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FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR MENTAL RETARDATION AMONG PERSONS WHO ARE MENTALLY RETARDED IN SPECIAL SCHOOL IN AKWA IBOM STATE
1.1 Background of Study
Mental retardation is a common problem all over the world, through history mental retardation has attracted a lot of attention some of it negative. (Awa 2000), the early Chinese, Romans, Greeks, Babylonian and Hebrews, unable to understand the condition, attributed it is Demonic influences and subjected the mentally retarded to harsh treatment such as flogging, starving etc. These were done in a bid to punish the demon within and to cure the patient. It was not until the 18th century that there was a change in attitude toward the mentally retarded and the first attempt was by Jean Marc Itard, to educate a mentally retarded, (Adu 2002).
The 20th Century brought with it a rapid increase in the education of mentally retarded in the developed countries and some developing countries of the world. This increase was due to the economic, political, religions, technological and educational advancement of the 19th and 20th centuries, while various historical commentaries provide a composite picture of the various types of treatment and the education of the mentally retarded from ancient to modern time, these account do not however, provide any concept of mental retardation (Stephen 2004).
However, Alade (1999) retardation is a term used to describe a general of under-functioning of the individual, resulting from mental under development mental retardation is therefore a permanent condition in which the intelligent is impaired to some degree from mildly to profoundly. Akapn (2005). Mental retardation cannot culturally or medically cure but training can improve the level at which the child function mental child is seen in every way, no nation without mentally retarded person. They exist side-by-side with the normal person.
Eqwurube (1999), it is an established fact that the society as a mixture of variations of people such as rich, poor, fast, slow etc. consequently, each category of people in the society has a unique needs to be taken care of and function the mental retarded person have their expectation from the society as they have what they canoffer the society as well. Alade (1999) states that education has ever been appreciated as an important medium of developing young members of the society irrespective of the category he belong but the mentally retarded are often neglected when it comes to their education, based on the erroneous belief that they cannot learn.
American Association of Mental Deficiency (1997), mentally retarded are the people who have significant general sub-average intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviour and manifested during developmental period. It caring for the mental retarded therefore, need assessment and proper diagnose the child’s condition for the purpose of screening programmed planning, programmed evaluation, evaluations of the individual progress and placement are essential, (Hardman Drew and Logan 2001).
Abuna (2002) the features of mental retardation are hyperactive; the mental children are restless and unable to seat still for a period of time, they are hypo-activity by focusing attention persistently on one particular object and seems to be unable to break the focused attention, they lack also motivation because nothing seems to interest them. They also how short attention span. They cannot live longer due to the condition problem and they are hyperdistractively, some mental retarded children are easily distracted from whatever task they are given. They lack coordination as a result of brain injury, and they have perceptual disorder in-term of viewing things, mental retarded children are aggressiveness, the reason is that they are easily irritated and they are also slow conceptual disorder as a result of unable to organized materials in a normal manner.
Ozoji (2001), mental retardation are classified into three categories which are traditional classification, classification by degree and educational classification. In traditional classification are “idiot” that is severely retarded child, the imbecile that is moderately retarded child, and moron which is mildly retarded child. The classificiation by degree are mild (equivalent to moron) moderate (equivalent to imbecile) and severe (equivalent to idiot), while the educational classification are Educable Mental Retarded (EMR), the Trainable Mental Retarded (TMR) and the Totally Dependent Mentally Retarded (TDMR).