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Mental Retardation Symptoms and DSM-IV Diagnosis

Mental Retardation Symptoms and Diagnosis Overview:

Mental retardation symptoms and diagnostic criteria follow below. While some of these mental retardation symptoms may be recognized by family, teachers, legal and medical professionals,  and others, only  properly trained mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, professional counselors etc.) can or should even attempt to make a mental health diagnosis. Many additional factors are considered in addition to the mental retardation symptoms in making proper diagnosis, including frequently medical and psychological testing consideration. This information on mental retardation symptoms and diagnostic criteria are for information purposes only and should never replace the judgement and comprehensive assessment of a trained mental health clinician.


Diagnostic criteria for Mental Retardation


A. Significantly subaverage intellectual functioning: an IQ of approximately 70 or below on an individually administered IQ test (for infants, a clinical judgment of significantly subaverage intellectual functioning).

B.    Concurrent deficits or impairments in present adaptive functioning (i.e.. the person's effectiveness in meeting the standards expected for his or her age by his or her cultural group) in at least two of the following areas: communication. self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety.

C.      The onset is before age 18 years.

Code  based on degree of severity reflecting level of intellectual impairment:


317 Mild Mental Retardation: IQ level 50-55 to approximately

318.0 Moderate Mental Retardation: IQ level 35-40 to 50-55

       318.1 Severe Mental Retardation: IQ level 20-25 to 35-40

       318.2 Profound   Mental Retardation: IQ level below 20- 25

      319 Mental Retardation, Severity Unspecified: when there is a strong presumption of Mental    Retardation but the person's intelligence is untestable by standard tests  

Also, See: Other Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence

Other Mental Health Diagnostic Symptoms and Criteria

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Mental Health Diagnosis - DSM-IV Diagnosis and Codes: Alphabetical and Psychiatric Medication Information

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