What are the Causes of Mental Retardation?

Heredity is one of the causes of mental retardation. The mental retardation factor of parents also affects the generation.

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Nutritional Deficiency

Severe nutritional deficiency in the mother during pregnancy also brings mental retardation.


Factors Operative at the Time of Conception

Mental retardation may be caused by some defective genes in the chromosomes of one or both parents at the time of fertilization.

Factors Operative inside the Womb of Mother

Abnormal, emotional and mental conditions of the mother during pregnancy, her severe illness and chronic infections, and the deficiencies bring mental deficiency.


Abnormal Conditions of Delivery

It is possible that at the time of delivery, due to use of some mechanical instruments child may receive head injuries. Such head injuries often cause mental retardation.

Premature Separation of Placenta

Premature delivery also an important reason of mental retardation


Glandular Disturbances in Child

Glandular disturbances in child-unbalances the growth and make them mentally retarded.

Education for Mentally Retarded Children

It is our duty to rehabitated these mentally retarded children and to make them self-sufficient on the following grounds:

Social Grounds

In order to make mentally retarded children the useful and the self-sufficient citizens of the society education should be imparted to them.

Democratic Grounds

India is democratic country and justice demands that a democratic government has to look to the needs of each section of the population.

Humanitarian Grounds

On humanitarian grounds education must be given to unfortunate mentally retarded children in order to make their life worth living. They have adjustment problems with family, school, society and themselves. Educational programmes for mentally retarded children are as follows:

Educate Parents

Most mentally retarded children remain at home. This is because the parents fail to understand their children. For this, parents have to develop right and positive attitudes towards bringing up their mentally retarded children.


When it is suspected that a certain child is mentally retarded we should get him medically checked up for physical, sensory and neurological defects and follow the advice of the doctor regarding those defects or malnutrition.

The degree of mental retardation should be got ascertained from the child guidance. This knowledge will determine to a greater extent the kind and degree of his rehabilitation possibilities.

Help in Understanding the Child

Parents must accept the fact that their child is mentally retarded. They need to face the problem courageously and with determination rather than blame or curse their fate. The child needs a sense of basic security and he can have it only through genuine acceptance and affection.

Parents should realize that the mentally retarded child may not reach the standards of a normal child according to his limited Capacities. Besides this, parents need not worry about what the neighbor say.

Parents Attitude

In providing love and affection to the mentally a child the parents should not amount to over-protection or indulgence. They need to be sympathetic but firm and consistent in their disciplinary demands.

Often parents forget that such a child learns and develops at his own pace and that he is a slow learner. It is therefore no use comparing his achievements with those of other children who are normal.

Provide Opportunity for Work

The mentally retarded child can he encouraged to do various household works as washing the clothes, doing the house decoration, cooking, sewing, cutting, needlework, knitting or looking after domestic pets. He should be praised for his accomplishment whatever it may be. This will give him a sense of achievement.

To increase his vocabulary and his power of observation and reproduction to be improved, he should be given ample opportunities of seeing things, places and persons such as shops, playground, post office, exhibitions, films, dramas, dances and historical buildings.

Individual Attention

Teacher should play individual attention to the child and take him in confidence. Individual attention is possible only if the size of class is small.

Special Schools and Clinics mentally handicapped children must be taught in special schools or they should be kept in mental hospital or clinic. There should be specially trained teachers or psychiatrists for such children.

Teacher’s Attitude

Teacher should have sympathetic and affectionate attitude. They should teach from the point of view of handicapped children and put their best to bring out the maximum out of these children. They should help them to make maximum adjustment. They should not expect too much from them.

Special Time Table

Time table should be flexible. The duration of period should be short. Time table should be constructed keeping in view the needs of mentally retarded pupils. There should be provision for more rest periods.

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