"This is an outstanding collection of essays which address the profound question of what the construct of ‘‘intellectual disability’’ means….the Editors’ judicious selection of eminent contributors has ensured that the various essays do not engage in polemical debate;rather, each one seriously addresses an important aspect of the question at issue.
Trevor R. Parmenter, University of Sydney for the Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, June 2008
This must-read effort is one of the finest books I’ve read during my own half century of effort to properly define mental retardation." Edward Zigler, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Yale University
“Switzky and Greenspan have marshaled an outstanding group of scholars, clinicians, and advocates and invited them to attack this question from all sides. The result should be required reading for anyone interested in the science and practice associated with this evolving disability.” Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, University of Kansas
“This book should be on every provider’s, advocate’s, and policymaker’s shelf. I highly recommend adding this volume to your personal collection of resource materials.” Steve Eidelman, Professor, University of Delaware (Former Executive Director of The Arc of the United States)
What is Mental Retardation? is a rare peek into the divergent—and at times contentious—points of view among world’s leading researchers on what the condition of mental retardation is and how it should be defined, measured, and implemented in the 21st century. This is not a scientific manual with the definition of mental retardation. Rather, it is a candid and insightful collection of essays from experts on issues ranging from whether mental retardation really is a slowing of mental development and what the disability should be called, to how cultural norms affect the definition of the condition worldwide.
Students, researchers, teachers, and practitioners—nowhere else will you find a forum as passionate and engaging as with this group of dedicated professionals, really concerned about the welfare of persons with intellectual disabilities.
The definitions of mental retardation published from 1921-2002 by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Formerly AAMR), the world’s oldest organization of intellectual disability professionals, provide the backdrop for this powerful discussion. What is Mental Retardation? was spurred by the 1992 and 2002 AAMR definitions of mental retardation, seen by many as a somewhat controversial shift to a supports-based definition of mental retardation. This definition system was the first to dramatically view mental retardation as a condition that can be enhanced by the provision of supports as opposed to a static, lifelong disability.
What is Mental Retardation? represents a diverse cross section of views—from pure researchers discussing the prevalence of anti-science dogma to special education teachers explaining why a “learning disability” label works better in schools. Whichever side of the debate you are on, What is Mental Retardation? promises to be an engaging and truly educational read for anyone concerned with the condition of mental retardation.
CONTRIBUTORS vii DEDICATION ix FOREWORD Mental Retardation Is a Functional Model xi FOREWORD What Is Mental Retardation? xiii FOREWORD Broader Perspectives on Mental Retardation xv PREFACE xxi PART I The Concept of Mental Retardation: Critical Issues 2005 1 CHAPTER 1 Forty-Four Years of AAMR Manuals 3 CHAPTER 2 On the 2002 AAMR Definition of Mental Retardation 29 CHAPTER 3 An Update on Label and Definitional Asynchrony: The Missing Mental and Retardation in Mental Retardation 39 CHAPTER 4 Quo Vadis Mental Retardation? Definition by Aggregation versus the Hope for Individual Futures 49 CHAPTER 5 On Being Labeled with Mental Retardation 59 CHAPTER 6 How We Eradicated Familial (Hereditary) Mental Retardation—Updated 79 PART II The 2002 AAMR System and Its Critics and Supporters 91 CHAPTER 7 Mental Retardation: Confusing Sentiment with Science 93 CHAPTER 8 Neighbors and Friends: Social Implications of Intellectual Disability 125 CHAPTER 9 Look Before You Leap: Implications of the 1992 and 2002 Definitions of Mental Retardation 133 PART III Emerging Models and Definitions of Mental Retardation 145 CHAPTER 10 Defining and Assessing Spirituality and Spiritual Supports: Moving from Benediction to Invocation 149 CHAPTER 11 Mental Retardation in the Real World: Why the AAMR Definition Is Not There Yet 165 CHAPTER 12 Ten Years Later: Two AAMR Tales of a Condition 185 CHAPTER 13 Children with Mild Mental Retardation: A Challenge for Classification Practices—Revised 195 CHAPTER 14 Adaptation, Remission, and Growth: Conceptual Challenges to the Definition of Mental Retardation—Medical Implications and Applications 219 CHAPTER 15 Scientific and Judgmental Issues Involved in Defining Mental Retardation 229 CHAPTER 16 The Concept and Classification of Mental Retardation 245 CHAPTER 17 The Importance of Cognitive-Motivational Variables in Understanding Mental Retardation in the 21st Century 265 CHAPTER 18 Lessons from the Atkins Decision for the Next AAMR Manual 281 CHAPTER 19 The Relationship Between the WHO-ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health) and the AAMR 2002 System 301 CHAPTER 20 Focusing Comprehensive Functional Assessment: A Case Formulation of Dual Diagnosis Treatment Priorities Using ICF (ICIDH-2) 323 CHAPTER 21 Summary and Conclusions: Can So Many Diverse Ideas Be Integrated? Multiparadigmatic Models of Understanding Mental Retardation in the 21st Century 339