Moderate mental retardation: characteristics and treatments

Moderate mental retardation is when the person has an intelligence quotient (IQ) between 35 and 55. Thus, affected people are more slow to learn to speak or sit, but if they receive adequate treatment and support, they can live with some independence.

However, the intensity and type of support must be established individually, because sometimes it may just take a little help, so that you can be integrated and be independent in your basic daily activities, such as being able to communicate, for example.

Signs, symptoms and characteristics

To identify moderate mental retardation, IQ tests should be performed after 5 years of age, which should be guided by the neurologist and have difficulty in at least 2 of the following areas:

  • communication, self-care, social / interpersonal skills,
  • self-orientation, school performance, work, leisure, health and safety.

IQ is considered normal above 85, being characterized as mental retardation when it is below 70. When the child or baby shows these signs but has not yet reached 5 years of age, it must be said that he has a developmental delay , but that does not mean that all children with delayed psychomotor development have some degree of mental retardation.

What causes

The causes of moderate mental retardation cannot always be identified, but they can be related to:

  • Genetic changes, such as Down syndrome or spina bifida;
  • Due to some congenital disease;
  • Use of drugs, medication or alcohol abuse during your pregnancy;
  • Infection in the central nervous system;
  • Cerebral malformation;
  • Lack of cerebral oxygenation during delivery or
  • Head trauma, for example.

Thus, it can be concluded that mental retardation cannot be avoided, especially since it may arise due to some genetic alteration. But having a planned, healthy pregnancy and good care during childbirth can decrease the risk of illness, abuse, trauma, and consequently decrease the risk of a woman having a child with this condition.

Treatments for Moderate Mental Retardation

Mental retardation has no cure, but treatment can be done to improve symptoms, the quality of life of the person and family, and bring some independence in performing tasks such as self-care, such as bathing, going to the bathroom , brush your teeth and eat, for example. Thus, it is indicated:

1. Psychomotricity

Treatment with psychomotricity sessions, where exercises and therapies are performed to help the child's motor and brain development.

2. Medicines

The pediatrician can prescribe medications that can help decrease hyperactivity and autism, if necessary. Often the affected person also has epileptic seizures, which can be circumvented with the medications indicated by the doctor.

3. Other therapies

Self-aggressive behavior is very common in children and adolescents with mental retardation, so parents can observe that the child beats himself when he is in pain, but even if he has no pain, he can hit his head with his hands when he wants something that you can't express. Thus, occupational therapy and psychomotor physiotherapy can also help to improve communication with the child by reducing these aggressive episodes.

Children with moderate mental retardation cannot study in a regular school, special education is recommended, but they hardly master reading, writing and mathematical calculations, but they can benefit from the relationship with the appropriate teacher and other children in the classroom.