Advances and New Directions

By Silvano Arieti; H. Keith H. Brodie | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 31

ADVANCES IN THE PREVENTION
AND TREATMENT OF
MENTAL RETARDATION

Frank J. Menolascino

Fred D. Strider

IN THIS CHAPTER current approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental retardation will be reviewed with a focus on specific psychiatric treatment and intervention appropriate to the combined syndromes of mental retardation and mental illness. In a concluding section, the authors will indicate their views regarding the essential elements of comprehensive approaches and treatment.


¶ Introduction

The model of primary (prevention of the appearance of a disorder), secondary (very early diagnosis, effective treatment, and return of the person to a normative state), and tertiary (minimization of the remaining handicaps and return of the person to as high a level of functioning as possible) prevention will be utilized to review the currently available and possible future preventive approaches in each of these three dimensions. Although this three-step approach may seem simple, it is actually quite complex because there are over 350 causes of mental retardation. Major prevention programs have been successful in certain states: for example, Illinois has been successful in the area of screening and prevention of lead poisoning; California has energetically encouraged public education concerning mental retardation; Connecticut has mounted an excellent program to prevent Rh blood incompatibility; and Massachusetts has a well-established program for discerning a number of preventable forms of inborn errors of metabolism. The

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