This section of learning disabilities is concerned with a general outline of the features, epidemiology and aetiology of learning disabilities, the organization of services and, more specifically, with the psychiatric disorders affecting these people.
Many of the psychiatric problems of children with learning disabilities are similar to those of children of normal intelligence; an account of these problems is given in the section on child psychiatry.
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|Fragile X Syndrome - also termed Martin-Bell syndrome or marker X syndrome most common known cause of inherited intellectual disability.
||Tay Sachs Disease- also known as GM2 gangliosidosis or hexosaminidase A deficiency, disorder typically appear normal until the age of 3 to 6 months.
|Spina bifida - birth defect that involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings.
||Down's Syndrome - also called Trisomy 21 is a genetic disorder that occurs in approximately 1 of 800 live births.
rare metabolic disorder in which the body can't process part of a protein called phenylalanine.
disorder character, Step by Step efforts to the Children with Mental Retardation by cognitive delays.
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Epidemiology of learning disability
In 1929, in an important survey of schoolchildren in six areas of the UK, E. O. Lewis found that the total prevalence of mental retardation was 27 per 1000, and the prevalence of moderate and severe learning disability (IQ less than 50) was 3.7 per 1000. Subsequent studies in many countries have broadly confirmed these early findings. In the population aged 15-19, the prevalence of moderate and severe learning disabilities is between 3.0 and 4.0 per 1000. The prevalence of moderate and severe learning disability has changed little since the 1930s. However, incidence of severe learning disability has fallen substantially, because antenatal, natal, and neonatal care have improved. The reason that prevalence has not changed is because patients are living longer, particularly those with Down's syndrome. This change has also affected the age distribution of people with severe learning disability, so that the numbers of adults have increased (see Fryers 2000 for a review of epidemiology).
Tizard (1964) drew attention to the distinction between 'administrative' prevalence and 'true' prevalence. He defined administrative prevalence as 'the numbers for whom services would be required in a community which made provision for all who needed them'. If the true prevalence of all levels of learning disabilities (IQ less than 70) is 20-30 per 1000 of the population of all ages (Broman et al. 1987), then the administrative prevalence is about 10 per 1000 of all ages. In other words, less than half of all such people require special provision. Administrative prevalence is higher in lower socioeconomic groups and in childhood when more patients need services. It falls after the age of 16 ( Richardson 1992) because there is continuing slow intellectual development and gradual social adjustment.
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