compared to normal children 3.

In addition, some children with mental retardation have abnormalities that are present at birth and shortly thereafter. On the outside, the child would appear normal but shows other serious illnesses like seizures, abnormal smell of urine, vomiting, failure to achieve normal growth and feeding. In their initial year, many children with severe mental retardation experience delay in the development of their motor skills and are slow in rolling, standing, and sitting.

Symptoms only become noticeable when the child reaches preschool period. In the case of children with severe retardation, symptoms manifest themselves at a younger age. The most noticeable symptom is delayed language development.

Moreover, they are more likely to show explosive outbursts, aggressive behavior, or temper tantrums. This can be attributed to their inability to communicate and control their impulses.

Could You Have Mental Retardation?

Mental Retardation Topics

Related Conditions

Asperger's Syndrome – restricted social interaction, repetitive behavior, non-verbal communication deficit, lacking empathy, clumsiness
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – neurobehavioral developmental disorder, inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, chronic childhood disorder
Autism – impaired social interaction, communication deficit, brain developmental disorder
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder – developmental delay in language, motor skills and social function, autism, delayed motor skills
Learning Disorders – delayed development of functional skills, difficulty in organization of thoughts, academic skill deficits
Rett's Disorder – cognitive impairment, reduced socialization skills, lack of social interest
Selective Mutism – reluctant to speak even with speech ability, anxiety, autism, Asperger’s Syndrome