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Old 03-31-2012, 01:44 AM
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I never heard of Autisum back in the 60's 70's 80's early 90's is Now I no longer hear of children being retardard... So I am wondering is Autisum another medical word that is now used in place of retardation?

I know this is a sensative issue and discussion. I appreciate that anyone responding also understand that I am just trying to find out if there is a difference or the same imedical issues and not be offended by my asking. thank you
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:11 AM
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
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Not the same- retardation usually means having an IQ under 70 and/ or severely deficient in cognitive functioning and adaptive behaviours. People who are autistic have normal IQs. I could imagine though that in the past, doctors didn't bother to find out what the issue really was and labelled a low functioning autistic person as retarded.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:04 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Thanks to the OP and to poster above. I have wanted to ask the same question for years.

Since the word Retarded is so politically incorrect these days don't most people use the word Autistic to cover retarded as well? You never see or hear of Retarded People anymore because it has such negative connotation but surely there are many retarded people still around. I know the word Developmentally Delayed is preferred but do you use that word for adults as well as children?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:45 AM
Location: Texas Hill Country
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The Developmentally Delayed word is applied to adults also. We are in the Autistic Spectrum (Aspergers) and my son in the6th grade does 8th grade math and reads at 12th grade level so not a low IQ by any means. Good question though.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:12 AM
Location: The Hall of Justice
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I know the word "retarded" is loaded, but for the sake of simplicity:

Autism is a type of retardation. My daughter's diagnosis is pervasive development disorder, "not otherwise specified," or PDD-NOS, which means she has widespread delay (retardation) in several areas. The "not otherwise specified" part means that her condition cannot be attributed to a specific, more defined disorder. My daughter is autistic and also retarded--all forms of autism involve some level of delay, whether in speech, social development, academic performance, or other areas.

Conversely, not all retardation is autism. For example, a child with Down Syndrome has a chromosomal abnormality that causes developmental delay. Their condition is not autism (unless the child has both).

It's like saying that all Camaros are Chevys, but not all Chevys are Camaros.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:56 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Thanks Julia. Delayed to me means slow but will eventually catch up which I don't think applies to retardation. That is why I'm surprised to know that Developmentally Delayed is applied to adults. Is there hope the adult will "catch up" with other adults? Or isn't there a set point where progress is not going to happen? Thanks for the education. These are not questions you can ask just anybody for fear of being offensive.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:29 PM
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No autism does not mean the same thing as mentally retarded used to although there are children who are dxed with autism when years ago they would have gotten a dx of mental retardation.

Autistic children have IQs from very low to very high. The dx of mentally retarded has gone by the wayside as we have been able to dx with more specific things like Down Syndrome, Autism, traumatic brain injury, etc. Mental retardation is now called Intellectual disability. It affects 1 to 3 % of the population.

Mental retardation: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Mental retardation affects about 1 - 3% of the population. There are many causes of mental retardation, but doctors find a specific reason in only 25% of cases.
Note that while many autistic people have problems communicating (and may score low on their first IQ tests), they often develop quickly once they have a way of communicating that makes sense to them. Remember that children who could not hear or speak were often dxed as mentally retarded years ago, but we now know that they have a range of IQs as well.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:13 PM
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I don't even think "Developmentally Delayed" is correct when it comes to those who would have previously been known as "Retarded". As another poster points out, "Delayed" suggests merely needing some time to catch up.

I had an aunt who was mentally retarded (due to superstition--she was born with "the caul", meaning the amniotic sac was over her face and the nurse was afraid to touch her and remove it because such children were thought to be able to foretell the future, so she was denied oxygen in her first minutes), who was born in 1934. She was always "retarded" (she also had CP because of the brain damage). She was able to be taught simple things like writing her name, but not much else, plus back then they didn't have schools for kids like this. She died at 61. It annoys me when people completely disregard the term "retarded" as if it had no meaning, because it's as if she never existed. She was a person, a mentally retarded person, and she lived and was part of my family. Just because she didn't live long enough to become "Mentally challenged" or some other ridiculous fancy new term doesn't mean she wasn't who she was.

She could also play a song on the organ, note for note, after hearing it once on the radio.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:21 PM
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thank you all for explaining this to me
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:25 PM
Status: ""Abortion Stops A Beating Heart!"" (set 4 days ago)
Location: Kansas
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In Kansas, my son with Down syndrome has developmental disabilities but also has some autistic behaviors. The terms can change so quickly that it is impossible to keep up. You often just hear "MR" for mentally retarded. I think that "mentally retarded" became less acceptable when people who were ignorant of what the term met began using it to describe people that were dumb or stupid which is not the case. Trust me when I tell you that mentally retarded isn't stupid and I believe there is a book titled or subtitled that. I would also agree that the terminology has become more specific thus "mentally retarded" not really telling one a heck of a lot about the condition of the person. "Slow" is not as inappropriate as one might think because when it comes to the milestones, my son was slower but still mastered all of those as well as many other skills that just took longer.
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