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September 1964

Mental Retardation and Abnormal Human Development

Author Affiliations


Am J Dis Child. 1964;108(3):326-328. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02090010328020

There are two features of the Panel report about which I wish to speak. One aspect is a matter of definition of terms, which has far reaching implications. The other is the practical operational consideration of how to get an important job done well, quickly.

First, there seems to be continuing confusion over the relationship between mental retardation and abnormal human development. Stated as clearly as possible, it is my view that mental retardation is simply one form of abnormal human development. It is obviously not the only form of abnormal human development, but it is certainly an important one in terms of frequency in the population and resistance to present forms of therapy. In fact, we do not know the specific cause of mental retardation in roughly 80% of those youngsters institutionalized in high quality residential facilities. The causes which are known range from genetically controlled molecular diseases to

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