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Reflections on Mental Retardation and Cerebral Palsy

Am J Dis Child. 1966;112(4):375-376. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1966.02090130149015.
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IDEALLY, the aim of our therapeutic and management programs for those with cerebral palsy should be as close an approximation as possible of an independent social and industrial integration at maturity into the community. Unfortunately, an acceptable level of success regarding this goal is frequently not achieved, even in the presence of professional interests and skills and the availability of necessary facilities. Most often it is the presence of a severe degree of motor disability that makes it impossible. However, too often, even when the motor handicap is not a crucial factor, the presence of associated handicaps secondary to the basic cerebral abnormality militates against successful integration. These include sensory disorders, especially hearing and vision, perceptive defects, convulsive disorders, language disabilities, personality defects, and mental retardation. It is to the latter that I will confine this discussion.

Mental retardation, like cerebral palsy, is a graded handicap. It varies from the


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