Sunday, June 8, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court throws out "mental retardation"

The U.S. Supreme Court is often divided, but they unanimously agreed recently on one point: the term "mental retardation" is no longer appropriate to use.  This may seem trivial and way too late.  Mental health professionals and most of us stopped using that term long ago as it recalls insulting playground inssults. 
But the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States have broad impact, and the Court's action is a significant sign of society's progress toward treating each other with dignity.
Arizona removed the "mental retardation" and "crippled" from state statutes in 2011 when Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2213.
Intellectual disability is one of the categories under which a child between three years old and 22 years old may be found eligible for special education and related services:
(i) Autism.
(ii) Developmental delay.
(iii) Emotional disability.
(iv) Hearing impairment.
(v) Other health impairments.
(vi) Specific learning disability.
(vii) Mild, moderate or severe intellectual disability.
(viii) Multiple disabilities.
(ix) Multiple disabilities with severe sensory impairment.
(x) Orthopedic impairment.
(xi) Preschool severe delay.
(xii) Speech/language impairment.
(xiii) Traumatic brain injury.
(xiv) Visual impairment.

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