Clinical Issues: A Brief History of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Now? People of different historical eras have conceptualized disability in distinct ways, and even the way we define intellectual and developmental disability today is different from what it was 25 years ago. This article is organized into three major sections. In the first section, definitions and early conceptualizations of MR/DD are ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   October 01, 2006
Clinical Issues: A Brief History of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Now?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Krista M. Wilkinson
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Emerson College, Boston, MA
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   October 01, 2006
Clinical Issues: A Brief History of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Now?
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 2006, Vol. 13, 2-7. doi:10.1044/lle13.3.2
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 2006, Vol. 13, 2-7. doi:10.1044/lle13.3.2
People of different historical eras have conceptualized disability in distinct ways, and even the way we define intellectual and developmental disability today is different from what it was 25 years ago. This article is organized into three major sections. In the first section, definitions and early conceptualizations of MR/DD are reviewed. In the second section, influences on the perceptions of MR/DD in the last two centuries are identified. In the final section, advances affecting change for persons with MR/DD are examined.
Legally and conceptually, the term developmental disability is distinct from mental retardation. Developmental disability is currently defined through a federal law (PL 106–402, 2000) as “a severe, chronic disability of an individual, with an onset before 22 years of age, that results in substantial functional limitations in three or more areas of life activity” (ASHA, 2005a, p. 2). Mental retardation is one type of developmental disability, in which measured intellectual limitations are present. The category of “developmental disability,” therefore, includes both individuals with intellectual limitations (mental retardation) and individuals with physical or adaptive disabilities that may or may not be associated with limitations in IQ (such as cerebral palsy or autism).
First Page Preview
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview ×
View Large
Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.